It seems like there are a million variables when it comes to the ownership situation in Arizona. Is Matthew Hulsizer willing to do what it takes to buy the team and keep them in the desert? Will the Goldwater Institute sue the City of Glendale the minute the deal is about to go through? But the most important question of the moment is whether the city will be able to sell all of the necessary bonds to make the sale a possibility. Because no matter what watchdog groups or taxpayers say, if the bonds aren’t sold, then the deal will never happen.
The news out of Glendale is they are halfway there.
According to reports, half the city has investors lined up and willing to pay for $50 million worth of the sales bonds. Under the framework agreement for the sale, Hulsizer and the City of Glendale have agreed to sell $100 million in bonds to help the Chicago businessman purchase the NHL team and keep them in Jobing.com Arena. Once all $100 million worth of bonds have been sold to investors, then we’ll see if the Goldwater Institute will follow through on their promise to sue to block the sale. The City of Glendale and their spokeswoman do not seem concerned (from the Phoenix Business Journal):
“…the city believes the bond deal and a $97 million arena management outlay to Hulsizer are legal, and several legal opinions are in agreement. ‘You’ve got one entity who says it’s not.’ Frisoni said.
Depending on how you look at it, the sale of bonds is either one of the last steps in this process or it’s only the first. Some people will say this story that began with Jerry Moyes, Jim Balsillie, and bankruptcy court is nearing an end with every additional investor who agrees to purchase the bonds. On the other hand, some will say this is only the first step in the actual sale of the team. Everything before the bond sales were just preliminary agreements—the sale of bonds are where we find out if it’s is really fiscally possible to make the numbers work in Phoenix.
We’ve found that half of the bonds fairly quickly—but like everyone says, the first $50 million is always the easiest.
The New York Rangers weren’t ecstatic that Chris Tierney‘s 4-4 goal sent their game to overtime against the San Jose Sharks, but either way, getting beyond regulation punched their ticket to the playoffs on Tuesday night.
For the seventh season in a row, the Rangers are in the NHL’s postseason. They fell to the Sharks 5-4 in overtime, so they haven’t locked down the first wild-card spot in the East … yet. It seems like a matter of time, however.
The Rangers have now made the playoffs in 11 of their last 12 tries, a far cry from the barren stretch when they failed to make the playoffs from 1997-98 through 2003-04 (with the lockout season punctuating the end of that incompetent era).
New York has pivoted from the John Tortorella days to the Vigneault era, and this season has been especially interesting as they reacted to a 2016 first-round loss to the Penguins by instituting a more attacking style. The Metropolitan Division’s greatness has overshadowed, to some extent, how dramatic the improvement has been.
This result seems like a tidy way to discuss Tuesday’s other events.
The drama ends up being low for the Rangers going forward, and while there might be a shortage of life-or-death playoff struggles, the battles for seeding look to be fierce.
There’s something beautiful about the symmetry on Tuesday … unless you’re a Detroit Red Wings fan, maybe.
On the same night that the longest active NHL playoff streak ended at 25 for Detroit, the longest playoff drought concluded when the Edmonton Oilers clinched a postseason spot by beating the Los Angeles Kings 2-1.
The Oilers haven’t reached the playoffs since 2005-06, when Chris Pronger lifted them to Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final.
In doing so, other dominoes fell. Both the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks also punched their tickets to the postseason.
The Sharks, of course, hope to exceed last season’s surprising run to the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.
Meanwhile, the Anaheim Ducks continue their run of strong regular seasons, even as memories of their Cup win start to fade into the distance. All three teams are currently vying for the Pacific Division title.
The Western Conference’s eight teams are dangerously close to being locked into place, as the Nashville Predators, Calgary Flames and St. Louis Blues are all close to looking down their spots as well.
Want the East perspective? Check out this summary of Tuesday’s events from the perspective of the other conference.
Members of the Ottawa Senators were quick to defend Craig Anderson following his blunder (see above) in Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, and it’s easy to see why.
It’s not just about his personal struggles, either. When Anderson’s managed to play, he’s been flat-out phenomenal, generating a .927 save percentage that ranks near a Vezina-type level (if he managed to play more than 35 games).
Goaltending has been a huge reason why Ottawa has at least a shot of winning the Atlantic or at least grabbing a round of home-ice advantage, so unlike certain instances where teams shield a goalie’s failures, the defenses are absolutely justified.
Anderson, on the other hand, was very hard on himself.
You have to admire Anderson for taking the blame, even if in very much “hockey player” fashion, he’s not exactly demanding the same sort of credit for his great work this season.
When we look back at the 2016-17 season for the Detroit Red Wings, it will be remembered for some sad endings.
It began without Pavel Datsyuk. We knew that their last game at Joe Louis Arena this season would be their last ever. And now we know that Joe Louis Arena won’t be home to another playoff run.
After 25 straight seasons of making the playoffs – quite often managing deep runs – the Red Wings were officially eliminated on Tuesday night. In getting this far, they enjoyed one of the greatest runs of longevity in NHL history:
Tonight revolves largely around East teams winning and teams clinching bids – the Edmonton Oilers could very well end the league’s longest playoff drought this evening – but this story is more solemn.
EA Sports tweeted out a great infographic:
“Right now it’s hard to talk about it, because you’re a big reason why it’s not continuing,” Henrik Zetterberg said in an NHL.com report absolutely worth your time.
Mike “Doc” Emrick narrated a great look back at Joe Louis Arena here: