Coyotes versus Blackhawks at Arena

Columnist: Coyotes sale doesn’t mean they’ll be in the desert for long


Long-suffering Phoenix Coyotes fans have two big reasons to be excited prior to tonight’s game at Arena.

First, their team is one victory over Nashville from reaching the conference finals.

Second, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is expected to announce that a tentative agreement to sell the club to Greg Jamison has been reached.

But one columnist, Ken Campbell of The Hockey News, has no problem raining on the parade.

If only it were that easy. In fact, the prospective sale of the Coyotes might be nothing more than a shell game, with the objective of the game to extract as much money out of the good people of Glendale as possible. For example, if former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison is to purchase the Coyotes, the new lease could cost Glendale a total of $92 million over the next five years. And that could be with no guarantee the team stays beyond that time period.

According to one source close to such matters, there are a couple of major caveats to this deal.

“It might kick the can down the street by a few years,” the source said, “but that’s about it.”

Like most deals, the devil will be in the details of this one.

Two things I’ll be curious to know are the length of the lease and the penalty for breaking it. Because if I were buying the Coyotes, I’d want to know I could relocate them in a few years if the business still hadn’t turned around by then.

Sharks name Pavelski captain; Thornton, Couture alternates

Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton
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Joe Pavelski is the new captain of the San Jose Sharks. The club made the announcement today via Twitter.

The former captain, Joe Thornton, will be an alternate captain, along with Logan Couture.

Pavelski, 31, was the Sharks’ leading scorer last season, finishing with 37 goals and 33 assists. He’s also signed through 2018-19, so giving him the ‘C’ makes sense from a long-term stability perspective.

Couture, 26, is also signed through 2018-19, while Thornton, 36, only has two years left on his contract.

The Sharks had four alternate captains (Thornton, Pavelski, Patrick Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic) in 2014-15, but no captain.

Related: DeBoer says Sharks will have a captain next season

After PTO, Upshall signs one-year deal with Blues

Florida Panthers v Ottawa Senators
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Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.

On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.

But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.

The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.