While the fans in Arizona are excited about the prospect of the Coyotes finally being sold to an owner willing to keep them in town, the group actually selling the team appears to be really excited to be making a deal. That group, of course, is none other than the NHL itself.
The Hockey News hears from NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly about how excited they are that they’ll likely be able to spin a perpetual financial loser they bought for $140 million into a team they’re selling to Matthew Hulsizer for $165 million.
“It has always been the league’s objective to secure ownership that will ensure the Coyotes’ long-term future in Glendale,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement issued by the league. “And consummation of the proposed transaction will achieve that.”
The league bought the team out of bankruptcy more than a year ago and has said all along that a new lease was essential if the team were to stay in Arizona.
“We are very pleased that the parties appear to have reached an agreement that will finally lead to a transition of ownership of the Phoenix Coyotes,” Daly said. “… We look forward to working closely with the Hulsizer group and moving quickly toward the conclusion of this process.”
While everyone is talking about things in a way that makes you think they’re trying to not jinx the process, this is the furthest along any of these deals have come when it comes to the Coyotes. Getting this taken care of in Phoenix would help eliminate one of the darker clouds hanging over the league as the Coyotes have been swimming in rumors of their imminent demise for years now, an image that makes the NHL look like a low-rent league incapable of success.
Should Hulsizer become the new owner, his next trick will be to turn a profit in Glendale, something none of the Coyotes previous owners have been able to do. A new lease agreement will go a long way towards helping that out.
This has been a tough postseason for Phil Kessel haters.
The supposed “choker” is on a team that’s in the Eastern Conference Final, but Kessel obviously isn’t just in for the ride with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He scored his 18th point in 17 postseason games by scoring the 1-0 goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6.
(Watch that goal in the video above.)
It was a dramatic first period, with a Jonathan Drouin goal getting disallowed and Andrei Vasilevskiy making some huge saves on tough chances.
Can Pittsburgh protect this slim lead with 1-0 down one period? We’ll see, but either way, what a great postseason for Kessel.
To start the seemingly pivotal stretch, Andrei Vasilevskiy made an outstanding save on Evgeni Malkin on what sure looked like a scary chance.
The play swiftly shifted from the Tampa Bay Lightning’s end to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ side of the ice, and it seemed like Jonathan Drouin scored a big 1-0 goal in Game 6.
As it turns out, the goal was disallowed thanks to an offside goal review.
Here are a few viewpoints on that moment in GIF form … you can get a fuller view via the video above.
The general feeling among those who don’t have a horse in the race is that it was the right call. (Lightning fans were, uh, not happy.)
At some point, it will probably be kind of boring to hear members of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization praise Jonathan Drouin.
At least if Drouin re-signs with the Bolts after quite the affirming postseason and his ascension amid injuries.
These days? It’s still sort of entertaining.
In the latest case, Jon Cooper was asked to compare the development paths for Nikita Kucherov vs. Drouin. After empathizing with the pressure Drouin carries as a high-end pick (vs. Kucherov’s ability to come in under the radar), Cooper had some very positive things to say about No. 27.
” … So many people think, well, you’re just going to step in the league at 18 and be dominant,” Cooper said. “I truly believe Jonathan is going to be dominant in this league, but it’s hard to do at 18. He had to work through it, and that’s it.”
Drouin, now at 21, has 12 points in 15 playoff games.
In other Lightning news, it sounds like the team will roll with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, an alignment that has been working well lately and also came through at times during the 2015 postseason.
The Penguins, meanwhile, replace Beau Bennett with Conor Sheary.
Tonight could be the final game of the Eastern Conference Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning. You can catch Game 6 via the NBC Sports Group’s television and digital platforms.
Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay (8:00 p.m. ET)
The television broadcast of Game 6 is on NBCSN. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here. The Bolts lead the series 3-2.
Here’s some relevant reading material to get you ready for tonight’s game:
—Malkin guaranteed a Penguins win in Game 6
—Lightning coach doesn’t seem flustered by Malkin’s guarantee
—Kucherov continues to be clutch for the Bolts this postseason
—Marc-Andre Fleury: ‘I should have been better’ in Game 5