Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Around the Rink 05.29.07

The Stanley Cup Finals have started and if Game One is any indication, we're in for a fine display of hockey. Granted, there were some sluggish points to the game, most of that due to the week lay off, but the game was one that definitely would keep interest. As a Sens fan, it's something that is hard for me to watch because of the huge disappointment that could happen should they not make a series of it, but it's damn enjoyable.

As we broke on the Show last Wednesday, the Nashville Predators have been tentatively sold to Jim Balsillie pending league approval. Balsillie, you may remember, backed out of a deal with the Penguins earlier in the season. While this move seems a little more in favor of Balsillie, there is still a chance that the Preds may not move after the '07-'08 season. The only way the Preds could move is if they average under 14,000 paid attendance, stressing paid. Despite low ticket prices and a damn fine arena, the Preds averaged 13,000+ last season.

The deal itself is worth $200M in the bank for outgoing owner Craig Leipold, which may bring an end to this chapter of his life, which included squabling with the City of Nashville, lack of local business support, and losses of $70M over nine seasons.

Personally, Nashville has been lingering to boom for some time. However, with the team in the playoffs for the past three seasons and still empty seats in the crowd-- this could be the last stand for the Predators in Nashville.

Oddly enough, Balsillie bought land just outside of Toronto for some unknown project. Could it be for a new arena?? Stay tuned.

The Phoenix Coyotes seemingly have found their GM, former New York Rangers assistant GM Don Maloney. Maloney was previous the GM of the Islanders way back when and has drafted the likes of Todd Bertuzzi, Tommy Salo, Bryan McCabe, and Ziggy Palffy.

As we have been saying for a while, this is basically just a very glorified scouting position since the owner is behind the bench. Maloney will have a good amount of say in what way he wants to go, but as long as Wayne Gretzky is behind the bench-- Maloney probably won't win as much as he loses.

Want loyalty?? Look no further than Teemu Selanne.

Before Selanne reached the NHL, he promised a group of his childhood friends that if he ever made the Stanley Cup Finals, he would fly them out to see the games. Promise kept, as a group of 16 Finns dressed in orange t-shirts with Teemu's name graced the Honda Center for Game One and more than likely will show up for the rest of the games as well.

This could seem like a sappy news story, and it is in some cases, but that's just damn cool that he would remember his buddies like that. Plus, it's better now with the cash he's making, he can afford it.

That's all for now, but there will be a whole lot more on the Face Off Hockey Show this Wednesday available live at 9 PM ET or on the Podcast if you feel like watching Game Two. As always, check the message boards for all the fun happenings there.

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