Kings Coyotes Hockey

Coyotes ownership update: ‘Nobody’s hanging up on anybody’


The City of Glendale is targeting a July 2 vote to decide on the future of the Phoenix Coyotes.

But whether the NHL, which owns the team, is on board with the city’s timeline isn’t clear.

On Friday, city councilors held a special meeting to discuss the proposed arena-management agreement with prospective Coyotes owner Renaissance Sports and Entertainment. According to Fox Sports Arizona’s Craig Morgan, talks are expected to continue throughout the weekend.

“Nobody’s hanging up on anybody,” said Glendale spokesperson Julie Watters, per Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.

A July 2 vote may be satisfactory to the NHL, but the league has said it wants a clear indication which way the council is leaning by next week. On Tuesday, the city is scheduled to meet again. On Thursday, the league’s Board of Governors convenes.

“No decision could be a decision,” is how NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly put it prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Update (5:12 p.m. ET)

Via Morgan, Watters says: “We are continuing our negotiations with the Renaissance group and we expect that early next week we will have some sort of a statement or press release and it will be with the council’s direction for the management of our arena.

“We are also hopeful that in that time, we can discuss everything in more specific detail such as deal points. Our current anticipation is that we will take this to a public vote — for the council to bring for a public vote on Tuesday, July 2.”

Bruins’ second line officially goes under the microscope

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While much has been written about the Boston Bruins’ depleted defense, there’s also a good amount of intrigue about the forward group, which will look dramatically different tonight compared to last year’s season opener.

Here are the Bruins’ expected lines versus the Jets:

Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronLoui Eriksson
Matt BeleskeyDavid KrejciDavid Pastrnak
Jimmy HayesRyan SpoonerBrett Connolly
Chris KellyJoonas KemppainenZac Rinaldo

The line most under the microscope may be that second one. In today’s Boston Globe, there’s a lengthy story on Krejci. The 29-year-old center with the big contract only played 47 games last season due to injuries. He finished with just 31 points.

So, where is Krejci’s game now?

Then there’s free-agent addition Matt Beleskey, a.k.a. Milan Lucic‘s replacement. Prior to scoring 22 times last year for the Ducks, the 27-year-old Beleskey had never tallied more than 11 goals in a season.

So, is Beleskey a legitimate top-six forward?

On the other wing, it’s David Pastrnak, the 19-year-old who, somewhat surprisingly, emerged as one of the top rookies in the league last year.

So, can Pastrnak take another step forward?

“It’s been a good three plus weeks where we’ve been able to kind of work individually, as a group, as a line, with different players and different personalities,” said coach Claude Julien. “We’re pleased with it. We’re optimistic and we just have to let things work themselves out too.”

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


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