Posts Tagged ‘bettman’
The hockey world was stung yesterday by a tragedy, the likes of which has never been seen. At around 4 p.m. Moscow time, a Yak-42 airplane crashed just outside of Yaroslavl, Russia. 43 of the 45 people on board were killed. Amongst those that lost their lives were members of Yaroslavl Lokomotiv, a team in the Kontinental Hockey League who were en route to Minsk, Belarus to open their season.
“Though it occurred thousands of miles away from our home arenas, this tragedy represents a catastrophic loss to the hockey world — including the NHL family, which lost so many fathers, sons, teammates and friends,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.
Its official: Winnipeg is finally getting a professional hockey team back. No its not the Pheonix Coyotes, who left the canadian town in 1996 for Arizona, as was originaly speculated. The city of Phoenix voted to subsidize the theam’s losses to the tune of $25 million to keep the dogs in the desert for at least another year. Instead the Atlanta Thrashers are moving notrth, making Atlanta the first city to every lose 2 professional sports franchises (they lost another hockey team when the Atlanta Flames moved to Calgary in 1980).
The move was mainly financial in nature. The team’s ownership claim to have lost over $130 million since purchasing the Thrashers in 2004. They attempted to find a local buyer for the last 4 years to no avail. With no other options, they sold the team to True North Sports and Entertsinment. The deal is worth $170 million, with $110 million going to purchase the team and another $60 million going to the other owners as a relocation fee. The question is will the team fare much better up north, in a city that already lost a franchise due to financial reasons.
The NHL announced today the signing of a new television contract with the NBC Sports Group. The deal is worth a reported $2 Billion and will run through the 2020-2021 season. It is rumored that the NHL also received offers from ESPN, Turner and Fox. While, this represents a large chunk of change, was this really the best decision for the NHL?What it means for the fans is that NBC and Versus will continue to be the exclusive network and cable home of the NHL respectively. The number of regular season games shown on these networks will also increase to 100. Packages such as NHL Center Ice will still be available, as well as local coverage by independent stations. My question is why not let other networks get a piece of the action.