We finally get another game on the ice after a 45-hour drought from live action. This double off day for all teams at the start of the third round makes little sense. We have another day with dark arenas on Monday, but at least that is for a good cause. The NHL doesn't want to go up against POTG Radio since it has been such a ratings killer for them. ;)
Even with injuries to Eric Cole and Tuomo Ruutu, I get the feeling that the Canes will be ready to play tonight. Marc-Andre Fleury is due one of his off nights and Carolina will close ranks and be ready to play. I may be way off base but I think the Canes will take game two by a multiple goal margin.
Ryan at the RLD has a preview of tonight's game, computer projection and a look at who the Conn Smythe candidates are so far.
The more I read it seems that anything is possible in the Phoenix situation. The worst possible thing for all pro sports would be some type of ruling that overturns the anti-trust exemption that has allowed leagues to work in an orderly fashion during the modern era of pro sports. If the anti-trust provision comes into play, the matter will be tied up in the courts for years to come.
Beyond that, if the asset is deemed "mobile", my bet now is that the franchise might be dissolved, players disbursed via a draft, and then some type of open auction for one or more additional franchises. I feel that there is a zero chance that the franchise will simply move to Hamilton, or anywhere else, without the other 29 owners getting a piece of the action.
Bill Daly was on XM HomeIce Wednesday afternoon with Rossy and Espo and it was really interesting, not so much for what was said, but how it could be interpreted. Daly discussed that as far as the league was concerned the rink in Winnipeg was of NHL quality as far as revenue generation was concerned. Many pundits in Southern Ontario have tried to poo-poo any Winnipeg talk by downplaying the arena. It appears the league thinks the arena is OK. This is a must listen.
Much is being made of the other entity of primarily local ownership that is interested in buying the team. John Breslow of LasVegas, who owns 2% of the team, and is head of Coyotes Charities, is said to be the principle involved. On the XM Homeice "War Room" this morning, it was even "rumored" that Gretzky might even be a part of that group. I guess we will see.
I received my first newsletter from the Coyotes Coalition group this morning which included a link to the 114 page Chapter 11 filing from the court that includes the proxy in question that is set to be mediated. This will take some time to digest. If you want to join the mailing list, click here and send them an email.
Jim Balsillie was on CHCH in Hamilton last night for an interview. It seems to be more of the same Canadian flag waving to whip the locals into a frenzy.
In Pred Land...
John Glennon explains how the hearings in Phoenix could effect the outcome of Boots DelBiaggio's 26 % stake in the Preds that is in a similar situation in a California Bankruptcy court.
Tom Callahan has another edition of Predators Prowl.
Paul McCann checks in with his take on the PHX situation.
The Nashville Scene makes a weak attempt at piggybacking a Globe and Mail story to claim the Preds may move to Ontario. The Scene really needs to stick to what they do instead of coming up with this drivel.
Around the League...
Best wishes to Paul Kukla who is in the hospital.
At the Memorial Cup on Wednesday night, Drummondville advanced to the semi-finals with a win over the host Rimouski Oceanic in overtime. Rimouski will now play Windsor tonight in the tie-breaker game to see who plays Drummondville on Friday. Kelowna awaits the simi-final winner to play for the championship on Sunday afternoon.
The Sporting News player of the year was announced today... Alexander Ovechkin.
No decision yet in Minnesota, but that doesn't stop an AP piece on Pierre McGuire from making the rounds.
Interesting story from Columbus on Fox Ohio and Jim Day parting ways. Eric Smith has an article about a petition drive to save him. Even Puck Daddy checks in on the topic.
There was a good game in the AHL that we listened to a portion of Wednesday night when Houston was able to avoid elimination by beating Manitoba 5-4 in OT.
Here's a link to Ice Hockey in Harlem which I found from Inside Hockey where I am a contributor. This was something new to me, but it is a long running program that looks like a great cause that impacts kids on and off the ice.
A sad farewell from "Rags to Riches" on My Hockey Buzz.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass
Brandon Felder has a look at Predator free agents. It is a good analysis and Brandon is right on target with what you would think the team is looking at in each individual discussed.
Mark at the View from 111 is right on target with his analysis in this post.
From the Montreal Gazette comes a scathing attack on Gary Bettman.
A game day look at the Penguins by Brian Metzer.
This is the first Buffalo specific story that I've seen against the Balsillie/ Hamilton proposal.
More on the "happy horse poop edicts" of the Blue Jackets from Puck Daddy.
From Detroit, Datsyuk may be out for Friday's game.
Mike Russo reports that Chuck Fletcher will be Wild GM. Condolences to those wanting Pierre off the TV.
Off topic but popular among our readers, Dave Matthews Band to appear live on HULU on 6/1.
New York politicians now getting involved in the Phoenix mess because they don't want to see the Sabres impacted.