Jeremy M. Jacobs

Forbes profiles the NHL’s billionaire owners

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Interesting piece here from Tom Van Riper of Forbes Magazine about the 10 billionaire NHL owners.

(That’s 10 NHL owners that are classified as billionaires, of course. Not NHL owners that are worth $10 billion. I don’t think there are many of those.)

According to the piece, the NHL has just one fewer billionaire owner than the NBA, “where the median franchise value is about 67% higher.” The leagues share two billionaires — Philip Anschutz (Kings/Lakers) and Stan Kroenke (Avalanche/Nuggets) — which means the NHL has eight other billionaires we haven’t mentioned yet.

How many more times can I write the word billionaire? Keep reading to find out!

[NB: Just to reiterate, this is all from the Forbes list.]

Jeremy Jacobs, Boston Bruins

Jacobs’ net worth is an estimated $1.9 billion, made primarily through his food and hospitality company (Delaware North). He took control of the Bruins in 1975 and later made two key hires that played an integral role in the recent Stanley Cup Championship: GM Peter Chiarelli and President Cam Neely. Getting rid of Harry Sinden as GM was also a shrewd move.

Ronald Burkle, Pittsburgh Penguins

Burkle co-owns the Pens with Mario Lemieux. His estimated net worth is $3.2 billion, made in part from the supermarket game (and we’re not talking about bagging groceries.) That said, Burkle seems to have dabbled in all sorts of business ventures, which you can read about here.

Philip Falcone, Minnesota Wild

Founder of the Harbinger Group, Falcone’s net worth is believed to be at $2.2 billion (putting him at No. 188 on the Forbes 400.) He grew up in Minnesota and played hockey at Harvard. His pet potbellied pig has its own room in his Manhattan town house. Seriously.

Mike Ilitch, Detroit Red Wings

The owner of the Red Wings and Detroit Tigers founded Little Caesars Pizza in 1959, shortly after a knee injury ended his minor-league baseball career. His current net worth is $2 billion. He was inducted into the NHL Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003 and the US Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004.

Terry Pegula, Buffalo Sabres

Pegula made his fortune ($3.1 billion) in gas drilling, then spent most of it on Christian Ehrhoff.

N. Murray Edwards, Calgary Flames

Edwards is a “self-made oil and gas tycoon” which is also his official title on business cards. It’s a real hit with the ladies. In addition to natural resources, he owns a series of ski resorts and co-owns the hockey team through Calgary Flames, L.P.

Daryl Katz, Edmonton Oilers

Katz (pronounced “Kates”) is Canada’s 16th wealthiest citizen. He’s the chairman and CEO of The Katz Group, Canada’s leading drug store operator — not coincidentally, the Oilers play at Rexall Place. Katz has been in the news recently as the city of Edmonton recently signed off on funding for a new arena deal.

Henry Samueli, Anaheim Ducks

Samueli is the co-founder, senior VP and CTO of the Broadcom Corporation. He bought the Mighty Ducks from Disney in 2005, dropped the “Mighty” in 2006 and won a Stanley Cup in 2007. Clearly, this is a guy that gets results. He’s worth $1.7 billion.

Matthews to sit out preseason tilt versus Sabres, as Maple Leafs give him ‘a little break’

BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 24:  Auston Matthews poses for a portrait after being selected first overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in round one during the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24, 2016 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes/Getty Images)
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The Toronto Maple Leafs play the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. But No. 1 overall pick Auston Matthews won’t be in the lineup, according to multiple reports.

“Sooner or later, he’s going to get in, but not tonight,” said assistant coach Jim Hiller, as per the Toronto Sun.

“The lineups are day by day. They (World Cup players such as Matthews, Milan Michalek, Leo Komarov and James van Riemsdyk) went through a solid three weeks. It’s a little break, a little down time. There are tons of games coming. They’ll get a lot of ice time. They’ll get in shortly.”

(The report also notes that Matthews is not dealing with a health issue, which is obviously good news for the Leafs.)

On a night when the No. 2 overall selection Patrik Laine is slated to make his preseason debut for the Winnipeg Jets, fans wishing to see Matthews don a Maple Leafs jersey in his anticipated debut will have to wait.

