News Corp. will not make a bid to buy the Dallas Stars

Thumbnail image for rupertmurdoch.jpgThe bidding for the Dallas Stars is apparently back to just two interested parties. While we reported a while back that News Corp., the company that owns Fox Broadcasting, was interested in purchasing the Dallas Stars, it turns out things have changed. Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News breaks the news on Fox stepping away.

I was filing some e-mails and making some calls today, and I got put in touch with Chris Bellitti, the vice president of communications for all of FSN. He said that Fox will not be bidding for the Stars.

Here is his one-line statement:

“Fox will not be submitting a bid for ownership of the Dallas Stars.”

Bellitti said that he believes Rupert Murdoch has decided to get out of buying sports teams and is instead focused on getting television rights. The Stars television contract with FSN expires after the 2013-14 season, so this is not an immediate issue.

Well that certainly takes the high-profile angle out of this story as Rupert Murdoch’s involvement in NHL ownership would’ve been tantalizing at the very least. The thought of having Murdoch sitting in on a Board of Governor’s meeting and trying to keep up with some of the other owners is something you’d imagine happening in a movie. Instead, the future of the Stars will be in the hands of either Canadian oil man Bill Gallacher or Vancouver investor Tom Gaglardi.

There is still hope for things to get interesting as Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who had been rumored to be thinking about getting involved in buying the Stars, has yet to make a comment one way or the other about purchasing the team. If you thought the idea of Rupert Murdoch owning an NHL team was interesting, getting Cuban into the NHL owners club would be startling and incredible from a high-profile perspective. Of course, Cuban has already been turned down once before by the NHL Board of Governors so I wouldn’t hold your breath there even if he made a Balsillie-like bid for the team.

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    PHT Morning Skate: Devils prospect named captain of Team USA’s World Junior squad

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    Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.com.

    • Team Canada made their final cuts over the weekend for the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championship in Buffalo. The roster is now set. (Hockey Canada)

    • Despite what Eugene Melnyk has been saying, Bill Daly made it clear that the Sens aren’t going anywhere. (Ottawa Citizen)

    • During Saturday’s NHL 100 Classic in Ottawa, the league announced their top moment in history. The honor went to Mario Lemieux’s unforgettable five-goal performance. (NHL.com)

    • The Capitals came out with “Capitals Tunes: Volume 2”. If you’re a fan of good holiday music, you might not want to listen. (DC Puck Drop)

    • Check out these stories from the NHL’s inaugural season which took place 100 years ago. (Sporting News)

    • Joel Lundqvist isn’t as well known as his brother Henrik, but hockey has treated both of them pretty well. (Sportsnet)

    Pekka Rinne is proud of the way Preds backup and fellow Finn Juuse Saros has performed. (Tennessean)

    • There is no team that’s more Jekyll and Hyde than the Dallas Stars. (Black Out Dallas)

    • Everybody loves a goalie fight, right? Well, there was one in the AHL this weekend as Pheonix Copley and Jordan Binnington dropped the gloves/blocker. (Chocolate Hockey)

    • The Red Wings auctioned off “Al the Octopus” over the weekend. They managed to get $7,700 for it. (Detroit Free Press)

    • Former NHLer Matt Johnson is missing, and a man from North Dakota went looking for him. (Grand Forks Herald)

    • It’s not easy for the Tampa Bay Lightning to replace a “heart and soul” guy like Ryan Callahan. (Tampa Times)

    • It took a little bit of time, but Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich‘s English has come a long way. (Sports Illustrated)

    • Since returning from an injury in early December, things have been tough for Bruins winger Anders Bjork. (Bruins Daily)

    • The Coyotes’ upcoming schedule is like a trip down memory lane for head coach Rick Tocchet. (Arizona Sports 98.7 FM)

    • The Winnipeg Jets have star players that have helped carry them this season, but it’s the solid performances from unexpected contributors that has made the difference. (Fan Rag Sports)

    • Sweden seems to have figured out the right way to develop their talented young hockey players. (Elite Prospects)

    • Tough break for the San Jose Sharks, as they’ll be without Logan Couture (concussion) on Monday. (Mercury News)

    • Devils prospect Joey Anderson was named captain of Team USA’s World Junior team. (USA Hockey)

    Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

    The Buzzer: Marchessault leads Golden Knights; Boeser injures foot

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    Player of the Night: Jonathan Marchessault, Vegas Golden Knights

    Marchessault took over the Vegas scoring lead with a big night during a 5-2 win over his old team, the Florida Panthers. The Golden Knights scored four unanswered goals after falling behind 2-0 early in the first period, and Marchessault played a big part by assisting on the tying and go-ahead goals and then potting the empty-netter to seal things. He now has 29 points on the season.

