Archive for March, 2014

Devils-Islanders Preview (The Associated Press)

By at 28 March, 2014, 11:23 am

The New Jersey Devils still have a chance to make the playoffs, though they haven’t been doing much to get themselves there. A game against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum may be the remedy. The Devils are in a pack of five teams battling…


As Charles Wang sells, will Brooklyn owners buy the New York Islanders? (Puck Daddy)

By at 28 March, 2014, 10:09 am

Before we get into celebrating the potential end of Charles Wang’s ownership of the New York Islanders, let’s acknowledge one thing: There might not be a New York Islanders, or Brooklyn Islanders, without him.
He could have cut bait, sold to someone looking to relocate the franchise. Lord knows there were offers. But he not only fought to keep them in New York, he fought to keep them on the Island, and that shouldn’t be lost when looking back on his 15 years of ownership.
That said: Moving to Brooklyn only mended this franchise’s reputation as far as it could be mended with Wang as the owner. The inept management trickles down from the top. Free agents evaluate every facet of a team, but it begins with the person cutting the checks, and the Islanders have had far too many farcical moments under Wang.
They’re changing buildings, changing jerseys and according to Bob McKenzie, likely changing ownership as well. It’s about time.
(Literally, about time: TSN reports that a $75 million loan repayment is due at season’s end, and Islanders Point Blank notes that 15 years is “coincidentally the amount of time an owner has to depreciate the purchase price of a team under IRS tax law.” Uh-huh …)
The question then becomes “who buys the Islanders?”
The answer better be “someone associated with the Barclays Center ownership group.”
As Richard Peddie, former head of MLSE, told Bloomberg News when the Islanders cut the Brooklyn deal:
“What they’re missing is synergies,” he said. “One sales force, one marketing force. They’re missing opportunities by not having the same owner. It’s obviously better than where the Islanders were. I understand why they’re doing it, but it’s not all that it could be.”
The Toronto Maple Leafs, Raptors and Air Canada Centre are all under one owner, and they make all the monies.
Kevin Schultz also looked into Barclays ownership:
The obvious idea here is that some part of the Barclays Braintrust is buying the team. With how things have moved so fluidly between the two sides — from moving the hockey team there to installing Ratner as the developer for the Coliseum — you would have to think that would be the most likely option. But, of course, we don’t know.
Another scenario is a little darker; the Islanders have a 25-year “iron-clad” lease to play at the Barclays Center. Hopefully, if a sale does happen, it’s not to someone who is going to test the strength of the irons cladding that lease. The franchise has been down that road before . The counter to this thought is that there’s a lucrative cable deal that any buyer would be silly to be running away from, assuming they tried to leave the New York area.
Between the cable deal and the arena deal, the Islanders’ relocation talk should be quieted. Especially when Wang is still the seller.
The X-Factor in all of this is Mikhail Prokhorov, the owner of the Brooklyn Nets. A year and a half ago, he said he wouldn’t consider buying the Islanders, but that’s before their relocation in 2015 was official. He’s currently doing a dance with the NBA about relocating the Nets’ “home office” to Russia so he can still run for office there without any foreign ownership ties, so who the hell knows what the political climate will be in the next year.
His decisions running the Nets aside – the multi-million dollar gamble on veterans has produced middling results, while his absence from the area has drawn fire – there’s no question he’s not a nickel-and-dimer. He’ll spend on talent, he’ll spend on infrastructure and one assumes he’s not going to micromanage like Wang because, frankly, the Nets are his baby.
We’ll see where this goes. Hopefully not to a place where Wang says he couldn’t find a buyer.


Report: Islanders owner looking to sell team (The SportsXchange)

By at 28 March, 2014, 9:39 am

New York Islanders owner Charles Wang is looking to possibly sell his majority stake in the team, according to TSN. The Islanders are reportedly losing about $10 million per year and the team faces a $75 million loan repayment at the end of this season.


Hillen questionable for Saturday vs. Bruins (Comcast SportsNet Mid Atlantic)

By at 28 March, 2014, 9:07 am

Capitals defenseman Jack Hillen participated in Fridays practice alongside defense partner Mike Green, but was not feeling 100 percent afterward and is questionable for Saturday afternoons game against the Boston Bruins.


The Penultimate Week (Rotoworld)

By at 28 March, 2014, 8:47 am

There are only two weeks left in the regular season and the Bruins could be resting some of their stars from time-to-time down the stretch.


