With Thrashers owner Michael Gearon sounding off yesterday about how the Thrashers are struggling in Atlanta worries sparked almost immediately about who would help out and where they might land if they’re moved. The real side effect of all that may have been to just beat the bushes and shake someone out of hiding. If that was the case, Gearon wins this round.
Filmmaker and Atlanta native Stephen Rollins is apparently interested in purchasing the team.
Rollins is the head of Lightning Pictures. He says he has talked with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Rollins says the Thrashers “want to do something pretty quickly” but his group is cautiously seeking “adequate data” on the team’s finances.
This arrangement sounds similar to the one the the NHL has going with Matthew Hulsizer and the Phoenix Coyotes, a deal that has still yet to be approved and finalized in Arizona.
Rollins isn’t a novice when it comes to hockey as his IMDB profile says he’s got a recent past with the game and even played in Roller Hockey International with the New Jersey Rock ‘n Rollers. Hey, it’s something to run with here.
If Rollins is the guy to save the day for the Thrashers, Gearon’s threats of relocation might be all for naught as you’d have to imagine a guy with an Atlanta background is going to jump in looking to be the local savior. Of course if Rollins is scared off by the financial particulars involved in the deal, we can’t exactly blame him.
Of course, part of the problem in Atlanta just might be because the owners that bought the team were looking to get out and the fans have a hard time buying into a team that the owners aren’t really trying to do anything with. Still, it’s positive to see instant interest in the team. Whether or not Rollins is at all serious remains to be seen but these things can develop fast, look at how quickly things happened with Jeff Vinik with the Lightning. It’s a small glimmer of hope for the Thrashers, but it’s a good thing for now.
Last week, the Flames stated they would no longer pursue a new arena in Calgary after two years of discussions with the city.
On Monday, Flames president and CEO Ken King said the organization is now receiving funds as part of the National Hockey League’s revenue sharing.
He said the team used to be among the top 10 revenue-earning teams in the NHL who, under the league’s revenue-sharing agreement, contribute funds to the lower-earning teams.
“We have now crossed the line. We are now receivers. We’ll get a cheque this year. Isn’t that ridiculous, in this beautiful market?” he said.
“And I can say, sadly, that we have crossed one of the remedies off the list, and that is the new facility. I honestly do not know where that part of the story is going to end.”
He also stated that the organization’s decision to publicly state it will no longer pursue a new arena in Calgary was not political posturing.
The Flames currently play out of the Saddledome, which is 34 years old and has drawn criticism from the team, as well as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
Last week, the Flames released a report online and in local newspaper advertisements, saying they were prepared to contribute $275 million in funding toward a new arena. Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi responded, saying there were some “errors of omission” in what the Flames released.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has issued another two-game preseason suspension, this time to Andrew Desjardins of the New York Rangers.
The incident occurred during the first period of Saturday’s game between the Rangers and New Jersey Devils, as Desjardins delivered a hit to the head of Miles Wood.
Desjardins received a match penalty for an illegal check to the head, and a two-game preseason ban on Monday.
“Desjardins, looking to prevent Wood from cutting to the front of the net, steps in front of Wood and delivers a high hit, which makes the head the main point of contact on a hit where such head contact was avoidable,” stated the Department of Player Safety in a video explanation.
“It is important to note that Wood is eligible to be hit on this play, provided it is done in a legal manner. However, rather than taking an angle of approach that results in a legal, full-bodied check, Desjardins takes an angle of approach that picks Wood’s head, making it the main point of contact.”
The Rangers are in action right now versus the Philadelphia Flyers. They have one game remaining on their preseason schedule after tonight, as they take on the Flyers again tomorrow.
Desjardins was attending Rangers camp on a professional tryout.
Tough night for the Ottawa Senators and, specifically, goaltender Mike Condon on Monday.
Playing the New Jersey Devils in the Kraft Hockeyville showcase in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Condon allowed seven goals on 17 shots before the midway point of the second period.
Andrew Hammond then entered into the game for Ottawa, with the Senators down 7-0.
Marcus Johansson started the scoring onslaught for New Jersey. Nico Hischier gave the Devils a three-goal lead before the eight-minute mark of the opening period, and John Quenneville scored twice in less than 30 seconds to put New Jersey up by seven in the second period.
The Vegas Golden Knights have chosen an interesting way to honor their season ticket members, as the organization inches closer to starting its inaugural NHL regular season.
The Golden Knights will, for the first time, play on their home ice at T-Mobile Arena on Tuesday against the L.A. Kings in preseason action. To commemorate this historic season, the organization will embed the names of its season ticket members into the ice surface at their home arena.
(You can check out the video here. Very cool.)
“That it was feasible, if we wanted to do something special on the ice, that we had the ability to put texture to something on the ice, before the laid the last round of it,” said Todd Pollock, Golden Knights vice-president of ticketing and suites.
“It’s in the thousands, the number of names out there. Many thousands.”
The Golden Knights have played four preseason games so far — all on the road. They open the regular season with two games in two nights on the road, on Oct. 6 versus the Dallas Stars and the following night versus the Arizona Coyotes. They return to Vegas for their home opener against the Coyotes on Oct. 10.