Home Articles and Opinion

Who's Online

We have 73 guests online

Biz of Hockey Originals

Buy sports tickets from top hockey ticket broker Coast to Coast. We have a great seection of cheap Chicago Blackhawks tickets, Capitals hockey tickets and the NY Rangers hockey schedule. You'll also find Boston Bruins tickets, seats at Stanley Cup hockey games and hard-to-find NHL playoffs tickets!
Looking for cheap hockey seats? TicketLiquidator has a huge selection of live sports events and other live entertainment. Best sellers include Boston Bruins at TD Garden, Maple Leafs home game tickets, Washington Capitals games in DC, New York Rangers NHL tickets and much more. Search TicketLiquidator today!
Articles and Opinions
NHL Shoots Down Kovalchuk Contract PDF Print E-mail
Articles and Opinions
Written by Matthew Coller   
Wednesday, 21 July 2010 04:15

Any goodwill Gary Bettman had built up from the Olympics and incredible Stanley Cup playoffs just got taken out back and shot.  The league rejected Ilya Kovalchuk’s 17-year, $102 million contract on the basis of the likelihood the winger won’t complete the 17 years, TSN reports:

"TSN Insider Darren Dreger explains that the deal was rejected due to the fact that the NHL does not believe that either Kovalchuk nor the Devils expected the 2004 Rocket Richard trophy winner would be playing near end of the contract and that it is a case of artificially lowering the annual average value of the contract.  The Devils must now either file the contract once again or the Players' Association can file a grievance.

Should the NHLPA decide to file a grievance, the contract would remain dead until an arbitrator determines otherwise."

As I wrote on Biz of Hockey yesterday, the deal beyond ridiculous, especially because Kovalchuk will earn more than 95 percent in the first 11 years, but in an earmark of ridiculousness that makes the scoring system and Southern expansion look ingenious, Betteman is cutting down essentially the same contract he allowed for other NHL stars.

Marian Hossa would have to play into his early 40s as would Chris Pronger, both at less than $1 million if they played out their entire contracts.  Likelihood of that is equal to the chance Tom Hicks is given a statue in Dallas.

Admittedly, the NHL warned teams to quit with the front-loaded long-term deals, but now comes the fuzzy part:  How long is too long-term?  How front-loaded is too front-loaded?  Every area of the rejected contract is a gray area.  Will others like Joe Thornton try a front-loaded long-term deal, but not so front-loaded as Kovalchuk?  My guess is that they sure will, especially if the NHLPA wins a grievance (which has a fair chance because nothing the Devils did violates the collective bargaining agreement).

If you call a foul on Kobe on one end, you’ve got to blow the whistle on Garnett and if you don’t, then you can’t.  Betteman essentially said some may and some may not have front-loaded long-term contracts.  Now just disallow NHLers in the next Olympics, bring a team to Mexico City and Betteman’s all set.


Matthew Coller is a staff member of the Business of Sports Network, and is a freelance writer. He can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or followed on Twitter

Follow The Biz of Hockey on Twitter

Follow the Business of Sports Network on Facebook

 
Kovalchuk Contract Defies Logic, Not CBA PDF Print E-mail
Articles and Opinions
Written by Matthew Coller   
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 05:24

Donald, meet Gary.  Gary meet Donald.  Now, you two meet Ilya and Lou.  Donald, meet Gary, Lou and Ilya.  Now guys, work this nonsense out.

Let’s start in July, 2009.  ESPN.com’s Scott Burnside reports the NHL is “concerned” with front-loaded long-term contracts.  Marian Hossa signed a 12-year deal with the Blackhawks paying him $7.9 million for the first seven years and $1 million for the final four.

Makes sense, right?  He won’t be very good 11 years from now, so why should he make top dollar?  Hossa will be 42-years old by then and won’t be able to score on a high schooler, and nor will he have the chance to.  Hossa won’t see 42 in the NHL, in fact, near one percent make it past 38, but what will happen is his cap hit will be reduced to $5.275 million and he’ll still make $7.9 million assuming he retires by age 37.

An NHL executive told Burnside the contract makes sense because 40-year olds never make much more than $1 million, so all is fair.  Yeah, and I’ll sell you my magic hat and golden-egg-laying goose.

Hossa was not alone in July, 2009.  Chris Pronger’s monster contract beings at $7.6 million and ends just above the league minimum.  Huh, Great minds?

