Mike Halford

You've heard the expression "let's get busy?" Well, Mike Halford is a blogger who gets "biz-zay!" Consistently and thoroughly.
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Foley: Vegas has more ticket revenue than Boston, Philly and Pittsburgh

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Prior to officially landing an expansion team, much was made of Vegas’ incredibly successful season ticket drive.

One of the people most impressed by the results? The club’s owner, Bill Foley.

In an interview with Forbes, Foley said the Golden Knights are “number five, six or seven in terms of ticket revenue in the league,” adding that they’re ahead of the Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers and the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

“Edmonton has more revenue in their brand-new arena,” Foley explained. “The Rangers, Toronto, Chicago Blackhawks, they’re all ahead of us. Montreal is right with us.

“We have more revenue than the Flyers, Penguins, the Boston Bruins. Most of our tickets are multi-year. The lower bowl is three to ten years.”

In September of 2016, Vegas announced it had received deposits on all 16,000 season tickets available for the 2017-18 season. That capped off an impressive 19-month run that began in February of ’15 with the stated goal of 10,000 deposits.

Vegas hit the halfway mark in two days — more than 5,000 tickets were sold within the first 48 hours — and the organization later stated 9,000 season tickets were sold within a month of the launch.

Foley said the organization was able to accomplish this despite knowing virtually nothing about how to do a ticket drive. He also told Forbes local fans were showing an impressive amount of faith, buying “season tickets for a team that did not exist to play in an arena that had not been built.”

That arena — T-Mobile, opened in April of last year — has a capacity of 17,500 for hockey. Foley told Forbes the Golden Knights have also sold all of the suites for this season.

Flyers sign No. 2 pick Patrick to entry-level deal

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Another big step in Nolan Patrick’s goal of making the Flyers out of training camp.

On Monday, Philly announced it signed Patrick — taken second overall at this year’s draft — to a three-year, entry-level deal. The news comes just one day after the No. 1 selection, Nico Hischier, signed his ELC with the Devils.

Patrick, 18, is expected to challenge for an NHL gig this fall, following a three-year stint in WHL Brandon that was marked by incredible offensive production, but also health issues. The talented center dealt with a misdiagnosed sports hernia last season and, in late June, underwent a second abdominal procedure to fix the problem.

In today’s release, the Flyers said they expect Patrick to resume skating next week.

Journeyman forward Frattin signs with KHL’s Chinese club

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Matt Frattin, the former Leafs draftee that’s appeared in 135 NHL contests, will write the next chapter of his career overseas.

Frattin has signed with the KHL’s Chinese team, Kunlun Red Star. The club announced the transaction on Sunday.

Frattin, 29, was the 99th overall pick in 2007 and had some decent success in Toronto — including the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign, in which he had 13 points in 25 games and appeared in six of the Leafs’ seven playoff contests.

That summer, he was flipped to Los Angeles as part of the Jonathan Bernier trade. A few months later, he was on the move again in a deal that saw the Kings obtain Marian Gaborik from Columbus.

Frattin was then traded back to Toronto after playing just a handful of games for the Jackets. After spending almost all of his time with the Marlies, he was flipped to Ottawa in ’16 as part of the Dion Phaneuf deal.

Last year, Frattin played with Calgary’s AHL affiliate in Stockton and fared well, scoring 18 goals and 36 points in 54 games.

With Kunlun, he’ll be surrounded by several former NHLers: Brandon Yip, Wojtek Wolski, Magnus Hellberg, Brett Bellemore, Andrei Kostisyn and Alexei Ponikarovsky, to name a few.

 

Ducks sign former Chicago forward Rasmussen

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Anaheim added some forward depth on Friday by agreeing to terms with ex-Blackhawks winger Dennis Rasmussen.

It’s a one-year deal, with financial terms yet to be released.

Rasmussen, 27, became a restricted free agent after Chicago opted against tendering him a qualifying offer in late June. Per a Sun-Times source, the club had originally planned to make him an offer, but “something obviously changed.”

A good penalty killer and defensive forward, Rasmussen scored eight points in 68 games last season, averaging just under 12 minutes per night. It’s worth noting he was teammates with Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg on Team Sweden at the 2010 World Juniors, helping the country capture bronze.

Rasmussen and Silfverberg are part of Anaheim’s Swedish contingent that also includes Rickard Rakell, Hampus Lindholm and ’15 first-rounder Jacob Larsson, who made his NHL debut last year.

Wild prospect Kaprizov staying in KHL for next three years, says team president

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Some pretty significant news out of Russia, pertaining to prized Wild draftee Kirill Kaprizov — in a tweet sent from the official KHL account, the president of Kaprizov’s CSKA Moscow club said the 20-year-old will play with the team for the next three seasons.

That’s a significant shift with regards to Kaprizov’s future.

In late May, Wild GM Chuck Fletcher said the team was “operating under the assumption he’s got a year left” in Russia, and that Kaprizov would join Minnesota for the ’18-19 campaign.

The Wild selected Kaprizov, a five-foot-nine-inch tall forward, in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL Draft.

He had 42 points in 49 regular season games in the KHL this year, and lit up the 2017 World Juniors with nine goals and 12 points in seven games. He captained the Russians to bronze, was selected to the tournament all-star team, and named the tourney’s top forward.

Kaprizov spent last season with KHL outfit Ufa Salavat Yulayev, but was acquired by CSKA in a cash transaction this offseason.

It wasn’t the club’s only big move.

CSKA is a KHL powerhouse, and has made several other significant acquisitions. Most recently, the club signed former Habs d-man Nikita Nesterov and ex-Avs forward Mikhail Grigorenko. Previously, the club secured the services of Dallas forward Valeri Nichushkin.

So there’s the CSKA factor at play here, and probably the Olympic factor as well. Back in April, Russian hockey federation chairman Arkady Rotenberg said his group would try to keep KHL players from leaving for North America and bring NHL free agents back this summer, with the goal of preparing for and participating in the 2018 Games in South Korea.

In a related note, Ilya Kovalchuk opted against returning to the NHL this summer, and will play next season in Russia as well.