NHL Playoff Death Watch: Minnesota’s wild slide, Phoenix’s rise in West (Puck Daddy)

By at 28 March, 2014, 7:22 am

Since we’re down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.
Uh oh Minnesota Wild …
The Wild saw their playoff probability drop to 77.4 percent with a humbling loss to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.
Not only that, but the Phoenix Coyotes (49 percent) have a better chance of snagging the first wild card than do the Wild (38 percent). This is rather important when attempting to avoid the Blues in the first round, a team to which Minnesota has dropped nine straight games.
So much ails the Wild now. From Michael Russo of the Star Tribune:

The Wild’s power play was 0 for 6. It gave up a shortie and another two power-play goals. If you’re counting at home, that’s 11 power-play goals on 31 chances in the past 12 games. “Our special teams have been terrible,” [Ryan] Suter said. “We have to figure that out, or we’re not even going to make the playoffs.”

The Phoenix Coyotes, meanwhile, have done what they do: defy expectations. They went up 2-0 on New Jersey last night and then escaped with a shootout win with Thomas Greiss between the pipes.
The Yotes are now 7-2-1 in their last 10. They’re closing, and the Wild are fading.
However … the teams have a showdown in Glendale on Saturday. That’ll be fun.
All playoff percentages are from Sports Club Stats ; tragic numbers and other figures via the NHL. A team is eliminated from play-offs when their “Tragic Number” hits 0.
Here’s the Eastern Conference picture:


Place/ Pts./ROW (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance 1 st Wild Card

% Chance of 2 nd Wild Card B

Columbus Blue Jackets

WILD CARD 1/80/32 (5H/5A)



Detroit Red Wings

WILD CARD 2/80/28 (4H/5A)



Washington Capitals

9th/80/25 (4H/5A)




Toronto Maple Leafs

10th/80/27 (4H/4A)




New Jersey Devils

11th/76/31 (5H/4A)




Carolina Hurricanes

12th/73/31 (4H/5A)




Ottawa Senators

13th/72/25 (7H/3A)




New York Islanders




The Red Wings gave up five goals on home ice to the Canadiens, going down 2-0 in the first period. They lost their game in-hand with the Capitals but still have one with Toronto, whom they play on Saturday night.
The Leafs skate at the Flyers tonight. Amazing to think a sweep this weekend could put Toronto back into a wild card slot despite all the dire tire fire talk.
Columbus, meanwhile, will host Pittsburgh at a sold out Nationwide Arena. Alas, they don’t often play their best in front of huge crowds when it isn’t the Red Wings on the other end of the rink.
The Rangers (86 points) are in Calgary for the first game of a four-game west coast swing. They’re up three points on the Flyers, who have two games in hand.
Meanwhile in the Western Conference:


Place/Record/Pts. (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance Wild Card A

% Chance of Wild Card B

Minnesota Wild

WILD CARD 1/85/30 (4H/4A)



Phoenix Coyotes

WILD CARD 2/84/30 (5H/3A)



Dallas Stars

9th/79/31 (4H/6A)




Vancouver Canucks

10th/79/29 (6H/1A)




Nashville Predators

11th/75/30 (3H/5A)




Winnipeg Jets

12th/75/26 (3H/5A)




Calgary Flames

13th/67/24 (3H/6A)



Vancouver really, really needed that extra point they dropped to Colorado in overtime last night. They have a 3.8 percent chance of making the playoffs.
As mentioned, the Wild and Coyotes play each other on Saturday. Wither Dallas? The Stars go back-to-back with Nashville at home and at St. Louis, holding two (1) games in hand on the teams they’re chasing but now five in back of Phoenix and six in back of Minny.


NHL Three Stars: Oshie notches first trick; Rask blanks Blackhawks (Puck Daddy)

By at 28 March, 2014, 12:05 am

No. 1 Star: T.J. Oshie, St. Louis Blues
A week after his daughter was born, Oshie provided a nice gift with his first career hat trick as the Blues beat the Minnesota Wild 5-1. St. Louis won for the ninth straight time over the Wild and have points i…


NHL-Highlights of Thursday’s NHL games (Reuters)

By at 27 March, 2014, 11:41 pm

(Adds later games) March 27 (The Sports Xchange) – Highlights of Thursday’s National Hockey League games: – – Blues 5, Wild 1 Right wing T.J. Oshie recorded the first hat-trick of his career to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 5-1 win over the Minneso…