The rumors about the NHL moving to Seattle are about to be reignited.
Mitch Levy, a sports-talk radio host in Seattle, shared a rumor saying NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is pushing the Board of Governors to make an expansion team available to Seattle. Levy says it would cost $275 million to start the team and that the new team would begin playing in the 2014-15 season.
The same issues that came up when the rumors over the Phoenix Coyotes relocating to Seattle are in play here. There would have to be local ownership and the proposed arena in downtown Seattle would need to be built. The latter part would require some political paperwork to be adjusted to make it happen.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly recently spoke about the Pacific Northwest getting “serious consideration” for expansion or relocation so perhaps this is where Levy’s rumors are stemming from. Daly did not wish to comment on this latest development when contacted by PHT.
With Seattle expansion rumors about one city comes speculation about who else would join them as an expansion partner.
If only a team was added to Seattle, that would leave the league with an odd number of teams (31) and for balance sake there’d have to be a second. Quebec City, Toronto, Portland, Kansas City, and Las Vegas make up the group of usual suspects there.
In case you haven’t paid attention, Roberto Luongo is set to be the man again in Vancouver. After Cory Schneider was traded to New Jersey at this year’s draft, one guy who was happy to see things get straightened out was Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa.
Bieksa tells Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun he’s happy to see the questions about who’s starting come to an end.
“There will always be questions, but it probably puts to rest ‘who is starting tonight?’ That’s been getting old for awhile,” he says.
As for the questions about how both guys handled things, Bieksa was blunt.
“This has been going for a year and a half. (Luongo) needed to have a thick skin through the whole process. (Schneider) didn’t have a lot of heads up (about the trade). Both handled it extremely well.”
We’ll see how both guys handle their jobs separately next season.
Related: Luongo will be at training camp, says agent (Updated)
Calgary GM Jay Feaster turned to the college ranks to fill out their prospect coffers as the Flames announced the signing of forward Josh Jooris to a two-year entry-level deal.
After three seasons with Union College, Jooris had 29 goals and 59 assists over 117 games. He was fourth on the team in points last season (28) and second in penalty minutes (46).
Jooris is leaving school a year early to join the Flames after participating in their prospect camp this summer. Suffice to say, Feaster was impressed with what he saw out of him.
“During our recent development camp he played an aggressive, up-tempo style and displayed good grit and a high compete level,” he said. “Our staff felt strongly that we should attempt to get him signed, and we are pleased to welcome him to the organization.”
Minnesota is keeping 2008 first-round pick, defenseman Tyler Cuma, around a little while longer.
The one-time 23rd overall pick re-signed with the Wild on a one-year, two-way contract.
Cuma, 23, has played just one game in the NHL (during the 2011-12 season) while working on his game otherwise in the AHL. He’ll enter Wild camp in September competing for a spot against newcomers like Keith Ballard, Jonathon Blum, incumbents Nate Prosser and Clayton Stoner, and rookie Matt Dumba.
Some fans don’t necessarily think of the Coyotes as a big-time offensive team. After all, Shane Doan and Antoine Vermette were their goal-scoring leaders with 13 a piece.
GM Don Maloney wants to perhaps change that up a bit this season by opening up competition for everyone on their top two lines.
Tal Pinchevsky at NHL.com hears from Maloney about how he’s changed things up heading into training camp this year.
“We made a concerted effort to leave three open scoring spots available. Hopefully somebody will seize the opportunity and take it,” Maloney told NHL.com. “I really feel we have the third and fourth line covered. Where do we find a little more skill? Where do we find help on our power play? Where do we find help in the shootout? We’re not closing our minds to anything.”
Guys like Mikkel Boedker and Radim Vrbata will get some offensive help from newly signed Mike Ribeiro. The playmaking center will be able to distribute the puck well. Finding finishers will be the trick.
Coach Dave Tippett hasn’t really been a guy to shake things up like crazy year-to-year, but perhaps with new ownership comes new plans to open things up for younger guys like Lucas Lessio, Chris Brown, Henrik Samuelsson, or even 2013 first-rounder Max Domi.