Wayne Gretzky

Court throws out NHL’s claims against former Coyotes owner


What, you thought the Phoenix Coyotes bankruptcy story was dead and buried? Come on now, of course it’s not.

From the Arizona Republic:

A federal bankruptcy court in Arizona threw out most of the National Hockey League’s claims against former Phoenix Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes for expenses associated with the team’s tenure in bankruptcy and NHL ownership.

Moyes filed the team for bankruptcy in 2009.

After months of courtroom wrangling, the NHL purchased and ran the franchise for nearly four years before selling it in August to a new group of owners.

The NHL filed suit against Moyes in 2010, claiming multiple instances of breach of agreements and fiduciary duty.

The NHL initially sought to recover $145.9 million from Moyes, including $112.7 million in operational losses while the league ran the team and $6.5 million in unpaid salary for former coach Wayne Gretzky.

To be clear, this is a dispute between the NHL and Moyes; it doesn’t involve the Coyotes or their new owners.

The Gretzky angle is an interesting one though. Will The Great One ever get the money that’s owed to him?

Matheson is a sportswriter for the Edmonton Journal who’s covered the Oilers since the 1970s. For his expanded thoughts on the issue, click here.

Whether the NHL passes the hat for No. 99 down the road, we’ll have to wait and see. It’s been discussed by the Board of Governors before, so it’s not out of the question.

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

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.