Hasso Plattner

Sharks lucky to have mega-rich owner

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According to Forbes, Hasso Plattner is worth $8.9 billion. Which is to say, the German co-founder of software company SAP can afford to lose a few bucks as the majority owner of the San Jose Sharks.

And that’s a good thing — because despite the Sharks regularly playing in front of capacity crowds at the newly named SAP Center, the club has previously claimed losses of $15 million per season.

In January, after he purchased the shares in the organization formerly held by investors Kevin Compton and Stratton Sclavos, Plattner joked with reporters about the club’s financial situation.

“You cannot make money with a hockey team,” he said, per the Mercury News. “You cannot make money with a hotel, either, and you cannot make money with a golf club. I have all three of them. When you have a certain amount of money, you do silly things — because it’s pretty to have a golf course and it’s interesting to have a hockey team.”

However, he added, “that doesn’t mean that we don’t work hard to have a normal business.”

A few months later, in July, Plattner told reporters that the lockout — which resulted in a new CBA that fairly dramatically cut the players’ share of league revenue — hadn’t really changed things all that much.

“We’re struggling,” he said. “You know the other teams in the league are struggling, Phoenix and others. We have to find a way out of this. We cannot continue as usual. It is a serious problem. We tried to fix it.

“The fans should not suffer. We want to give them a good show. We still want to win the Cup. Our top players are getting a year older every year, but they’re still very competitive. We had a good run in the playoffs. Let’s see what we can do next year.”

Per CapGeek, the Sharks have one of the highest payrolls in the NHL. But with veterans Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and Dan Boyle entering the final year of their contracts, cutting that payroll would be as simple as letting one, two, or all three walk.

This is why next season is considered one of the most critical in franchise history. A long playoff run would only add to the coffers, making it more palatable for ownership to continue spending to the cap. Anything less and a real changing of the guard could occur.

More Sharks day on PHT:

Futures unclear for Thornton, Marleau, and Boyle

Antti Niemi is San Jose’s rock in goal

Kassian sent to hospital after being involved in car accident

Scott Darling, Zack Kassian

Montreal Canadiens winger Zack Kassian was involved in a car accident early Sunday morning.

According to the Montreal Gazette, Kassian was a passenger in the vehicle that crashed into a tree.

The SUV was being driven by a 20-year-old female at the time of the accident.

Montreal police confirmed that speed didn’t play a factor in the collision, but alcohol may have.

The Canadiens have since confirmed the incident took place and have also mentioned that Kassian was taken to hospital.

A club official described his injuries as being “minor”.

“(Kassian) was all bloodied up and stuff. He was in a daze,” said Steve Petrenko, a resident of the street on which the accident took place. “He had a hard time walking, and he almost took a fall.”

This story will be updated when more information is made available.

Habs and Fleischmann agree on one-year deal

Tomas Fleischmann,
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The Montreal Canadiens announced that they have signed Tomas Fleischmann to a one-year contract.

According to TVA Sports, the deal is worth $750,000.

The 31-year-old was invited to camp on a professional tryout, but his preseason performance showed that he could still contribute at the NHL level.

Fleischmann found instant chemistry with new linemates David Desharnais and Dale Weise, and it looks like the trio will open the regular season as Montreal’s third line.

The veteran winger started  last season with Florida, but was traded to Anaheim on Feb. 28. He had a hard time cracking the Duck’s lineup and was a healthy scratch in most of their playoff games last spring.

Fleischmann scored eight goals and 27 points in 66 games last season.