Well, if they think alike, then so does another great mind:  Lou “ca Brasi” Lamoriello.  The Devils GM Lou Lamoriello wasn’t concerned with bad blood over signing superstar Ilya Kovalchuk to another Lou-dacris contract.  Kovalchuk signed with the Devils for $100 million over 17-years.  Kovy, 27, will peak at $11.5 million, yet earn just over $3 million in the final six years of his contract.  Years he’s more likely to be Yachting than skating.

If Kovy plays until 2021, he’ll be 38-years old and have earned 96.5 million of the $100 agreed upon.  Yet, his team will take significantly less in a cap hit.  Textbook loophole:  The CBA says the cap hit will be the average of the total contract.  And nobody saw front-loaded long-term contracts coming?

Don’t worry, NHL commissioner Gary Betteman warned everyone to play nice.  The Minnesota Wild did with Mikko Koivu’s contract.  He’s got a $6.75 cap hit for seven years, Kovalchuk has only $6 million for 17 years.

The worst part is this can’t be corrected until the next collective bargaining agreement, which will likely feature ace-in-the-hole Donald Fehr, who may argue with the same “who, us?” tactics as owners and GMs.  The NHLPA wants its players paid, the GMs don’t want the cap hit, but the commish is calling shenanigans.

But, just in case, big-name unrestricted free agents of next year will be waiting with bated breath for their day to come.  These front-loaders are likely to be grandfathered in after the next CBA, which was extended for another year.  Stars like Brad Richards, Zdeno Chara and Joe Thornton will all have their shot at a 29-year, $300 million contract with $297 million in the first 6 years.  Currently Richards’ cap hit is $7.8 million, but odds are his salary goes up, but cap hit goes down.  What a mess.

Keep investigating, Gary.  But, at this point, there’s nothing the league can do but watch.

Here's the complete breakdown of Kovalchuk's contract via the Star Tribune:

2010-2011: $6 million

2011-2012: $6 million

2012-2013: $11.5 million

2013-2014: $11.5 million

2014-2015: $11.5 million

2015-2016: $11.5 million

2016-2017: $11.5 million

2017-2018: $10.5 million

2018-2019: $8.5 million

2019-2020: $6.5 million

2020-2021: $3.5 million

2021-2022: $750,000

2022-2023: $550,000

2023-2024: $550,000

2024-2025: $550,000

2025-2026: $550,000

2026-2027: $550,000


OTHER NEWS FROM THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK

(THE BIZ OF BASEBALL)


Matthew Coller is a staff member of the Business of Sports Network, and is a freelance writer. He can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or followed on Twitter

Follow The Biz of Hockey on Twitter

Follow the Business of Sports Network on Facebook

 
The Hockey News May Be Teasing Dallas Stars Fans PDF Print E-mail
Articles and Opinions
Written by Matthew Coller   
Friday, 16 July 2010 23:06

LeBron’s staying!  No, he’s going to Chicago.  No, he’s going to Maimi!  No, New York.  Wait, that’s over.  Now several hockey reporters are squirming in their chairs over whether the Dallas Stars will be sold to Calgary billionaire Bill Gallcher for $225 million.

The Hockey News columnist Ken Campbell reported this morning that Tom Hicks (who is also wrapped up in a messy bankruptcy and sale of the Texas Rangers as highly covered on Biz of Baseball) will sell the team despite his original $350 million asking price (the team is worth $247 million according to Forbes.)  Campbell only says that THN “learned” of an “agreement in principle,” but does not say how.  Sounds like Report-a-Bron Syndrome, huh.

No problem if Campbell’s right, but those who cover the Dallas Stars are calling shenanigans.  Mike Heika of Dallas News says he talked to two sources who say the report is inaccurate.   Heika said in his Stars Blog, “They say the sale process is ongoing and that Gallacher is a candidate to buy the team, but that they have not gotten as far in the process of agreeing to a price with any buyer. One said the reported price was too low.”

Former ProHockey Talk editor Brandon Worley was just plain puzzled by the conflict.  Worley tweeted:  “Ok...it seems that the THN report may be grossly inaccurate. Which is....odd, to say the least.”  And then 40 minutes later:  “I just can't see how Campbell would write a report that is this....off. Something isn't adding up.”

