Monday, December 18, 2006

Around the Rink 12.18.06

The Pittsburgh Penguins are up for another bidding war. It seems that Frank D'Angelo, owner of Steelback Brewery, is looking to purchase the team and keep them in Pittsburgh. D'Angelo has said that if the Isle of Capri doesn't win the Wednesday bid, his group would build an arena with their own money and use the Steelback name for the arena name and sell Steelback beer in the arena. Our buddy James Mirtle doesn't seem too happy about it.

Also interested is Mark Cuban, who's bid failed two owners ago, and former prospective owner Jim Balsillie, who seems to be still in the running even though he pulled his bid this past weekend. However, Mario Lemieux said that Balsillie pulled out during a crucial time, which was a breach of contract with the Penguins; so he's keeping Balsillie's deposit and has said any deal with Balsillie is dead.

The vote will come down on Wednesday whether or not the Isle of Capri will get the slots license, which will bring a new arena to Pittsburgh. If the IoC can get the license, it'll probably ease a lot of minds of prospective owners. If not....we'll see what happens.

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Alexei Zhitnik is on the move, as he was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers from the New York Islanders for Freddy Meyer IV. Neither defenseman have been doin that well for their respective teams, which mades this trade even odder.

However, you would think that the Flyers would want to keep their young prospects in check, rather than get older. Yet, it seems that they are going the opposite way. Of course, the reasoning is just due to all of the injuries and lack of production on the blue line; Zhitnik was a prime, yet expensive choice. We'll see if this pays off in the grand scheme of things, but I doubt it'll have any help at all.

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What has happened to the New York Rangers?? Within a span of two games, they have given up 15 goals. Henrik Lundqvist was left in for eight goals in Saturday's loss to Toronto and Kevin Weekes was in for the other seven. They only scored three goals in that span as well, which doesn't make sense considering who they have on their team.

Now, if the Rangers are going to revert back to their old form of not caring and letting teams walk all over them; I wouldn't be surprised to see some guys being moved before the end of the season hits. It has started already, with Sandis Ozolinsh being placed on waivers today. Though I have plenty of respect for Tom Renney and his crew; they need to do something quick before it's too late.

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The dream of having every NHL have an AHL affiliate seems to be one step closer to become a reality. This weekend, the Colorado Avalance announced that they will have their primary affiliate with the incoming Cleveland hockey team that starts in 2007-08 AHL season. A name for the team has yet to be announced.

With the deal as it is, there are only two teams without a primary affiliate, the Florida Panthers (two teams) and Edmonton Oilers (five teams). The Avalanche haven't had their own affiliate since 2004-05 when they were with the Hershey Bears. Some people discount how important it is to have a primary affiliate, especially when it comes to developing players. It's much easier to get a kid into the line-up who knows the system from the AHL team, as opposed to using someone else's primary affiliate, who may have a different system than what you're trying to impose.

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That's all for now, but make sure to check out the FOHS site, FOHS Podcast, the FOHS Message Boards powered by FantasyHockey.com, and the FOHS MySpace, if you're not already on it. And if you are-- tell all your friends.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

With prices like they are now offering, don't expect Cleveland to last long. Management is definitely deluded here. Glass seats for $60. $9 seats now $20. Its unfortunate because marketed correctly, even in a major league city, AHL hockey could be successful in Cleveland again. They really missed the boat here though. Do you think Joe Average is gonna regularly pluck down $30+ for a decent seat to a minor league hockey game? I’m sure opening night will be packed, but by the middle of the season, it’s gonna be a sea of empty seats as usual.

http://www.myspace.com/saveclevelandhockey