Over the summer, Philadelphia Flyers president Peter Luukko expressed interest in playing an outdoor game in Penn State’s Beaver Stadium against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
That has the makings of a great match. The Flyers and Penguins’ rivalry has been fierce and Beaver Stadium can hold over 100,000 fans for a football game. All the same, the NHL is cautioning that such a contest isn’t a lock to happen.
“It’s always fun to come up with those scenarios in the league office or as a third party, but at the end of the day it does require a club to give up a home game,” said NHL chief operating officer John Collins, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
“We haven’t broached that yet.”
Beaver Stadium is a neutral site between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, but obviously it would have to count as a home contest for one of the teams. That’s not necessarily a small factor as the NHL rather than the hosting club gets an undisclosed share of the gate revenues from outdoor games.
Pittsburgh has already played in two Winter Classics and they will head to Chicago for a third outdoor game on March 1. Philadelphia also knows what these events involve after hosting the 2012 Winter Classic.
Still, they haven’t played each other in an outdoor game. Despite the consideration that Collins raised, we might still see such an event in the coming years.
For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”
On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.
With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.
“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”
As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.
It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.
Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?
We’ll know in a month.
Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:
The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.
The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.
If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.
Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”
And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.
While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.