Goodbye to the Igloo? Pittsburgh Civic Arena set to be demolished on Monday

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For decades in Pittsburgh, “The Igloo” was the iconic home of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Known less so by its proper name, Pittsburgh Civic Arena, the legendary building has been in danger ever since the Penguins’ new home, CONSOL Energy Center, was built.

With CONSOL being across the street from The Igloo and parking at a premium, The Igloo has been in danger of being torn down to make room for new new office buildings and living space. Fans have been doing their part for the last year to try and find a way to save The Igloo, but their efforts may have finally come to an end.

People in Pittsburgh have been trying to file a federal appeal to get the demolition of The Igloo stopped, but a federal appeals court has refused to hear the appeal thus paving the way for the legendary building to be knocked down.

The decision gives the city-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority, the Igloo’s owner, the go-ahead to start the demolition of the 50-year-old landmark Monday morning.

“It’s just a sad day. I think a lot of people are going to miss this building,” said Scott Leib, president of Preservation Pittsburgh.

Preservation Pittsburgh sought an emergency injunction before the circuit court after U.S. District Judge David S. Cercone threw out the group’s lawsuit aimed at blocking the razing.

It argued that the redevelopment of the arena’s 28-acre Hill District site would require federal highway funds and therefore a federal review of the plan to demolish the historic building.

But Judge Cercone said the group failed to convince him that there would be any federal involvement in the project and that he lacked jurisdiction to halt the work.

It’s a sad day for fans of both Penguins fans and appreciators of Jean-Claude Van Damme movies to see The Igloo meet this demise. While the building itself was one of the most unique in the league and in the country (the roof was once retractable and made to be a major concert venue), its unique traits aren’t enough to keep it around in Pittsburgh.

It’ll be sad to see The Igloo go because it was the home of such legendary Penguins teams. From the team’s early days in the late 1960s on through to Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby. We’ll remember The Igloo for all the great games and teams that it hosted and bid it a fond farewell when it’s time for it to finally come down.

‘Dialed in’ Hurricanes could add more drama to playoff race

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At first glance, Carolina’s potential playoff push seems like a longshot.

The ‘Canes head into tonight’s action five points back of Boston for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, and would need to leapfrog both the Bolts and Isles just to get there.

BUT!

The ‘Canes have a game in hand on both New York and Tampa Bay, and two on Boston. They also get to play six of their last nine at home, and are currently riding a terrific streak in which they’ve collected 17 of a possible 20 points (7-0-3 in their last 10).

“Guys are playing well, guys are dialed in,” head coach Bill Peters said, per the Raleigh News & Observer. “You’ve got to continue to keep pace. Around the league everyone seems to find a way to win, so you’ve got to keep pace and then hopefully somebody falters.”

Looking ahead, the next 48 hours will decide if this dream becomes a reality. Carolina begins a crucial back-to-back set against the Red Wings tonight, with both games to be played at PNC.

Tonight’s game, you may recall, is the makeup date for the Dec. 19 postponement due to unplayable ice.

As such, the ‘Canes now get a Red Wings team playing its third game in four nights, following Friday’s 2-1 OT loss to Tampa Bay and yesterday’s 3-2 OT win over Minnesota. Veteran Detroit d-man Niklas Kronwall isn’t expected to face Carolina, and the club is unsure if Darren Helm (lower body) can go.

The ‘Canes, meanwhile, are pretty healthy and firing away. Jeff Skinner has a five-game goalscoring streak, Elias Lindholm has points in each of his last 10 contests and Sebastian Aho in each of his last six. The club has also received terrific netminding from Eddie Lack, who has gone 5-1-1 in March with a .931 save percentage.

If they can get a result tonight, attention will be turned to the out-of-town scoreboard. The Isles are at home to the streaking Nashville Predators (6-1-0 in their last seven), and the Bolts host the Blackhawks, who are coming off an embarrassing 7-0 loss in Florida.

The Bruins aren’t back in action until Tuesday, when they host the Preds.

Report: Coyotes majority owner has a ‘potential new partner’

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The Arizona Coyotes’ ownership group may be getting a new member.

According to Sportsnet’s John Shannon, Randy Frankel is a “potential new partner” for majority owner Andrew Barroway.

Frankel, who made his money on Wall Street, is already a part owner of MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays.

Shannon also reported that the Coyotes required a mid-season cash call, to the tune of $20 million, from their ownership group. Arizona has averaged just 13,020 fans at home games this season; hence, the revenue shortfall.

The Coyotes, of course, are trying to get a new arena built in the greater Phoenix area. So far, their efforts have been for naught.

Related: Arizona lawmaker suggests Coyotes pledge more money for new arena

Report: Rangers land Gophers standout Lettieri

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University of Minnesota senior Vinni Lettieri has agreed to join the Ranger organization, per the Star-Tribune.

Lettieri, 22, finished second on the club in goals this year, with 19, and third in scoring with 37 points in 38 games. The Star-Tribune’s Mike Russo reports Lettieri is joining New York’s AHL affiliate in Hartford, and that he and the Blueshirts are closing in on a two-year, entry-level contract.

Lettieri has some interesting bloodlines. His grandfather is former Minnesota North Stars player/head coach/GM Lou Nanne, and his father is former professional soccer netminder Tino Lettieri, who represented Canada at the 1986 World Cup.

The younger Lettieri went undrafted, and was a free agent following Minnesota’s NCAA championship loss to Notre Dame.

Zetterberg on pace to play 1,000th game in Joe Louis Arena farewell

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Barring injury, Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg will get the opportunity to make his 1,000th NHL game even more special.

Detroit head coach Jeff Blashill confirmed today that Zetterberg will play tonight and tomorrow in Carolina, putting the 36-year-old on pace to play his 1,000th game on Apr. 9, the date of the final Wings game at Joe Louis Arena.

The Wings, who will miss the playoffs for the first time since 1990, have eight games left in their regular season. They host New Jersey on Apr. 9.

Tonight’s game was originally scheduled for Dec. 19, but had to be postponed due to poor ice conditions at PNC Arena.