Stars fans probably feel like they’re in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” and have been warped through time to Cleveland.  Since Hicks ran into money problems, they have run into winning problems.  The Stars have missed the playoffs for two straight seasons (in a league where everyone with a functioning Zamboni makes the playoffs) and as of right now have $13.3 million in cap space.  Stars fans would give Brett Hull’s Cup ring for a new owner.

Don’t start thinking Mark Cuban.  Heika said he contacted Cuban and the spunky, tight-T-shirted Mavericks owner wasn’t even giving Stars ownership a shot.  That’s LeBron to Miami.   Any franchise would love an owner with Cuban’s passion for winning.  However, even if he was interested, Cuban was turned down for a minority ownership spot with the Pittsburgh Penguins by the NHL Board of Governors last year, so if they won’t let him sit in the dark for the Pens, they aren’t going to let him bang the glass for the Stars.

One person begging for Campbell’s report to come to fruition is Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk, who is probably spending his days making paper airplanes while waiting on an ownership change.  Only then will Nieuwendyk be able to start improving the Stars.

The obvious question is if not Gallacher then who?  But, the lingering question is:  If Campbell’s report isn’t true, who can fans follow for Stars sale information?  At least Stephen A. Smith had Bron-Bron going to South Beach.  Campbell is one of the most respected in the business, so for his sake and that of Stars fans, hopefully Gallacher buy the team.


OTHER NEWS FROM THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK

(THE BIZ OF BASEBALL)


Matthew Coller is a staff member of the Business of Sports Network, and is a freelance writer. He can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or followed on Twitter

Follow The Biz of Hockey on Twitter

Follow the Business of Sports Network on Facebook

 
Toronto GM Burke's Story Sheds Light on Anti-Gay Sports Environment PDF Print E-mail
Articles and Opinions
Written by Matthew Coller   
Thursday, 08 July 2010 05:39

Brian Burke was merely trying to honor his son.  But his standing in hockey has shed light on the issue of the anti-gay culture which exists in sports.  Not just across hockey, not just across professional sports, but across all sports.

Burke, the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, lost his son Brendan in a car accident just months after he revealed that he was gay.  Last week Burke marched in a gay pride parade in Toronto.  The intention was to show respect, the result was good conversation.

National Post writer Bruce Arthur told Brendan’s story from his family’s perspective.  Homosexuals are denigrated and dehumanized in sports communities, take the Blackhawks’ locker room white board during the Stanley Cup for example: Next to Chris Pronger’s name read, “is gay.”  Arthur made the issue human.  Here’s an excerpt:

Two months earlier Brendan had revealed to the world that he was gay. A student manager for the hockey team at Miami University in Ohio, he took up the mantle for tolerance in sports, agreeing to come out publicly in an article on ESPN.com. When he had come out to his father a year earlier — his bluff, macho, tough, Irish Catholic father — Burke didn't have to take a breath and wonder what to say. "This won't change anything," he told his son.

Burke said he didn’t think there was anything heroic about being there for then and honoring his son now.  Indeed.  But Burke’s openness in allowing the media to cover his story, to allow his to affect lives of gay athletes and the parents of gay athletes is heroic.  In 2005, NBC hired Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates to study how the public views gay athletes.  The study found that 68 percent of near 1,000 surveyed said it would hurt an athlete’s career to be openly gay.  Brendan Burke wasn’t an athlete, he was a student manager of the Miami University in Ohio men’s hockey team, but his father’s prominent position in sports gave a voice to sports writers, athletes, executives and fans to ask:  “Is enough being said? Is enough being done?”

John Fischer, who runs a New Jersey Devils blog, wrote that fans should take it as a responsibility to work to combat bigotry.  In the NBC study, nearly half said that America needs an open discussion on homosexuality and sports, yet until now, at least in hockey, there’s only been silence.  Fischer, who generally asks fans their favorite Devils player, finds himself asking strong rhetorical questions:

Why would a gay person want to play the game if the banter in the locker room is disparaging of homosexuals, as if same-sex relations are a bad thing?  How can anyone at any level of the game at any position on any team possibly think about coming out of the closet if being gay is the subject of derision and insult?

Here’s another rhetorical questions:  Would we be asking these questions without Brendan and Brian Burke’s story?

