CBC’s Hot Stove panel dropped a few bombs last night but one the biggest may concern the future of the Phoenix Coyotes.
Elliotte Friedman of CBC reported the Vancouver Canucks wanted to move their AHL farm team to Seattle and Key Areana but were rebuffed by the NHL because the city was not available to them. Instead, they announced the team’s move to Utica, NY.
Why wasn’t Seattle available?
Glenn Healy reports that should Renaissance Sports & Entertainment unable to close a deal with the City of Glendale by July 2, the Coyotes would be sold Ray Bartoszek and Anthony Lanza for $220 million and they would move the team to Seattle. If that group winds up purchasing the team, Jeremy Roenick will also be part of hockey operations.
Bartoszek and Lanza are no strangers to ownership rumors as two years ago they were close to buying part of the New York Mets.
As we know with the Coyotes situation, nothing is ever final until it’s signed off on, but it’s clear the league’s endgame with the franchise is coming, the only question left will be if it’s in Glendale or Seattle.
Our day wouldn’t be complete without at least one story of a KHL defection.
Igor Eronko or sports.ru reports Penguins defenseman Dylan Reese has signed a one-year contract with Amur Khabarovsk in the Russian league.
Reese played in just three games with the Pens this season while spending most of it in the AHL with Wilkes Barre-Scranton. He was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 5.
Reese has played 77 games in the NHL over four seasons, three with the New York Islanders. He signed a one-year deal with the Penguins before this season.
After reportedly passing on the job with the Dallas Stars yesterday, word is coming out that Alain Vigneault is close to accepting an offer from the Rangers to take their head coaching job.
Renaud Lavoie from RDS says he’s on the verge of accepting the job while Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants says all signs point towards Vigneault being the Rangers’ man. Larry Brooks of the New York Post adds that a contract proposal is on the way.
TSN’s Darren Dreger adds that Vigneault had a sizable offer from the Dallas Stars until he met with the Rangers and owner Jim Dolan. Money talks, yes, but maybe money from New York talks a little louder.
Things with the Rangers have moved fast as they interviewed former captain Mark Messier about the job yesterday and he reportedly would’ve brought Brian Leetch along as an assistant. The Rangers are looking to replace John Tortorella who they fired after five seasons on the job.
UPDATE (2:35 p.m. ET): Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News says Vigneault is signing a deal with the Rangers right now.
Sad news today in the hockey world. Missing Oilers prospect Kristians Pelss has been found dead in his home country of Latvia.
Pelss was reported missing days ago and there was a report he had drowned. That initial report turned out to be true. Here’s a translated quote from Latvian news site Apollo.
State Police Riga Region Department informed that the relatives of the dead body of inspections confirmed that it is Pelšs.
“After the deceased was able to pull out of the water, our staff did everything possible to see that person’s identity. We have now found a young personality, and we have shown that the relatives of the dead body of his views,” inform the State Police.
Pelss, 20, played for both the Stockton Thunder (ECHL) and the Oklahoma City Barons (AHL) this season.
Update (3:26 p.m. ET): The Oilers have released a statement on Pelss’ passing.
“This is the news we feared. Kristians was an outstanding man and we feel terrible he has left us at such a young age,” said Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish. “I can’t imagine how painful this situation is for the Pelss family. On behalf of everyone working at the Oilers, Oil Kings and our affiliate teams, as well as all of our fans, I offer our most sincere and deepest condolences to his family and friends. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with them as they work through this incredibly difficult time.”
Nathan Horton’s Game 1 injury isn’t going to keep him out of Game 2.
The Bruins winger said he’s clear to play and he feels good and ready to go for tonight’s game. Bruins coach Claude Julien elaborated just a bit more on Horton’s status.
“He looks really good. He feels really good. There’s no reason for him not to go,” Julien said.
As you’ll recall, Horton was injured in the first overtime of Game 1 with an apparent shoulder injury. He reportedly has had chronic dislocation problems with the shoulder throughout the playoffs, but he says he’s not in pain now and ready to go. He skated on his usual line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic at this morning’s skate.
If the shoulder has been a consistent issue, it bears watching him to see how he handles what should be another physical game tonight.