News out of South Beach is that Florida Panthers starting goaltender is out for two weeks with a knee injury he suffered on New Year’s Eve against the Montreal Canadiens. Renaud Lavoie from RDS broke the news and added the disclaimer: “could be longer.” We’ll just let the “could be longer” part settle in for the Panthers fans out there.
Theodore has been a solid No. 1 netminder for the surprising Panthers this season. He’s given his new team a chance to win just about every start; it’s all Dale Tallon and Co. could have hoped for when they watched Tomas Vokoun walk away and signed Theodore on July 1. Don’t look now, but Theodore as a better goals against average and save percentage through the first three months of the season.
Head coach Kevin Dineen has already announced that Jacob Markstrom will get the start in Florida’s next game against the Islanders. The team plays back-to-back games against the Islanders and Devils, so they will probably need both the rookie Markstrom and inconsistent back-up Scott Clemmensen to step up their games as the Panthers continue to fight for the Southeast Division lead.
The Panthers doctors and coaches are remaining optimistic that Theodore’s injury won’t turn into a long-term problem. “We got our fingers crossed it’s nothing too serious,’’ head coach Kevin Dineen told the Sun-Sentinel. “Our doctors feel good that he’ll be back in the swing of things fairly soon.’’
Until then, hotshot prospect Markstrom will get another opportunity to impress at the NHL level.
As of Sunday, the NHL has been permitted to start negotiating with other markets regarding a potential move of the Phoenix Coyotes. The good news for fans in Phoenix is that the league has repeatedly stated that they’re preference is to keep the team in Phoenix Glendale. The league hasn’t started contacting other potential owners in other potential markets yet; so things could be worse.
The incomparable Elliotte Friedman wrote a detailed article today breaking down various scenarios for the league and the Coyotes future (you should check out the entire article). He breaks it down to where Seattle and Quebec City make the most sense for the league in the short-term. More importantly, he breaks it down from a financial standpoint for the other 29 owners. Sooner or later, it always comes back to money.
Instead of choosing between Seattle and Quebec City, Friedman explains that the league could be interested in both—and another Toronto area team as well. Why? Is it for better competitive balance? To even the new realigned divisions that go into effect next season? No. Because there’s a lot of money to be made this way.
He explains the Coyotes could fetch around $170 in relocation, etc. fees for the 29 owners. Here’s where it gets interesting. If the Coyotes move to Seattle, that still leaves the starving hockey market in Quebec City available for the league to pursue.
“And you’d have to think that if Quebec City gets an expansion team, the fee will be higher than the purchase price of the Coyotes, especially if the NHL can create some kind of bidding war for the right to own the team there,” Friedman explains in his article. “What does Seattle relocation + Quebec City expansion + Toronto expansion equal? A billion dollars. And that might be conservative.”
A billion dollars can make a pretty convincing argument to the owners who are in the business of making a profit. Of course, the league still insists that they want to keep the team in Arizona for the long-term. Friedman talked to some of the powers-that-be at the Pebble Beach meetings last month and heard that the chances of the Coyotes staying are about 50/50 at this point.
50/50 isn’t that bad when everything else is considered at this point, is it?
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
As respect for Shea Weber has exploded around the league, there are those who may have forgotten that Ryan Suter could be just as good. (Tennessean)
Whether he’s ready or not, the magical 2011 has finally come to an end for Logan Couture. (CSN Bay Area)
Cam Charron talks about Petr Mrazek’s celebrations and reminding everyone that hockey games between young kids (the World Juniors) is supposed to be fun. (Backhand Shelf)
Talk about living the charmed life. Not only has Adam Henrique had a chance to break into the NHL, he’s getting the chance to do so between Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise. This is taking the “putting him in position to succeed” idea to a whole new level. (Star-Ledger)
The good news is that Team USA looked a lot better in their narrow defeat to Team Canada at the World Junior Championships. The bad news is that the game didn’t mean a thing (for either team) after back-to-back losses by Team USA earlier this week. (Buzzing the Net)
Is it too soon to call the Avalanche losers in that Semyon Varlamov trade? What about the Erik Johnson trade? Adrian Dater says the jury is still out. (Denver Post)
Tim Thomas spoke out about going 11 days between starts after the Bruins 4-2 loss in Dallas. Actually, he refused to say anything—which told us all we needed to know. (Boston Herald)
Matthew Hulsizer had until midnight to complete his purchase of the St. Louis Blues. Since the deadline has come and gone, now what? (Post-Dispatch)
Panthers’ enforcer Krys Barch was ejected from Saturday night’s game after a linesman heard him drop a racial slur directed at PK Subban. Judging by the Panthers general partners comments, the game misconduct could be the least of Barch’s worries. (On Frozen Pond)
Finally, Steven Stamkos finishes the year in style. A hat trick for Stammer and the 500th assist for Martin St. Louis. He’s going to be pretty good when he grows up. (NHL)