It turns out the Los Angeles Kings aren’t for sale.
A report from the New York Post stated Philip Anschutz, head of AEG, would look to sell the Los Angeles Kings following the Stanley Cup Final.
While AEG originally denied the reports to the Post, the company reached out to ProHockeyTalk and President and CEO Dan Beckerman released this statement regarding the Post’s report:
“The unsubstantiated rumors printed in the New York Post earlier today about the potential sale of the Los Angeles Kings are false. So I’m clear, the Los Angeles Kings are not for sale, and there are no plans to sell the franchise today, tomorrow or anytime in the future. These rumors were started by anonymous sources seeking to create chaos and mischief. We remain solely focused on one goal, winning the Stanley Cup, and we will not be distracted by such irresponsible reports.”
Stand down, Kings fans, your team won’t be in new hands any time soon. Back to focusing on the Kings being up 1-0 against the New York Rangers.
While the Los Angeles Kings are busy in the Stanley Cup Final, the team owner may be looking to cash in on the team’s success and cash out while they’re riding high.
According to Josh Kosman of the New York Post, Kings owner Philip Anschutz is considering selling the franchise he’s owned since 1995 once the Cup Final is over. Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) has denied the report, however, but talk of selling the team isn’t new.
Anschutz attempted to sell AEG and all of its holdings back in 2012. Anschutz later called off the bidding on the team last spring and, then President and CEO, Tim Leiweke left the franchise and took the same job with the Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.
It’s believed the recent sale of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion is the inspiration for the latest talk of selling the Kings. Forbes listed the value of the Kings at $450 million in 2013.
The recent news of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) being taken off the market and the resignation of Kings governor Tim Leiweke has some fans wondering if it will have a drastic effect on the team itself.
Los Angeles’ President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille tells Jon Rosen of L.A. Kings Insider that there shouldn’t be any issues with how the team is run.
“Nothing’s going to change from day-to-day operations. I run the business operations, and Dean [Lombardi] runs the hockey operations, and the way it is right now is the way it’s going to stay. Our ownership group stays the same. A lot of us were discussing with Dan [Beckerman] from time to time, so we don’t see anything changing.”
Considering how surprising the news was of AEG turn of events was, Kings fans should be relieved to hear this. After all, we’ve seen how ownership shuffling and front office issues have affected other teams negatively.
Hearing it come from Robitaille also has that added effect of getting good news from someone everyone in L.A. loves. Even if there was bad news, having it come from him would somehow make it a little better.
Drew Doughty’s status as an unsigned restricted free agent continues to roll along. While negotiations haven’t been acrimonious between both sides, things continue to drag along without a deal getting done. After reports of Doughty turning down a nine-year, $68 million offer surfaced last week, it made things seem like there may not be a resolution coming at all in the near future.
Kings GM Dean Lombardi spoke with fans at the L.A. Kings fan fest on Sunday and, as you might expect, the status of negotiations with Doughty came up. Lombardi was able to clear some things up and also make it known just how things are proceeding with their top defenseman.
L.A. Kings Insider’s Rich Hammond was on the scene and finds out that negotiations with Doughty are getting so serious that Dean Lombardi is calling in the big guns: His own bosses.
Lombardi indicated that he would talk to team ownership and formulate a negotiation plan for the final days before the start of camp. Lombardi said that any issues involving a no-trade clause haven’t even been discussed with Doughty’s agent.
“I intend to talk to ownership today and update Tim (Leiweke),” Lombardi said. “Anything we do, I have to have their approval or have them be on board. It’s fair to say that in the next 24 hours I’ll be talking to Tim and he will be talking to Mr. Anschutz. There has to be some finality in our approach.”
While Lombardi sounded hopeful that things will get done and Doughty will get locked up long term, those words about going to ownership to help get things figured out make the situation sound a bit more desperate. There is no question that the Kings will get Doughty locked up long term and there’s no threat that he’ll be traded, so the doom and gloom talk can end right there.
That said, the longer things drag out, the more of training camp that Doughty is going to miss. With camp getting under way later this week, that leaves Doughty just a few days to get signed and into camp. Time is ticking away to make sure Doughty doesn’t miss any camp, but getting him signed up and without a potential grudge between himself and management makes more long term sense for the team.