Cory Booker

After calling Devils owner “high-class huckster”, Newark mayor says he was denied Springsteen tickets


We may have found a feud rivaling the hatred and intensity of Flyers-Penguins.

What’s more, this one is being played out off the ice.

According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Newark Mayor Cory Booker — who, earlier this week, accused New Jersey Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek of exploiting the city — said his request for seats to next month’s sold-out Bruce Springsteen concert at the Prudential Center had been denied.

More, from the Star-Ledger:

After a reporter asked whether any elected officials had sought Springsteen tickets for the May 2 concert, arena officials immediately offered a copy of a March 22 private e-mail request from the mayor’s campaign staff for tickets — a communication that ordinarily would have likely been kept confidential. Its release gave voice to the team owner’s obvious displeasure over the mayor’s name-calling.

In the e-mail, a staffer for the mayor’s “Booker Team” wrote that Booker “would like to attend the Bruce Springsteen concert with a group of his family. I completely understand this is on high demand and probably sold out. Do you know if there is at least 4 tickets? Originally he asked for 10, if they are available which I doubt it, please let me know if you can get us those tickets for him. I will get his credit card as soon as you let me know how many are available.”

Though Booker agreed to pay for the tickets, the concert is sold out and fans can no longer get seats unless they go to a scalper.

Booker said today the Devils’ release of the e-mail was “petty,” considering he played a crucial role in getting The Boss to Newark in the first place.

“They called me and asked me to lobby to get Bruce Springsteen to come to the arena,” Booker said referring to conversations with the Devils. “I went through a lot of hoops to try to get him to come here.”

Booker also noted that even though Newark put up a large chunk of money to build the Prudential center, the city has no seats for big events.

“Usually when the government bodies put in a large amount of money, the officials have some tickets for community use,” Booker said, adding that the tickets were not for his family. “This is something that Jeff never allowed for.”

The relationship between Booker and Vanderbeek has been tenuous for a while, stemming from disputes over back rent and unpaid parking revenues. Things boiled over on Wednesday when, after an arbitration ruling said the city had to pay the Devils $2.7 million a year in parking, Booker went on the offensive.

“What Jeff Vanderbeek has proven after five years of trying of trying to work with him [is] that he is a highfalutin, high-class huckster and hustler,” Booker said in a news conference. “He came into the city with a mouthful of promises, but a pocket full of lies.”

(Image courtesy the Star-Ledger)

There’s ‘a real positive vibe’ in Buffalo, where Eichel will make NHL debut tonight

Connor McDavid
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Jack Eichel didn’t disappoint in the preseason, finishing with six points in four games, including two shorthanded goals.

Tonight in Buffalo, his NHL career will start for real when the Sabres host the Ottawa Senators in regular-season action.

“It’s something I’ve dreamed of my whole life, stepping foot on that ice and making the NHL,” Eichel said, per “It’s kind of been a whirlwind, but you’re finally playing hockey for a living and everything you’ve done your whole life is to get to this point. It’s pretty special.”

The 18-year-old’s debut was front-page news this morning in Buffalo, where the Sabres have been among the NHL’s worst teams since last making the playoffs in 2010-11.

Eichel front page

Granted, even with the additions of Eichel, Ryan O'Reilly, Evander Kane, Robin Lehner and Cody Franson, expectations for 2015-16 remain modest for the new-look Sabres. Certainly, a spot in the playoffs would count as a surprise.

But for the fans of a team that’s barely possessed the puck the past couple of years, it’s night and day.

“People are excited,” GM Tim Murray said earlier this week. “It’s great. They think we’ve improved, and there’s a real positive vibe, I believe.

“That’s what I said to our coaches, ‘I want everybody to be positive. I’m the only guy in the organization allowed to be negative.’ That’s the way I wanted it. If I’m the most negative guy in the city about the team, that’s pretty good.”

Sutter: Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

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Lost in the various controversies (see here and here) of last night’s game in Los Angeles was a pretty dismal performance by the Kings, a team that should’ve been especially motivated to start the season after missing the playoffs last year.

The Kings were hammered, 5-1, by the visiting Sharks. They were outshot, 32-20.

“If you don’t check, you don’t have the puck enough,” said Kings head coach Darryl Sutter. “If you don’t have the puck enough, you can’t score.”

“We were pretty sloppy. Sloppy on our rushes, sloppy in our D-zone,” said forward Dustin Brown. “That’s probably most of it, but the other part is compete – in the corners and making hard plays coming out of our zone, going in. We didn’t play very well.”

Obviously, much credit has to go to the Sharks. Like the Kings, they missed the playoffs last year and came into 2015-16 looking for redemption. But the Sharks haven’t won two Stanley Cups in the last four years, and they weren’t the home team.

“Gotta check,” said Sutter. “You don’t check, you can’t score. We had a lot of guys, especially top guys that weren’t interested in that part of the game.”

The Kings get a visit from the Arizona Coyotes on Friday. If they don’t dominate that team…