Douglas Cifu

Pols support Panthers bailout plan; Co-owner says team is losing $100K daily


Remember when the new owners of the Florida Panthers asked Broward County for money because they claimed to be losing $20-$30 million annually? Politicians there reportedly support the plan to help out the franchise.

Brittany Wallman of the Sun Sentinel reports six out of eight Broward County commissioners support a plan to give money to the team to help make sure the team stays in South Florida. The Panthers are asking for an extra $80 million.

Team co-owner Douglas Cifu said the money is needed because they’re bleeding money even worse than what was previously assessed.

“We’re losing $100,000 a day,” said Cifu. “So where I sit, time is of the essence.”

The one good thing going for the Panthers is they have one of the best lease deals in the NHL. Concerts and other events at BB&T Center are making money for the team and the deal runs through 2028.

Working against the Panthers is the amount of debt left to pay on the arena, totaling around $225 million. The team is looking to get a break on  payments against that through money taken from tourist taxes that have produced more money than they expected over the years.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

Jarret Stoll, Mats Zuccarello
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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.

This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Here’s video of Abdelkader’s hat trick: