Oilers owner takes next step for new arena

Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz has started the formal process for building a new arena for the Edmonton Oilers, formally submitting a rezoning application to the city today for a new downtown arena and entertainment center.

The project includes two hotels, a new casino, and commercial development as well as the new arena, all enveloped ina $1-billion investment in which the city itself would foot the majority of the bill.

Unlike Jerry Jones with his monstrosity of a stadium in Arlington, Texas, who paid for nearly 80% of the $1-billion complex, owner Katz would pay just $100 million of his own money for the project. The rest of the funding would come through taxes, and that is what has Peter Adler a bit angry.

Alder claims that such a complex is too big a risk for the Edmonton public to take, especially paying for 90% of the project through taxes, for an investment that likely will fail.

It is a most unfortunate fact of life that reality often won’t match our wishes, no matter how hard we try. And it is a fact of life that most North American cities have been experiencing the downturn of
their downtown areas. It’s a long-term trend. It’s called suburbanization, and entire schools of scientists steeped in demographics, sociology and, even, economics, have been trying hard to figure out whether this was good for the cities thus affected.

Katz hopes to build a state of the art complex in downtown Edmonton, revitalizing the area while giving his Oilers a new home. While Adler is crying foul over the circumstances of the proposal, the rest of Edmonton seems to be behind the idea completely. Which makes an impending vote — depending on the approval of the rezoning application — incredibly important.

If the Edmonton citizens wish to vote for a project that could destroy the city, that’s their prerogative.

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    Panthers’ Barkov (upper-body injury) leaves game versus Red Wings

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    The Florida Panthers will be without Aleksander Barkov for the remainder of their game versus the Detroit Red Wings on Monday.

    As per multiple reports, Barkov will not return due to an upper-body injury suffered after a hit from Justin Abdelkader early in the second period.

    Abdelkader wasn’t given a penalty on the play. Barkov didn’t play another shift after that hit.

    In 42 games this season, the 20-year-old Barkov has 16 goals and 35 points.

     

    Video: Sidney Crosby extends scoring streak to career best seven games

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    What is wrong with Sidney Crosby?

    His slow start to the season has been well documented. But, um, he’s been on one heck of a roll offensively for some time and the points continue to pile up.

    Crosby extended his scoring streak to a career best seven games on Monday, as he gave Pittsburgh a 4-1 lead over the Anaheim Ducks in the second period.

    That was goal No. 23 on the season for Crosby. He added No. 24 later in the game on a spectacular individual effort.

    And yes, there will be an update to this post with his second goal of the night.

    Turris: Public trade requests can be ‘very difficult’ to go through, as Drouin saga drags on

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    When it comes to the pressures of trade requests that go public, Kyle Turris can relate to what Jonathan Drouin might be going through.

    Of course, Drouin’s request to be dealt from Tampa Bay made its way into the public via his agent, Allan Walsh, earlier this season.

    The talented 20-year-old forward and third overall pick in 2013 has since been suspended indefinitely without pay for failing to show up to an AHL game while down in the minors and hasn’t played since Jan. 18.

    It’s been a while now, but Turris found himself in a similar situation when, in October of 2011, his agent Curt Overhardt confirmed that the now 26-year-old center wanted to be traded out of Arizona.

    Back then, Turris, another third overall pick, was a restricted free agent and had been in contentious contract talks with the Coyotes. He eventually signed a two-year deal with the Coyotes and was acquired by Ottawa not long after.

    He’s been there ever since, with two 20-plus goal seasons.

    “It’s tough,” Turris told the Tampa Bay Times. “Everyone has mixed feelings, and especially not being an established player. Then people are doubting that you’re doing the right thing, you really have to have confidence in yourself and your ability to do it.

    “It was very difficult to do. You’re getting a lot of heat from the media and people, and people within the organization. It was a tough, tough go.”

    Speaking of heat from the media: In addition to the suspension, Drouin was ripped in a local newspaper column — He’s the kid who quit” was one particular line that stands outfor his request and the drama that ensued from that.

    For now, the trade deadline (Feb. 29) approaches and Drouin’s request has yet to be granted.

    The wait continues.

    Trotz wants fix for Caps’ ailing power play

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    WASHINGTON (AP) The Capitals are winners of three in a row and sitting pretty atop the NHL, so not much seems to be going wrong for Washington. They do however have one glaring problem – power-play goals – and it is something coach Barry Trotz hopes to fix sooner rather than later.

    Washington is 0 for their last 17 and haven’t scored a power-play goal since Jan. 19 after consistently being the league’s top power-play team the past several seasons.

    The five-game drought hasn’t cost them in the standings, but after a similar stretch haunted them in last year’s playoffs, so it’s worth significant attention in the coming days and weeks.

    “Sometimes we can be very stubborn and say, `Our power play will work against everybody,’ but we do make lots of adjustments,” Trotz said after the Capitals beat the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday. “If there’s a trend, then we better fix it before the playoffs because to me if we don’t fix it before the playoffs, you’re almost in a situation where it’s too late.”

    The Capitals went 0 for 13 in Games 2 through 7 of their second-round playoff series against the New York Rangers last spring.

    A lack of power-play goals wasn’t the only reason for blowing a 3-1 series lead, and this five-game drought isn’t cause for alarm just yet. The Capitals still (barely) have the league’s top unit with a 24.2 percent success rate, but more importantly they have a four-point lead over the Chicago Blackhawks in the Presidents’ Trophy race and have played five fewer games.

    But as Washington goes on the road to face the Nashville Predators, Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars this week, getting the power play back on track is a major focus. It’s not necessarily about getting rid of the goose egg in the goal column as much as fixing what’s contributing to the problem.

    “We believe as long as we are getting zone time, we’re getting shots, we have some of the key elements of our power play, that results are going to come,” power-play point man Matt Niskanen said. “Some of those areas have been lacking lately, so that’s what we’ll try to fix. I don’t think you get too caught up in the results. You focus on the process and things like your breakout, your zone entries, your recoveries, net presence, execution – all those things. If we concentrate on those things, the results will come.”

    Trotz blamed poor puck retrievals and execution for the power-play struggles. It doesn’t help that forward Marcus Johansson has missed four games with an upper-body injury, but with offensively-potent Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson in the lineup that shouldn’t be such a debilitating loss.

    “We have some good people, so that’s not really an excuse,” Trotz said. “Marcus is very good on the power play, but so is Kuznetsov and Burakovsky and (Jason Chimera) does a good job in Marcus’ sort of spot. I don’t think that’s as big a deal.”

    Not having Ovechkin when he was suspended against the Florida Panthers took away the power. Ovechkin’s one-timer from the left faceoff circle is one of the most unstoppable shots in hockey, even though defenders and goaltenders know it’s coming.

    Ovechkin has been back for the past three games, and Washington hasn’t been able to get into much of a rhythm. Sunday against Philadelphia, one power play was rife with turnovers and even an icing.

    Without a power-play goal once again, it was up to the Capitals’ penalty kill to get the job done. That unit is 8 for its past 9, and the pressure is higher on the penalty kill when the power play isn’t clicking.

    “The power play has been (ranked) 1, 2 or 3 in the league for a ton of years in a row now and the PK hasn’t, so we always feel like we’re catching up to the power play,” defenseman Karl Alzner said. “We want to pull our own weight, and so when things aren’t going, you have to win the special teams war in a different way, and PK is the way it needs to be done.”