Matthews played for Team North America at the World Cup held in Toronto. He had two goals and three points in three round robin games, but the young North American team was unable to advance to the semifinal round.

The Maple Leafs play the Montreal Canadiens at home on Sunday.

McLellan: Maroon’s lower-body injury not considered serious

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It appears Patrick Maroon‘s injury from Wednesday’s preseason game against the Vancouver Canucks looked worse than it is.

The Edmonton Oilers forward was in obvious pain immediately after he went hard into the boards from an awkward hit delivered by James Sheppard just past the midway point of the third period. Maroon needed help to the bench and was unable to put much, if any, pressure on his left leg.

He left the game and didn’t return.

Good news, however, from the Oilers: Head coach Todd McLellan told reporters on Friday that the injury — lower body — is not serious, as per the team’s Twitter account.

According to Mark Spector of Sportsnet, the 28-year-old Maroon is expected to be ready for Edmonton’s season opener against the rival Calgary Flames on Oct. 12.

The Oilers acquired Maroon at last season’s trade deadline, a move that certainly added size and an element of grit to their group of forwards.

In 16 games with Edmonton, he scored eight goals and 14 points. In 56 games with Anaheim that same season, he registered only 13 points before the trade.

Patrik Laine to make highly anticipated preseason debut for Jets

BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 24:  Patrik Laine gives an interview after being selected second by the Winnepeg Jets during round one of the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24, 2016 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Jen Fuller/Getty Images)
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Anticipation has been building since the Winnipeg Jets officially took Patrik Laine with the second overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft.

On Friday, Laine, the highly coveted Finnish forward, will make his preseason debut for the Jets when they play the Edmonton Oilers in Winnipeg, as the home fans get the chance to take in the occasion.

The Jets have done a nice job of amassing good young forwards in their organization. Laine, who has the gifts to be a prolific scorer in the NHL, is at the top of that prospect list.

Winnipeg’s roster tonight also includes forward prospects Kyle Connor, Nic Petan and Brandon Tanev, not to mention more NHL experienced forwards like Alex Burmistrov, Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele.

Laine enters this season with high expectations placed on him from fans and media, after coming to the NHL following a standout career in Finland as a teenager. He’s aware of the expectations, but toned down the hype with the usual statements of just playing his game.

“Just be brave on the ice and show everybody I will earn my spot on the team,” he told reporters.

Laine has already seen game action this month. Not with the Jets, but with Finland’s entry at the World Cup of Hockey.

Following offseason knee surgery, Laine wasn’t happy with his performance in Finland’s first pre-tournament game. In three tournament games, Laine failed to register a point, despite a team-best 10 shots on goal, as Finland was quickly eliminated in the round robin.

Related:

Looking to make the leap: Patrik Laine

Murray: Ristolainen’s good-faith gesture unlikely to sway talks with Sabres

BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 22: Rasmus Ristolainen #55 of the Buffalo Sabres makes a pass during the game against the Detroit Red Wings on January 22, 2016 at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Brenner/Getty Images)
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray tells The Associated Press he doesn’t believe defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen‘s decision to join the team for practice without a contract will have any effect on thawing negotiations.

With a big laugh, Murray on Friday said the only way Ristolainen could speed up contract talks is if “he got all lovey-dovey” and elected to take the Sabres’ latest offer.

Ristolainen is a restricted free agent whose rights were retained by the Sabres in June. After representing Finland in the World Cup of Hockey, Ristolainen reported to the Sabres on Thursday in what was regarded as a sign of good faith.

Though he’s not allowed to play because he’s not under contract, Ristolainen is practicing with the team and also taking part in meetings. Ristolainen is not making himself available to reporters.

Murray says he didn’t see anything wrong with allowing Ristolainen to practice, saying he’d rather the player be in Buffalo than working out elsewhere.

Murray says the two sides are still negotiating.

In three seasons, Buffalo’s 2013 first-round draft pick has established himself as the Sabres’ top defenseman. Last year, Ristolainen led the team in averaging more than 25 minutes of ice time per game, and led Buffalo defensemen with 41 points (nine goals, 32 assists).