Gary Bettman testifies in concussion lawsuit against NHL

Jared Clinton
Gary Bettman (Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman gave a sworn testimony in a New York City court Friday morning as part of a concussion lawsuit brought against the NHL by several former players.

According to ESPN.com’s Katie Strang, Bettman was scheduled to give a sworn testimony to U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson at 10 a.m. ET Friday. Strang reported Bettman was due in court to, “face questions about the ongoing litigation filed on behalf of several NHL players alleging the league was reckless and negligent about informing players on the risks of long-term damage as a result of head injuries suffered while playing the game.”

Bettman was ordered to testify in May, when Judge Nelson ruled that the commissioner possessed, “unique or special knowledge,” pertaining to the lawsuit. Read more

Coyotes, City of Glendale come to agreement, resolve legal battle

Jared Clinton
Gila River Arena (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes and City of Glendale have come to an agreement that will resolve their current legal battle regarding the arena lease deal that was cancelled by a city council vote in early June.

In a release from the team Thursday afternoon, the Coyotes announced the two parties had come to an agreement. The details of the deal include allowing the Coyotes to collect all hockey-related revenue that previously was collected by Glendale, as well as ticket surcharges and parking revenue. In addition, some of the revenue from naming rights will go to the Coyotes and the out-clause that was part of the original deal has been removed.

All of the amendments to the agreement will officially be voted on by city council at a meeting Friday at Glendale City Hall. Read more

The two most important Erie Otters ever are leaving this summer

Connor McDavid (Photo by Ken Andersen/Getty Images)

Everything seemed to revolve around the Erie Otters this season, from top draft prospect Connor McDavid and OHL scoring champion Dylan Strome to the legal drama between the junior franchise and the Edmonton Oilers.

With the sale of the Otters to Canadian businessman James Waters, a brand-new chapter will begin in Pennsylvania and it will come with its own challenges. Specifically, who will not be returning to the franchise.

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Islanders’ move to Brooklyn leads to unique business partnership with Barclays Center

Stu Hackel
Barclays Center (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Islanders’ move from suburban Nassau County to Brooklyn, New York City’s largest borough, means more than a new venue in a new town for the up-and-coming club. It also has serious implications for the team’s existing Long Island fan base and presents an opportunity to develop a new one.

What is little known, however, is that the move ushers in a different and unique business model for owner Charles Wang and his partners, Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin, one that offloads the team’s entire back-office operation to the Barclays Center staff.

Essentially, the hockey team no longer administers or controls its own business operation, a highly unusual situation. Read more

$850 million bid to buy Penguins could come by next week

Jared Clinton
Penguins fans file into the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh. (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

In November 2014, Forbes ranked the Pittsburgh Penguins as the 10th most valuable NHL franchise, worth roughly $565 million. It appears a group of investors believes the Penguins to be worth much, much more, however.

According to Patty Tascarella of the Pittsburgh Business Times, the Penguins will receive a bid to purchase the franchise sometime within the next week. The bid could carry a value of between $700 and $850 million, according to, “some who have done deals in the National Hockey League.”

If purchased at the high end of that bid, $850 million, it would make the Penguins the fourth-most valuable franchise in the NHL, according to the Forbes valuations, ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks and Vancouver Canucks. In the valuations, the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs were all estimated to be worth $1 billion or more. Read more

NHL likely to have at least two expansion bids from Seattle

Ken Campbell
Bill Daly (left) and Gary Bettman (Photo by Kevin Light/NHLI via Getty Images)

Just days after officially opening its expansion sweepstakes, the NHL has received five requests for expansion bid applications. Las Vegas, Quebec City and the Greater Toronto Area are in the mix as expected, but what might surprise some observers is its believed there are two competing bids from Seattle.

A source indicated that Victor Coleman, a Los Angeles-based real estate developer and native of Vancouver, has definitely requested a bid package and intends to apply by the July 20 deadline. The other Seattle bid is believed to be coming from Connecticut investment banker Ray Bartoszek. And if that weren’t enough, there are apparently two groups looking at the possibility of building an arena in the affluent suburb of Bellevue, which is across Lake Washington from Seattle.

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WHA documentary collection highlights impact, preserves memory of defunct league

Jared Clinton
Gordie Howe Houston Aeros WHA

It’s been more than 35 years since the fall of the World Hockey Association, but the WHA Hall of Fame’s documentary collection, Best of the World Hockey Association Hall of Fame, does its best to make sure hockey fans and historians never forget about the rival North American league that gave the NHL a run for its money.

With five documentaries, there’s no shortage of history to be had in the series, and that’s without including the highlight films and bonus features. Among the features are highlights from Wayne Gretzky’s WHA debut, wearing No. 17 in an Indianapolis Racers intrasquad game, team bonus footage and team fight reels – seriously, there are fight reels for the Houston Aeros and Racers. Altogether, there’s roughly five hours of footage on the BluRay collection. DVDs of the collection are also available through the WHA Hall of Fame.

The documentaries themselves recount the history of the league, ranging from an overarching history of the WHA to team-centric pieces, which focus on the Aeros, Racers and Winnipeg Jets. Each documentary runs between 22 to 35 minutes and the footage is ported over from 2010 productions. Even still, while the star isn’t crystal clear video, the content holds up. Hearing tales about the upstart league that challenged the NHL for several years in the mid-1970s is entertaining and it couldn’t start with a bigger punch. Read more

How advanced stats are changing NHL contract negotiations

Justin Williams. (Getty Images)

It started like any contract negotiation. 
Agent Allan Walsh, who represents Jonathan Drouin, David Perron and Antoine Vermette, among many others, sat across from an NHL GM and assistant GM. The group was hammering out a deal for one of Walsh’s clients. They spent 45 minutes discussing staple statistics like points per game, goals, assists and ice time. Walsh, though, wasn’t satisfied. He told the executives they were omitting a crucial criterion.

It just so happened, Walsh explained to them, the player in question was tops on the team in almost every major possession metric, including Corsi and Fenwick. Walsh had his own advanced stat booklet prepared. He fished out two copies.

“I saw them open the first page, and I saw the GM and the assistant GM lock eyes with each other,” Walsh said. “And the look on their faces was, ‘Oh s—, he knows.’ ”

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