Phoenix Coyotes v Nashville Predators - Game Four

Daly admits potential loss of momentum is “scary”


Not many NHL markets, if any, have gained more momentum the past few years than Nashville. The Predators, once a target for relocation, finished the 2011-12 season with a 48-26-8 record and average attendance of 16,691, the highest in the franchise’s history.

Even deputy commissioner Bill Daly admits the lockout isn’t helping build on last year’s successes.

“I think the really unfortunate part of where we are,” he told The Tennessean on Tuesday, “is not only the fact that we’ve done significant damage to this season’s revenues, but the bottom line is, by missing games, by missing training camp, by being in a labor dispute and a work stoppage, we’re certainly risking and threatening a slowdown to some of the momentum that we’ve had or been able to generate — some of the popularity we’ve been able to build throughout the league, including in some of the non-traditional markets.

“And I think the longer-term impact of that dynamic is as scary as anything else to us, and something we jointly should have an interest in trying to minimize at this point.”

That’s not to say Preds ownership isn’t supporting commissioner Gary Bettman in negotiations between the league and players. Nashville is still a money-loser, according to Forbes. And conceding what the club may lose in momentum, it stands to gain in other areas.

Among the benefits a new CBA could provide for the Preds, depending how negotiations end up:

—- A lower percentage of league revenue going to the players.
—- More revenue sharing.
—- Restrictions on free agency, pushing back the time homegrown players like Ryan Suter can leave to sign elsewhere.
—- Restrictions on front-loaded contracts, like the one the Preds had to give Shea Weber after the Flyers signed the defenseman to an offer sheet.

Senators select Kyle Turris as alternate captain

Chris Neil Kyle Turris Dustin Tokarski
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Kyle Turris is gearing up for his fifth season with the Ottawa Senators, but this campaign will be a little different.

Ottawa announced that Turris will be joining Chris Neil as one of the team’s alternate captains. Turris is assuming that role from Chris Phillips as the 37-year-old defenseman remains out indefinitely due to a back injury.

Since being acquired from the then Phoenix Coyotes in 2011, Turris has established himself as one of Ottawa’s top forwards. He tied for second in the team’s scoring race last season with 64 points in 82 contests and gelled with rookie linemate Mark Stone.

With the Senators favoring a youth movement, Turris actually stands out as one of the Senators’ more experienced players at the age of 26. He’s also set to play a big role with the Senators for years to come as he’s locked to an affordable $3.5 million annual cap hit through 2017-18.

Meanwhile defenseman Erik Karlsson is getting ready for his second season as the team’s captain.

Another Sabre hurt: Gionta (lower body) day-to-day

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On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.

Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.

The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.

There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.

Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.