Source: News Corp. interested in buying the Dallas Stars

rupertmurdoch.jpgThe sale of the Dallas Stars has been getting plenty of attention amongst interested parties in Texas. Current owner Tom Hicks is looking to get out of sports franchise owning in a big way and both the Stars and the Texas Rangers in Major League Baseball are on the block. While Canadian oilman Bill Gallacher and Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi have been the two main parties involved in purchasing the team, a report from Dallas says that a third group could be involved looking to purchase the team and this one a bit more familiar to many Americans.

An NHL source confirmed today that the third bidder for the Dallas Stars is News Corp./Fox, which surfaced yesterday as a possible bidder on the Rangers.

The three bidders on the Stars right now are: Calgary Oilman Bill Gallacher, Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi and News Corp.

News Corp. owns Fox Sports, and the purchase of the Stars and Rangers would help guarantee contracts for FSN Southwest, as well as ensure future programming if they hope to expand their product. Because the Rangers are in bankruptcy court and the Stars are not, the two purchases would have to be made separately. There is a chance News Corp. could end up with one team and not the other, or it could end up with both teams or no teams.

Hang on to your hats, political conspiracies and glowing pucks kids this new contender for the Stars brings a dump truck full of attention. One thing about News Corp. is that they’re swimming in cash, they’re also swimming in vast amounts of controversy, something which the NHL’s Board of Governors are extremely wary of. Of course, money often does the talking and the team is locked in in Dallas so it’s not as if Rupert Murdoch will be picking them up and moving them home to Australia.

Obviously News Corp.’s politics have absolutely nothing to do with sports or franchise ownership or anything else of the sort, but if they managed to buy the Stars, just be prepared for all kinds of outside attention from anyone and their political pundit brother or sister.

Ideally they’d be wise to keep any politics away from the rink as back in 2008 the Philadelphia Flyers (as well as the St. Louis Blues) showed that helping out a political campaign can sometimes cause a ruckus when they invited then Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin to drop the ceremonial first puck only to have her get booed out of the building. Just call me when Bill O’Reilly bobblehead night is slated to happen.

 

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    2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule for Wednesday, April 26

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    The second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs is set to begin on Wednesday, and the NBC Sports Group has you covered with wall-to-wall coverage.

    After disposing of the Calgary Flames in the first round, the Anaheim Ducks will look to take down another team from Alberta, while two red-hot goalies, Jake Allen and Pekka Rinne, go head-to-head.

    Here’s what you need to know:

    Nashville Predators vs. St. Louis Blues

    Time: 8:00 p.m. ET

    Network: NBCSN (Stream online here)

    Edmonton Oilers vs. Anaheim Ducks 

    Time: 10:30 p.m. ET

    Network: NBCSN (Stream online)

    Green will be judged on progress of Canucks’ youngsters

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    Expectations have officially changed in Vancouver.

    Whereas the last few years the Canucks have tried to stay competitive and make the playoffs (failing miserably the last two seasons), the plan now is to develop their youth with an eye towards the future.

    “I’m not sitting up here and saying, ‘Hey, we’re going to win the Stanley Cup next year,'” new head coach Travis Green said today.

    “But I will tell you we’re going to get better.”

    Green was hired after four seasons as head coach of Vancouver’s AHL affiliate in Utica. He understands that the Canucks need to keep injecting youth into their lineup. He knows that’s why he was hired, despite his lack of coaching experience in the NHL.

    “We need to get younger, that’s no secret,” he said.

    So, for Green, it will not be wins and losses that he’s judged on for the next year or two. Instead, it will be the progress of Bo Horvat, Sven Baertschi, Markus Granlund, Jake Virtanen, Brock Boeser, Nikolay Goldobin, Ben Hutton, Troy Stecher, Brendan Gaunce, Olli Juolevi, Jonathan Dahlen, and any other youngsters in the organization.

    A veteran of over 1,000 NHL games as a player, Green is not expecting this to be a smooth ride. Young players make mistakes. They are inconsistent. They can be immature. Sometimes they progress, only to regress.

    “You have to let them learn on the fly, some of them,” said Green. “You have to give them rope. You want them to swim, you don’t want them to sink. (But) you want them to go through adversity as well. I think it’s good for young players to go through adversity.”

    Green started his coaching career in the WHL with the Portland Winterhawks. Combined with his AHL experience, he believes he’s learned a thing or two about getting through to younger players.

    Not that he’ll be Mr. Nice Guy all the time. He intends to push his players. He’s more than willing to make them uncomfortable, if that’s what he thinks is required.

    “I want my players to be accountable,” he said, “in what they do, how they prepare, how they practice. But I think if you build relationships and you communicate with players, they appreciate it — especially today’s player. I don’t play a lot of mind games. They always know where they stand. At the end of the day, when I was a player, you always wanted to know where you stood.”

    The end goal — whether it’s two years down the line, or even three or four — is to produce a winning team that can compete for a championship.

    “We know where we’re at,” said Green. “I know the management group understands that, I feel confident in that. But hey, I want to win. No one likes winning more than me. I want to see our team get better. I want to start the process and push the envelope with these players, and see improvement.”

    Related: Trading Burrows and Hansen represents significant ‘shift’ for Canucks

    Report: Vegas’ first-ever game will be preseason tilt in Vancouver

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    The Las Vegas Golden Knights are going to be busy this fall, and they’ll reportedly start their work north of the border.

    Per the Review-Journal, Vegas has finalized its preseason schedule and, pending league approval, will play its first-ever game on Sunday, Sept. 17 against the Canucks at Rogers Arena.

    The Golden Knights have submitted a loaded, compacted preseason schedule, which makes sense. The players selected in June’s expansion draft will have little to no familiarity with one another, meaning head coach Gerard Gallant has a massive task in trying to build chemistry.

    More, from the Review-Journal:

    On Sept. 19, they’ll travel to Colorado to face the Avalanche at Pepsi Center followed by a trip to San Jose Sept. 21 to face the Sharks at SAP Center. The road portion of the preseason concludes at Anaheim against the Ducks Sept. 24.

    The first of the three home games at T-Mobile will be Sept. 26 against the Los Angeles Kings. The other home games are Sept. 28 against Colorado and Oct. 1 vs. San Jose.

    Vegas team officials wouldn’t comment to the Review-Journal about the preseason schedule. According to the report, the timing of the Vancouver game hinged on the dates for the Canucks-Kings games in China this fall (Sept. 21 in Shanghai, and Sept. 23 in Beijing.)

    Habs announce Emelin underwent knee surgery

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    On Wednesday, Montreal announced that d-man Alexei Emelin underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, and would be sidelined for the next 4-6 weeks as a result.

    Emelin, 31, was hurt near the end of the regular season with a suspected knee injury, and missed the final few games down the stretch. The ailment kept him out of the Habs’ first four playoff games against the Rangers, though Emelin did return for Games 5 and 6.

    In the finale, the veteran Russian rearguard scored his first playoff goal, but only saw 16:11 TOI.

    The knee injury and subsequent surgery marred what was an otherwise healthy campaign. Emelin appeared in a career-high 76 games, and averaged a career-high 21:19 TOI per night, leading the team in hits.

    Next year is a big one for Emelin. He’s heading into the last of a four-year, $16.4 million deal with a $4.1M average annual cap hit.