More issues with potential Coyotes sale?

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Reinsdorf.jpgIt seems there may be some potential problems concerning the two bids
for the Phoenix Coyotes. Well, aside from the issues we already know
about that’s held up the sale for so long.

litigation ‘think tank’ the Goldwater Institute may have some serious
concerns over the bids put in for the Coyotes, specifically the one by
the Jerry Reinsdorf-led Glendale Hockey, LLC bid that signed a MOU late
last week. The institute has threatened to file suit against the City of
Glendale if it feels there is an unconstitutional move by the city in
order to give incentives to a potential new owner in order to keep the
team in town. As Goldwater puts

Several media reports have indicated that the
City of Glendale intends
to offer some form of taxpayer subsidy to a new owner of the Phoenix
Coyotes as an incentive to keep the hockey team in Glendale. This is a
potential violation of the Arizona Constitution’s Gift Clause.

institute has been in a constant struggle with the city over the
release of public records in the case, and now it seems they may have
serious issue with Glendale Hockey’s agreement with the city. Brahm
Resnik of has this, from Institute attorney Carrie Ann

As they are written now, the Reinsdorf deal
raises serious legal questions. It
puts a huge amount of risk on the city, whereas Reinsdorf takes on
virtually none. It could be a contract without a give and take from each
side, which would be illegal. Beyond that, the city might make
substantial payments to support Reinsdorf’s ownership and still lose the
team after five years.

You can read
Reinsdorf’s MOU here,
and Ice Edge Holdings’ MOU here.

are just loose agreements between the city and the two bidders in order
to get the process started on leasing the arena and purchasing the team
from the NHL. In reading the two MOU’s there is certainly a disparity
in how each side will approach payments of the team purchase and it
seems that the Glendale Hockey MOU puts an incredible amount of pressure
on the City of Glendale to be able to maintain a significant amount of
revenue, else the team would up for sale once more in five years.

the City of Glendale does side with Glendale Hockey, and this is the
route the agreement goes without further amendments to appease the
taxpayers, then a sticky situation will get even uglier.

is one thing both sides agree upon: After sale of the team, the buyer
will appeal to the NHL to change the name of the team to either the
“Glendale Coyotes” or the “Arizona Cardinals” (Sigh. Should read “Coyotes”.)

DiMaio named Blues’ director of player personnel

via St. Louis Blues
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The St. Louis Blues named Rob DiMaio their director of player personnel on Tuesday.

He’s been with the organization for some time. He joined as a pro scout in 2008 and was the pro scouting director starting in August 2012.

He was also a scout for the Dallas Stars before landing with the Blues (one would assume his biggest connection is GM Doug Armstrong, then).

In case his nose didn’t give it away, he also enjoyed a lengthy hockey career over 19 seasons.

No doubt about it, this is a pivotal season for the Blues after multiple campaigns in which strong regular seasons dissolved into playoff disappointments. Perhaps DiMaio can make a difference in a heightened role?

Hitchcock going to more aggressive attack for Blues

Ken Hitchcock

ST. LOUIS (AP) After three straight first-round playoff exits, the St. Louis Blues have learned to temper expectations.

They have been consistently among the NHL’s best in the regular season and realize it is past time to build something for the long haul. The sting still lingers from the latest failure, against the Minnesota Wild last spring.

“We’re all disappointed, everybody can agree on that,” defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. “It’s never easy to kind of think about your failures, but we grow every time it happens.”

Management isn’t ready to tear it all down yet.

“We play, in my opinion, one of the toughest if not the toughest division in the NHL, and we’ve finished first or second in the last four years,” forward Alexander Steen said. “So we have an extremely powerful team.”

Maybe a change in strategy will be enough: Coach Ken Hitchcock is back with a mandate for a more aggressive, even reckless, style of play from a roster that hasn’t changed appreciably.

“We’re coming hard from the back and we’re coming hard to see how close we can get to the attack,” Hitchcock said. “I think it’s where the game’s at; I think it’s where the game’s going to go.”

The 63-year-old Hitchcock is pushing forward, too, unwilling to dwell on the flameouts. Coach and players agree that would be “wasted energy.”

“My opinion is when you sit and think about the past, you do yourself no good,” Hitchcock said. “If you learn from the past, that’s when you do yourself a whole bunch of good.”

There were only two major roster casualties. Forward Troy Brouwer came from Washington in a trade for fan favorite T.J. Oshie. Defenseman Barret Jackman, the franchise career leader in games, wasn’t re-signed.

“If you were expecting 23 new faces to be on the roster this year, I don’t think that was realistic,” captain David Backes said. “We’re going to miss those guys in the room and on the ice, but there has been some changeover and I think it’s pretty significant.”

Things to watch for with the Blues:

GOALIE SHUFFLE: Just like last year, there’s no true No. 1 with Brian Elliott and Jake Allen sharing duties. The 25-year-old Allen missed a chance to seize the job last spring when he failed to raise his level in the playoffs.

TOP THREAT: Vladimir Tarasenko had a breakout season with 37 goals and was rewarded with an eight-year, $60 million contract. The 23-year-old winger is by far the Blues’ most dangerous scoring option and said he won’t let the money affect his play. “I never worry about it,” Tarasenko said. “If you play good, you play good.”

NEW FACES: Brouwer and center Kyle Brodziak add a physical element that was perhaps lacking a bit last season. Brouwer has three 20-plus goal seasons and Brodziak, acquired from Minnesota, fills a checking role. Veteran forward Scottie Upshall got a one-year, two-way deal after being coming to camp as a tryout. Rookie forward Robby Fabbri, a first-round pick last year, will get an early look. Another promising youngster, forward Ty Rattie, begins the year at Chicago of the AHL.

RECOVERY WARD: Forward Jori Lehteri bounced back quickly from ankle surgery and opens the season without restrictions. Another forward, Patrik Berglund, could miss half of the season following shoulder surgery.

TRACK RECORD: The Blues won the Central Division last season and Hitchcock, fourth on the career list with 708 regular-season wins, has consistently had the team near the top of the standings. “He is our coach, tough cookies if you don’t like it,” Backes said. “From my experience, he puts together one heck of a game plan.”