Archive for July, 2015

Kansas City not in NHL expansion hunt, despite past attempts (Puck Daddy)

By at 6 July, 2015, 9:53 am

Not too long ago, the faithful in Kansas City would get downright indignant if you didn’t include their fair city when discussing expansion and relocation options in the NHL.  And why not? The geography worked for a Western Conference team, with immediate rivals. The Sprint Center was, at the time, a state-of-the-art facility managed by NHL darlings AEG. Plus, exhibition games in KC received high marks from those involved. Hence, Kansas City was used as a viable relocation bargaining chip by Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins and Charles Wang and the New York Islanders during negotiations with their municipalities. But as the NHL formally begins its expansion process Monday, Kansas City isn’t one of the destinations prominently listed. According to the Kansas City Star, that’s because none of the potential owners of a KC NHL team are interested in this round of expansion: Lamar Hunt Jr., who owns the ECHL’s Missouri Mavericks, a minor-league hockey team that plays in Independence, called the NHL’s $500 million price tag for an expansion franchise “a ridiculously big fee,” and said that he is not aware of anyone in Kansas City who will make a push for a team. “No, it’s not on my radar,” he said. “It’s not on this team’s radar, and it’s not on my radar.” Cliff Illig, a billionaire and part of the ownership group of Sporting Kansas City, is also not involved with a bid for Kansas City, and does not know of anyone who is. “You could say that,” he said. “That’s certainly the truth.” Conversations with a few others around town indicate a consensus, that there is no real momentum from local groups to woo the NHL for an expansion franchise. The fact is that Kansas City has one of the two things the NHL needs in an expansion city: a building. That actually puts it ahead of a place like Seattle. But Seattle has ownership groups(s) that are going to formally apply for an expansion team and Kansas City doesn’t. Don’t put too much stock into things like youth hockey numbers, which the KC Star does. Having an NHL team in town mints new hockey fans, and the fan infrastructure will grow. The article also notes that Kansas City is the No. 31 TV market in the U.S. and “it takes a lot of imagination to see the nation’s No. 31 market producing enough local TV money to make it work.” Which might make sense if No. 32 wasn’t Columbus, and Las Vegas wasn’t No. 41 and Buffalo wasn’t No. 52, which is amazing considering that Sabres’ market is one of the League’s biggest drivers of national ratings. The point here is that Kansas City is very much a market the NHL would and should be interested in, including the fact that, like in Vegas, they would be “first in” with a pro franchise. (If they land in Seattle, it’s just a matter of time before the NBA doubles-up that market.) There are current demographic challenges, but it’s not hard to believe there’s a lot of potential for stable growth there. The problem, alas, is that there have been more NHL owners using Kansas City as a negotiating ploy than there have been Kansas City owners looking to buy a team and relocate it. And with a $500 million expansion fee, it doesn’t appear anyone’s stepping up to pay that either.  MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY

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UFA Grades – Part I (Rotoworld)

By at 5 July, 2015, 9:50 pm

Ryan Dadoun examines the Metropolitan and Pacific Divisions.

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NHL-National Hockey League roundup (Reuters)

By at 5 July, 2015, 5:45 pm

July 5 (The Sports Xchange) – The Tampa Bay Lightning signed forward Jeff Tambellini to a one-year, two-way contract Sunday. Tambellini, 31, has skated in 242 career NHL games over six seasons with the Los Angeles Kings, New York Islanders and Vancouve…

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NHL-National Hockey League roundup (Reuters)

By at 3 July, 2015, 5:34 pm

July 3 (The Sports Xchange) – The Columbus Blue Jackets signed left winger Brandon Saad on Friday to a six-year contract through the 2020-21 NHL season. Terms were not disclosed, but Sportsnet reported the deal carries an average annual value of $6 million. – – The Buffalo Sabres signed forward Ryan O’Reilly to a seven-year contract extension. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Sportsnet reported the contract has an average annual value of $7.5 million. – – The Edmonton Oilers agreed to terms with center Connor McDavid, the No. …

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Kessel trade to Penguins highlights start of NHL free agency (The Associated Press)

By at 1 July, 2015, 10:12 pm

On the first day of NHL free agency, a blockbuster trade stole the spotlight. The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired high-scoring winger Phil Kessel from Toronto on Wednesday in the biggest move of the day, while a handful of prominent defenseman found new …

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Capitals lose Green, add Williams on 1st day of free agency (The Associated Press)

By at 1 July, 2015, 10:08 pm

The Washington Capitals were busy on the opening day of NHL free agency on Wednesday. The right winger won the Stanley Cup once with the Carolina Hurricanes and twice with the Los Angeles Kings and took the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable play…

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Flyers sign backup goaltender Neuvirth to multiyear deal (The Associated Press)

By at 1 July, 2015, 1:35 pm

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Flyers have signed goaltender Michal Neuvirth to a multiyear contract.

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Islanders sign 3 players, Hickey, Greiss, Petrov (The Associated Press)

By at 1 July, 2015, 11:25 am

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Islanders have signed defenseman Thomas Hickey, goaltender Thomas Greiss and forward Kirill Petrov.

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