Another hockey writer Derek Zona of Copper & Blue wrote about persisting homophobia in hockey.  Zona responded to anti-gay e-mails in response to a story written about Burke.  The conversation continued with Zona’s cause and effect of homophobia on individual athletes:

The anti-gay culture is pervasive throughout all levels of hockey and it's not likely to change any time soon without a giant push in the right direction from the NHL.  There are still over 15,000 near-adults playing higher-level amateur hockey in North America.  Of those, some 3,500 are playing Major Junior or NCAA Hockey.  As sure as Brian Burke is that there are gay men in professional hockey, I'm sure that there are many times that number in the amateur ranks.  Yet these kids are left on their own, far from home, far from any support system, invariably alone, a gay kid playing a sport in which gay men are reviled, living in fear of being discovered.  There is nowhere to go, no one to talk to, and nowhere to turn but inside themselves, and that loneliness and fear almost certainly impacts their on-ice performance and, to a greater extent, their careers.

The NBC study found that 42 percent said if ESPN created a television special on the accomplishments of gay athletes, viewers would be enraged.  Only 22 percent said people wouldn’t be enraged.  The story of Brendan and Brian Burke may have enraged 42 percent, but it also brought it to light for those who had never considered the struggles of homosexuals in sports.

Martin Luther King Jr. said “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”


OTHER NEWS FROM THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK

(THE BIZ OF BASEBALL)


Matthew Coller is a staff member of the Business of Sports Network, and is a freelance writer. He can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or followed on Twitter

FacebookFollow the Business of Sports Network on Facebook

 
Hall and Seguin Get Press, But NHL Draft Illustrates Growing Popularity of Hockey in United States PDF Print E-mail
Articles and Opinions
Written by Jeff Levine   
Wednesday, 30 June 2010 15:10

NHL

While Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin may have headlined the 2010 NHL draft class, an emerging underlying story from over this past weekend is the performance by the dozens of US-born players who were selected in this year’s draft and what it means for the popularity of hockey in the United States.

ESPN reports that, over the course of the draft, 59 Americans were selected from diverse states including Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey and New York.  Several highly rated players hailed from states such as Florida, Arizona and Nevada, proving that hockey is finally finding long-term support in non-traditional hockey markets.

Quality players across the nation are bridging the gap with hockey developmental programs in Canada and abroad, and NHL clubs have taken notice.  "In the U.S. in general, there’s so many new pockets where hockey has caught on, so now it’s a whole new group of athletes, in California, Phoenix, places that weren't notoriously hockey places, producing some pretty good players now," Jay Heinbuck, the head of amateur scouting for the Penguins, said after the draft.  As hockey’s grassroots popularity seems to be on the rise in the US, nobody is happier about the increase of American talent than NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.

The NHL Commissioner has long maintained that hockey’s success hinges on developing a strong following within the US.  In the 1990s, Bettman sought to cement his legacy as hockey’s savior by spearheading the league’s expansion into nontraditional hockey markets such as Arizona, Florida and other parts of the south.  For years, these franchises struggled mightily, often lagging behind teams in traditional hockey markets in terms of fan support and team revenues. Several underperforming teams were forced to file for bankruptcy protection under Bettman’s watch, leading some to question Bettman’s NHL vision and whether he was the right man for the job.

While many people still second-guess Bettman’s decisions concerning expansion and his approach to labor relations, his vision of a hockey-crazed United States is slowly coming to fruition.  Youth hockey is steadily gaining in popularity, and the number of Americans taken at the NHL entry draft is also increasing.  Now Bettman needs the league to cash in on this increasing popularity.

Bettman must now harness the league’s expanding interest so that non-traditional hockey markets now support their local teams and find new partners to help pad the league’s finances.  In addition, the NHL must cooperatively work with its players to further cultivate the league’s popularity and financial viability.

The NHL has been clawing back from irrelevance towards respectability ever since it lost an entire season to a labor dispute back in 2004 and arguably lost its spot as one of the nation’s top sports.  Since the lockout, the league has taken steps to emerge as a leaner, more fan friendlier sport.  This past weekend’s draft is more evidence that hockey is again on the rise and can be popular within the United States.  However, Bettman must nurture this progress and avoid at all costs another lockout or labor-related fiasco when the league squares off the NHLPA to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement in 2012.

If Bettman can strike a new accord with the players while preserving hockey’s momentum and get on the same page with the union, the NHL could be poised for a new golden era both throughout North American and abroad.


