You can celebrate now, Seattle – you’re almost definitely getting a new arena.
The Seattle City Council voted in favor of new legislation, by a 6-2 margin, to build a new downtown arena to try and bring the NBA and possibly the NHL to the city. The plan was initially approved two weeks ago, but other details had to be worked out and re-approved. Of course, the whole deal is contingent on an NBA or NHL team moving there to make it happen.
While the aim of the new building is mainly to bring pro basketball back to town, there’s also interest in bringing pro hockey to town as well to help fill up the new arena, something that’s kept our interest in the story here.
In a curious turn of events, Ian Furness of KJR radio in Seattle reports Edmonton Oilers’ ownership, led by Daryl Katz, happened to be in town to survey Key Arena while Chris Daniels of KING-TV says they’re there to “survey the market.” The timing is a bit obvious.
Katz has been trying to get more money from the Edmonton City Council to help him build a new downtown arena there. The city council has turned him down for that and he’s none too pleased about it, even refusing to meet with them again while relocation has been threatened.
Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.
Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.
This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.
“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”
While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”
And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.
Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.
In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.
Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks
A statement from Raffi Torres:
“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”
A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:
“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”
Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.