Panthers score

Report: Panthers to introduce new owners Friday


Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel reports via Twitter:

News that the Panthers were on the verge of being sold broke last week, with New York businessman Vincent Viola reportedly expected to take over the reins from current majority owner Cliff Viner.

“I know the two parties are working very hard on the transaction,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said yesterday. “They’re going to try to consummate that as quickly as possible.”

The Panthers are not expected to move out of Sunrise as part of this change in ownership. Expect Friday’s press conference to address that issue, as there’s been a good deal of speculation about the club’s future in its current market.

Per CapGeek, Florida has the fourth-lowest payroll in the NHL for the upcoming season, ahead of only the Senators, Islanders, and Flames. Expect the issue of spending — i.e. is ownership willing to increase it? — to come up Friday as well.

GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

Leave a comment

On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Post-Dispatch on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

The Post-Dispatch goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

Next four games: Three out of four at home
Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

via AP

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
1 Comment

Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.