Jeff LevineJeff Levine is a staff member of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is a sports attorney, and the Executive Director of One Sports and Entertainment, International.

 
Chicago Blackhawks Face Difficult Off-Season Decisions PDF Print E-mail
Articles and Opinions
Written by Matthew Coller   
Monday, 14 June 2010 18:18

Blackhawks For the Chicago Blackhawks, it all started with GM Dale Tallon being ousted after a fax-machine-folly cost the ‘Hawks to sign several unwanted long-term contracts.  It ended with Tallon being sent a Stanley Cup ring.  But, the mix up may cost Chicago in the long run.  The league salary cap is expected to be around $59 million, the Blackhawks have $57 million wrapped up in 14 players.  The Blackhawks’ cap space for 2009-10 was 0.336.

The fax machine problem wasn’t the only Tallon blunder that cost Chi-town long term.  He is also responsible for two enormous contracts that have the Cup champs in a stranglehold.  Cristobal Huet will make $5.625 million through 2011-12 and defenseman Brian Campbell is wrapped up until 2015-16 at the price of $7.140 million.

What will they do?

Campbell could be traded, but his price and long deal may scare away potential buyers.  They could also deal center Patrick Sharp, who is scheduled to make $4.200 million next season, will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2011-12 season.  This makes him a good candidate to be a cap-clearing victim via a trade.  Defenseman Brent Sopel is in a similar boat being unrestricted after 2012 and making a decent pay check of $2.000 million.

The Blackhawks will likely lose center John Madden, who made $2.750 million during the team’s championship season, but he’s one in a very short list that can leave without a trade.  The only other unrestricted free agents this off-season are Adam Burish, Kim Johnsson and Nick Boynton.

Restricted free agents are far more plentiful.  The group also includes Andrew Ladd, Ben Eager, Bryan Bickell, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Jordan Hendry.  Cup-winning goaltender Antti Niemi is also a restricted free agent.  Niemi, who made $827,000 in 2009-10, is considered by many to be an average and replicable goalie, but his playoff victories have likely put him in position for a large pay day.

If Niemi gets the big bucks, what happens to Huet?  Trade suitors are unlikely for a goalie who makes $5.625 million and was permanently benched mid-season, so the team is all but forced to send him to the AHL next season where his salary will not count against the cap.

Here’s how all Chicago’s players’ contracts play out (including players’ cap numbers):

Forwards:

Marian Hossa – Signed through 2020-21, making $7.900 million until 2015-16.  2010-11 Cap Number:  $5.275

Patrick Sharp –Will make $4.200 million in 2011-12 then become unrestricted free agent.  Cap Number:  $3.900

Patrick Kane – Signed through 2014-15 making $6.500 in 2010-11.  CN:  $6.300

Dave Bolland - Will become unrestricted free agent after 2013-14 and will make $3.375 until then.  CN:  $3.375

Kris Versteeg – Will become restricted free agent after 2011-12 season making $3.083.  CN:  $3.067

Dustin Byfuglien - Will become restricted free agent after 2010-11 making $3.000.  CN:  $3.000

Jonathan Toews – Signed through 2014-15 making as much as $6.500.  CN:  $6.300

John Madden – Currently unrestricted free agent.

Andrew Ladd - Currently restricted free agent.

Tomas Kopecky – Signed through 2010-11 for $1.200.  CN:  $1.200

Troy Brouwer – Will become restricted free agent after 2011, will make $1.050.  CN:  $1.025

Ben Eager – Currently unrestricted free agent

Adam Burish – Currently unrestricted free agent

Colin Fraser – Currently unrestricted free agent

Defenseman:

Brian Campbell – Signed through 2015-16 making $7.140.  CN:  $7.143

Brent Seabrook – Signed through 2010-11 at $3.500, will become restricted free agent. CN:  $3.500

Brent Sopel – Will make $2.000 in 2010-11 then become unrestricted free agent.  CN:  $2.333

Kim Johnsson – Currently unrestricted free agent

Duncan Keith – Signed through 2021-22, will make as much as $8.000.  CN:  $5.540

Niklas Hjalmarsson – Currently restricted free agent

Jordan Hendry – Currently restricted free agent

Cristobal Huet – Signed through 2011-12, will become unrestricted free agent.  CN:  $5.625

