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.
The Rangers are getting ready for their second straight matinee game on Saturday, but head coach Alain Vigneault wasn’t done addressing yesterday’s loss to the Bruins.
After Friday’s game, Bruins coach Claude Julien wasn’t pleased with Henrik Lundqvist‘s “acting” that led to a goalie interference penalty being called on forward Brad Marchand (above) and he let everyone know it in his postgame press conference.
On Saturday, it was Alain Vigneault’s turn to lash out.
“Well, (the Rangers public relations staff) filled me in a little bit on what was said after the game,” Vigneault said via the New York Daily News. “I mean it’s a little disappointing. Obviously everybody saw the knee to the head. The comments on Hank were very inappropriate. The way Hank conducts himself, on the ice, away from the rink, off the ice, the example that he sets. Who would you rather have as a son, Henrik Lundqvist or Brad Marchand? For him to say things like that about Hank, totally wrong, and probably Claude is getting a little older and needs to check his eyesight.”
The Rangers will take on the Flyers at 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Dubinsky to have hearing for cross-check on Crosby
As you can see in the above video, Dubinsky delivers a two-handed cross-check to Crosby’s neck, so the fact that he’s getting a hearing is no surprise.
“There’s no secret. I try to play him as hard as I can,” said Dubinsky. “That being said, I don’t try and do anything dirty. I felt like my stick ride up his back a little bit. He’s kind of bent over there in front. But again, that’s not the type of player I am. I’m going to play hard, but try and play fair and play in between the whistle.”
Crosby isn’t willing to give Dubinsky the benefit of the doubt.
#Pens Crosby on Dubinsky hit: I'm OK. I'm not surprised. If I was going to get one of those shots, it was going to be from him -SK
It looks like the Canadiens will be without star goaltender Carey Price for the next month, per RDS.
“We still don’t know what the nature of the injury is, but we’re convinced it’s his right knee,” hockey analyst François Gagnon said on a french television show on Friday. “The Canadiens are preparing for him to be out for more than a week. They’re preparing for him to be out for a month.”
Price missed nine games with a lower-body injury between Oct. 30 and Nov. 19.
The 28-year-old won all three of his starts since returning, but he was forced from Wednesday’s game against the Rangers leading some to believe he came back too soon.
After Friday’s win over the Devils, Michel Therrien denied the validity of the report.
Michel Therrien (Translated from French) on report that Price likely out for a month with right-knee injury: pic.twitter.com/bEGnQf6ekT