Author: Jason Brough


Video: John Oliver takes on publicly funded stadiums, including the new arena for the Red Wings


Referencing Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch in his rant, HBO’s John Oliver took aim at publicly funded stadiums for pro sports teams during Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight.

“Two years ago, Detroit got approval to spend more than $280 million in taxpayer money on a new arena project for the Red Wings just six days after the city filed for bankruptcy, even though the Red Wings’ owner is Mike Ilitch, the founder of the Little Caesars pizza chain, who’s worth an estimated $5.1 billion,” said Oliver.

“That’s a little hard to swallow. I mean, sure, not as hard to swallow as a Little Caesars Crazy Bread, with an assortment of Caesar dips, but still pretty hard.”

The Red Wings aren’t the only NHL franchise to tap public funds. The Edmonton Oilers have a publicly funded arena under construction, despite owner Daryl Katz having an estimated net worth of $3.5 billion. (Back in 2012, Katz apologized for threatening to move the team, after negotiations with the city went sideways.)

Meanwhile, down the road in Calgary, the Flames are hoping to get a new rink for themselves, with the assurance that “we’re not going to sneak in here and steal money from the city.”

Related: Ground breaks on new Red Wings arena

Hal Gill says ‘Big Bad Bruins mantra’ can be ‘tough’ for big players

Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens

Boston hockey fans can be hard on big players who don’t play with an edge, according to former Bruins defenseman Hal Gill.

“I had my share of fights, but it was never good enough,” Gill, now retiredtold “[It was,] ‘You should have beaten up Tie Domi.’ It was unrealistic, but that’s what the Bruins fans want. That’s the Big Bad Bruins mantra. It can be tough at times.”

Gill made that remark while speaking about new Bruins winger Jimmy Hayes, the towering 25-year-old who had 147 hits, but just 20 PIM, in 72 games last season with Florida.

Hayes has only fought twice in 168 career NHL games.

While Gill believes Hayes will be fine if he stays “true to his game” and “doesn’t get caught up trying to please everyone,” he insists there’s a big difference between playing for Boston, which Gill did for over 600 games, and Montreal, which he did for almost 200 games.

“In Montreal, I was amazed,” he said. “When I was there, they would cheer because I made a nice poke check. They would say, ‘Wow, that was a great poke check.’ With the Bruins, you could play a great game defensively, but if you didn’t kill someone or you didn’t get a big goal, they can pile on you.”

Related: Sweeney vows to return ‘aggressiveness’ to Bruins

Flyers hire Scott Gordon to coach AHL team

New York Islander Training Camp

The Philadelphia Flyers have hired Scott Gordon to coach their AHL affiliate, the club announced today.

Gordon, last employed as an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs, will be the new bench boss of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

“We are extremely pleased to add Scott to our organization as head coach of our top affiliate in the Lehigh Valley,” said Flyers GM Ron Hextall in a release. “He brings in a proven track record of success and knowledge as a coach at all levels, and we are confident he can help develop our prospects through our system, as well as lead the Phantoms back to the Calder Cup playoffs.”

A former head coach of the Islanders, Gordon was fired by the Leafs in May of 2014, at the same time Randy Carlyle’s contract was extended.

With the Flyers vowing to focus more on drafting and developing, Gordon’s job will be an important one.

Terry Murray had coached the Phantoms for the last three seasons, but he left last month to take a spot on Dan Bylsma’s staff in Buffalo.

Related: Fired Leafs assistant coach blames complacency of players

The Kostitsyn brothers sign with KHL team

Nashville Predators v Carolina Hurricanes

The Kostitsyn brothers are reuniting in Russia.

According to Igor Eronko of Sport-Express, both Andrei and Sergei have signed contracts with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod of the KHL.

There had been talk the Kostitsyns could be back in North America next season. Sergei, 28, was reportedly nearing a deal with an NHL team, while Andrei, 30, wanted the same thing.

Torpedo is the same club that just signed Rangers RFA Carl Klingberg.

The Kostistyns were last teammates with the Nashville Predators.


Related: Apparently Sergei Kostitsyn doesn’t like living in North America

Coyotes hire John Slaney as assistant coach

Philadelphia Flyers v Washington Capitals
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The Arizona Coyotes have hired John Slaney to be an assistant coach on Dave Tippett’s staff.

“We are pleased to add John to our coaching staff,” said GM Don Maloney in a release. “John has done a good job developing our young prospects in the American Hockey League and he will continue to do similar work here in Arizona.”

Slaney has spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach with the Portland Pirates, formerly the Coyotes’ AHL affiliate.

A former first-round pick of the Capitals, Slaney played 268 career NHL games with seven different teams, but is still perhaps best known for the goal he scored for Canada versus the USSR at the 1991 World Juniors.