    Reilly Smith, another ex-Panther, chipped in a pair of assists, including one on Marchessault’s goal to ice things for Gerard Gallant’s side. Vegas is now 13-2-1 at home.

    Highlight of the Night:

    Patrik Laine scored his team-leading 16th of the season for the Winnipeg Jets, and it was beautiful.

    MISC:

    Patrick Kane scored twice and Corey Crawford made 27 saves as the Chicago Blackhawks downed the Minnesota Wild 4-1 for their fifth win in a row. Kane now has seven points in his last four games. He’s one goal away from 300 for his career and now sits fifth all-time in Blackhawks history.

    • Connor Hellebuyck stopped all 24 shots he faced and recorded his eighth career shutout during a 4-0 win over the St. Louis Blues. Adam Lowry, Laine, Mark Scheifele and Josh Morrissey provided the goals as the Jets split their home-and-home with the Blues.

    Sam Bennett had four points and Mark Jankowski recorded three as the Calgary Flames drubbed the Vancouver Canucks 6-1. Mark Giordano added a pair of goals and David Rittich stopped 16 of 17 shots he faced for his third career NHL victory.

    • The Canucks and Panthers weren’t too fond of the third period Sunday night. Vancouver was outshot 19-4 while Florida mustered only two shots on goal while allowing 18 over the final 20 minutes.

    • Oh no. Brock Boeser left the game early in the second period after blocking a Mark Giordano shot. Canucks head coach Travis Green did not have an update after the game. This is not good.

    Erik Johnson of the Colorado Avalanche will miss two games after being suspended for boarding Vladislav Namestnikov of the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night.

    • Congrats, Erik Karlsson. It’s a boy!

    Our hearts exploded with that puck. We can’t wait to meet you baby BOY 💙

    A post shared by Melinda Karlsson (@mel.karlsson) on

    Factoid of the Night:

    Scores:
    Winnipeg 4, St. Louis 0
    Chicago 4, Minnesota 1
    Calgary 6, Vancouver 1
    Vegas 5, Florida 2

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    Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy

    Canucks’ Brock Boeser suffers foot injury after blocking shot (Video)

    Sportsnet
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    As the Vancouver Canucks transition their roster and let the kids take over, Brock Boeser has been a real bright spot this season. Well, right now fans are holding their collective breaths hoping that the Calder Trophy candidate isn’t too seriously hurt after blocking a Mark Giordano shot early in the second period Sunday night.

    Did you catch that Jim Benning reaction?

    Sportsnet

    Yup, us too, Jim.

    Boeser, who leads the Canucks and all NHL rookies in scoring with 17 goals and 30 points, was ruled out for the rest of the night a short while later with a foot injury.

    If you’re keeping track at home, that’s all three members of the Canucks’ BBB line that are currently injured. Bo Horvat is out until January with a foot injury and Sven Baertschi has a similar timeline after fracturing his jaw.

    Depending on the severity of the injury could also impact some of Boeser’s potential bonuses in his rookie season. Ryan Biech of The Athletic had a great breakdown on Friday about how much the Vancouver stands to earn this season should he hit certain totals in specific categories. Hopefully this doesn’t keep him out long. The Calder race is better with him a part of it.

    UPDATE: Canucks head coach didn’t have an update on Boeser after the game.

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    Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

    Erik Johnson to sit two games for Avalanche after suspension

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    It was pretty clear that after receving a slashing minor, boarding major and game misconduct all in the span of about three seconds, Erik Johnson of the Colorado Avalanche still had some punishment coming to him.

    And so on Sunday night the NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced a two-game ban for the veteran defenseman after he boarded Vladislav Namestnikov Saturday night in Colorado.

    As detailed in the video, Johnson knows that Namestnikov has already fired his shot on goal and the Tampa Bay Lightning forward isn’t expecting to be shoved like that after his scoring attempt. That, and how far he was from the boards make it all especially dangerous. Fortunately, Namestnikov was able to remain in the game.

    “Dangerous play. You just hold your breath on those. Got a little fortunate with Vladdy, obviously didn’t get as fortunate with Callahan,” said Lightning head coach Jon Cooper, referring to Ryan Callahan‘s injury after an awkward collision with Oliver Ekman-Larsson last week.

    Johnson will lose out on $64,516.12, which goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

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    Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.