Antti Niemi – Currently restricted free agent

Total Cap Number for currently signed players:  $57.6 million


OTHER NEWS FROM THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK

(THE BIZ OF BASEBALL)


Matthew Coller is a staff member of the Business of Sports Network, and is a freelance writer. He can be followed on Twitter

FacebookFollow the Business of Sports Network on Facebook

 
Former Sabres Coach Ted Nolan Says He Was 'Too Honest' in PuckLife Interview PDF Print E-mail
Articles and Opinions
Written by Matthew Coller   
Monday, 31 May 2010 18:17

Ted Nolan

One of hockey’s most polarizing figures, former Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders coach Ted Nolan, spoke to PuckLife Magazine last week on racism and his departure from the NHL.  Less than a week later, Nolan says he regrets being so candid.

In an interview with Biz of Hockey’s Matthew Coller on “The Blue Line Show” on SportsRadio 950 ESPN in Rochester, NY, Nolan said he was too honest about racism in the PuckLife interview, but still believes racism exists in the NHL.  Nolan also said he wants back in to the NHL. 

Select READ MORE to see the full transcript of the interview

 
Affiliation Change Would Benefit New York Rangers PDF Print E-mail
Articles and Opinions
Written by Matthew Coller   
Tuesday, 25 May 2010 01:12

Since it was reported that the Rangers are likely changing their AHL affiliation to the Rochester Americans for the 2011-’12 season, I’ve received a lot of feedback requesting more details.  The source for the original story could only tell Biz of Hockey that the move was in the works, however, the move appears sensible.

In July 2007, Madison Square Garden, who owns the New York Rangers and Hartford Wolfpack, made the company Northland AEG LLC responsible for day-to-day operations which include marketing, sponsorship and ticket sales.  Of course, the Rangers are still responsible for on-ice decisions such as coaching and player movement.  The problem?  The team averages close to 4,300 fans per game in an arena which holds around 15,000.

Usually when a company owns a team, they own the arena.  So, assuming MSG owns the Civic Center in Hartford, it seems that using the same arena that books such major musical acts as Justin Bieber and Black Eyed Peas to book 40 dates that draw 4,300 doesn’t make sense financially.

Also, paying a company to handle the selling of tickets when the team doesn’t draw doesn’t make much sense either.  If the Rangers moved to Rochester, owners Curt Styres and Lewis Staats would handle such things at presumably no additional cost.  Attendance would then become their problem.  It was reported earlier this season that to break even, the Americans had to draw more than 5,000 per game.  If the same was true for the Wolfpack, the Rangers were losing money that they wouldn’t lose with Rochester (or any other separately owned affiliate).

Things might get fishy when negotiating the handling of veteran players.  Last season, the Americans expected their parent club to foot the bill for veteran players such as former New York Islander Mike York.  The Panthers elected not to do so though Americans ownership claimed there was a verbal agreement.  Whether the Rangers would be willing to pay for veterans will likely be a point of contention in negotiations.

The Rangers can offer higher attendance for the Americans, who have seen their numbers drop from near 7,500 in 2007 to less than 4,500 this season.  The attendance drop is thought to be much due to the departure of the Buffalo Sabres as a parent club.  The Americans can offer a lot less liability.

Some have questioned if the location of Hartford could keep the Rangers from Rochester.  Yes, costs of travel do add up, but this is very rarely a deal breaker.  The Buffalo Sabres, for example, moved their AHL club from Rochester, NY (45 minutes from Buffalo) to Portland, Maine and recently signed an extention.  Rochester is around six hours away.  If a team elected to call up a player around morning skate time (10 a.m. or so) the player would be in New York City well before the puck dropped.

The Rochester Americans did not return phone calls concerning the possible switch.



Matthew Coller is a staff member of the Business of Sports Network, and is a freelance writer. He can be followed on Twitter

FacebookFollow the Business of Sports Network on Facebook

 
«StartPrev1234567NextEnd»

Page 3 of 7
 
Banner
Sat., 3/26 - ESPN 910, Rochester (10:45am ET) - Maury Brown on Donald Fehr and the NHLPA, possible club relocation, more






Alliance Tickets carries an extensive inventory of all NHL Tickets, including Colorado Avalanche Tickets, and we also carry tons of Colorado Rockies Tickets