The reviews of the new owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs are rolling in, and they’re not all positive.
The Globe and Mail’s David Shoalts is one of the skeptics, openly wondering if BCE Inc. and Rogers Communications will get the Leafs any closer to a Stanley Cup championship. And more importantly, if the two corporate giants will care if they don’t.
Shoalts makes reference to the comments made by the two CEOs – Nadir Mohamed ( Rogers) and George Cope (BCE) – at today’s press conference.
“It’s the perfect marriage of content and distribution,” Mohamed said. “Our goal is to leverage content and distribution. This is having access to iconic content.”
Cope chimed in with, “I am 100 per cent convinced the Bell shareholders will make money on their network investments.”
Essentially Shoalts is saying, “That’s great you guys are going to make a lot of money, but what about winning a Stanley Cup?”
It’s a worthwhile question to ask, although I’m not sure it’s a huge concern with a hard salary cap. It’s not very likely BCE and Rogers are going to chisel the Leafs down to the cap floor. Given the potential playoff revenue bonanza, it’s probably worth spending as much money as the CBA allows.
Shoalts points to Rogers’ ownership of the Blue Jays as evidence the company isn’t willing to spend the money to win championships. However, MLB doesn’t have a salary cap and the Jays are stuck in a division with the Yankees and Red Sox. It doesn’t make a ton of financial sense to try and outspend those two clubs.
Where I’d agree with Shoalts is that the focus of the press conference should’ve been on winning championships, not making money. The Leafs have already made plenty of money. They haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967.
It seems there will be no NHL comeback attempt by Alex Semin. At least not in 2016-17.
Instead, Semin has inked a one-year extension with Magnitogorsk Metallurg, according to Sport-Express writer Igor Eronko.
At 32 years old, Semin still could have a lot of years left in him as a professional hockey player, but at this point it wouldn’t be surprising if he has played in his last NHL game. Early in his career his talent was clear and demonstrated by some great showings offensively, but he was plagued by inconsistency. In recent years though, he wasn’t so much inconsistent as he was underwhelming.
After being limited to six goals and 19 points in 57 games with Carolina in 2014-15, the one-time 40-goal scorer was bought out of his five-year, $35 million contract just two seasons into it. Montreal took a chance on him for 2015-16, but he only appeared in 15 games with the Canadiens before they put him on unconditional waivers on Dec. 9.
He’s fared better in the KHL though, with five goals and 14 points in 20 regular season games followed by another seven markers and 15 points in 23 playoff contests.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Among the 21 NHL.com and NHL Network experts offering their prediction for the Stanley Cup Final, 17 of them are choosing the San Jose Sharks. (NHL.com)
The majority of ESPN’s experts are also picking the Sharks. (ESPN.com)
For CBS Sports, Adam Gretz and Chris Peters are split on the outcome. (CBS Sports)
Tickets for the first Stanley Cup Final in San Jose appear to be going for significantly more than their Pittsburgh Penguins counterparts. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Inspired by John Scott‘s comments, here’s the start of a World Cup All-Snubs’ team. (TSN)
Peter DeBoer said that then New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello fired him from the Devils’ head coaching job late at night on Christmas. The news then broke on Dec. 26. (Tom Gulitti)
The Pittsburgh Penguins are Vegas favorites to win the 2016 Stanley Cup, but the odds lean toward a San Jose Sharks player capturing the Conn Smythe.
Bovada released a variety of odds on Sunday after others surfaced on Friday.
Joe Pavelski is pegged as a +400 favorite as a winner, edging some other top candidates such as Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel and Matt Murray.
Here’s the full list:
Logan Couture +500
Martin Jones +600
Brent Burns +700
Joe Thornton +900
Evgeni Malkin +900
Kris Letang +1400
Bovada also released prop bets, including how long the series might last. Check that out here.