Chicago fans discovered the power of the hashtag this week as the Blackhawks did indeed “Ban ‘The Stripper.’ ”
Currently, there are two arenas being built in what are considered potential NHL relocation or expansion markets. Quebec City’s arena is scheduled to be finished in September of 2015 and the MGM Resorts/AEG project in Las Vegas will be finished in two years. In fact, the mayor of Las Vegas has talked about building a second arena, which would partially be covered by public money.
But Seattle, which is not building a new arena right now, remains the most intriguing destination for the NHL. It’s a west coast team, which would balance the conference split if an eastern team needed to be relocated. It would be a competitive, rivalry market for Vancouver. And it has plans to build a brand new arena…as soon as it gets an NBA franchise.
Chris Hansen holds the rights to build the new arena in Seattle, but he has no interest in owning a hockey team. That’s where Victor Coleman comes in. The CEO and president of Hudson Pacific Properties is very optimistic about Seattle as an NHL market.
“I think the demographic base and the desire of the NHL in that marketplace is the perfect match right now. The expansion of the NHL into the Pacific Northwest, with Vancouver and the presiding area, makes it a perfect fit,” Coleman said to KING 5′s Chris Daniels. “There are built in synergies. That’s a ‘Day 1’ rivalry.” Read more
There are trades, and then there are trades that ship you 2,366 miles northwest.
The late-June swap that sent right winger Teddy Purcell from Tampa Bay to Edmonton was a shock. His closet said it all. It contained zero winter jackets and hadn’t for seven years. He’d spent his entire NHL career in California and Florida, and it seemed as recently as a year ago he wasn’t going anywhere for a long time.
The undrafted college free agent didn’t blossom in parts of three seasons with L.A., but the Lightning took a chance on him with a 2010 trade. He realized his potential as a top-six forward, posting 51- and 65-point seasons, often as Steven Stamkos’ linemate.
Something changed this past season, however. Young guns Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat burst onto the scene, and Purcell’s role diminished. Coach Jon Cooper, and even teammates like Valtteri Filppula, publicly asked Purcell to shoot more. He slipped to 12 goals in 81 games and tumbled to the fourth line. Purcell became expendable when the team identified other needs and off he went in the Sam Gagner deal.
Standard storylines would have Purcell entering 2014-15 motivated to prove Tampa wrong, but that’s just not him. He’s about as easygoing as it gets. He’s happy to call frigid Edmonton his new home, pointing out he grew up in Newfoundland and played in Saskatchewan and Maine. And he’s not angry at Tampa Bay. He speaks highly of GM Steve Yzerman.
The Ottawa Sun’s Don Brennan recently observed the Senators could enter training camp with eight NHL defensemen, seven of whom are under one-way contracts. If the Senators decide to make a deal, Brennan feels they could draw upon their blueline depth for trade bait.
Defenseman Patrick Wiercioch could become a trade candidate. Brennan noted coach Paul MacLean had some issues with Wiercioch’s game last season. He also cited a league executive praising the 23-year-old’s passing skills, which could make the young blueliner an attractive trade chip.
Another option could be veteran Marc Methot. The Ottawa Citizen’s Ken Warren reports contract talks between Methot and the Senators are at a stalemate. Warren claims Methot, who’s in the final season of a four-year, $12-million contract, has been compared to Washington’s Brooks Orpik (five years, $27.5 million) and Tampa Bay’s Matt Carle (six years, $33 million). Read more
Summer is a time for whimsy, so I thought it would be fun to figure out which team is the best in all 50 states of the good ol’ USA. In some cases it was simple: Just mark down the local NHL team. In others not so much. For example, right off the hop you have Alabama. The state has a Division 1 college team in Alabama-Huntsville and a Southern Pro League team in the Huntsville Havoc. While the Havoc play in the low minors, they were a playoff squad. The Chargers, on the other hand, got wrecked last season, winning just two of 48 games. So I went with the Havoc.
The pecking order was pretty simple and based on last season’s standings: NHL, AHL, ECHL at the top, followed by the Central League, SPHL, college, major junior and the United States League. Other than Alabama, no judgement calls had to be made. The only exception to the standings rule was California. Yes, Anaheim had a better record in the regular season, but the Kings won the Stanley Cup and beat the Ducks in the playoffs. To the victors go the spoils.
Also, Hawaii was not included because according to USA Hockey, there are 19 registered players in the state and only 15 are adults.
In states where no pro, junior or Division 1 college team exist (there are eight), I chose the top NCAA club team. UNLV gets the nod in Nevada because the ECHL’s Las Vegas Wranglers went dark after the season ended and won’t return until at least 2015-16.
Without further ado, here’s a look at the teams that rule, state by state:
The planet’s only professional hockey league for women got a notable boost Wednesday when the Canadian Women’s Hockey League added Arlene Dickinson – wildly successful businesswoman, author, philanthropist, and TV personality on CBC’s Dragons’ Den reality investment show – to its board of directors.
Since its inception in 2007, the five-team CWHL has been making slow-but-steady inroads in the business community, but the presence on the board (which also includes Calgary Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke, CBC analyst Cassie Campbell-Pascal and Trina Crosby, mother of Sidney Crosby) of Dickinson, a savvy venture capitalist and master marketer, can only accelerate that process. Anyone who’s seen her operate on Dragon’s Den has seen a thoughtful woman well-connected to the world around her and someone passionate about more than just making a buck.
Considering the CWHL is still not close to paying its players a livable salary, there’s no way Dickinson is working with the league because its teams are about to turn a profit. She’s in it because it’s an organization that empowers women, and she’s aiming to ensure it prospers. Read more
We’re less than a month away from EA’s Sept. 9 release date for NHL 15. Yesterday, the company released another trailer that will get the hardcore NHL gamers excited.
And while it looks incredible and cool and everything great, we’re still mostly in the dark about the actual game play. What was done about cheap, glitch goals that happened with great regularity? Won’t a superstar skill stick make it worse? Offline, if you outgrow a difficulty setting, can you move up to the next one without finding it impossible to score at all? The physics are supposedly different, but how meaningful are this year’s upgrades actually? Or is EA just adding some makeup?
Check out the latest trailer that shows some pretty cool fan animations – which are ultimately meaningless – plus some hits and goals. (A Kings player flattens San Jose’s Patrick Marleau, which is fitting.) Read more
The Penguins win this Battle of Pennsylvania, but it was close.
On Monday, the orange and black of Philadelphia came in at No. 10 on our list of logo rankings and today, Pittsburgh falls in at No. 8. The skating penguin, who lost his scarf somewhere on the pond, was a fairly popular logo in our discussion, but could have ended up a little higher if the triangle was the yellow it used to be.
Think you can design a better logo for the Pittsburgh Penguins? Submit your work to firstname.lastname@example.org and after our NHL rankings finish next week, we’ll share our favorite redesigns sent in by readers. We’ve got some good ones so far and are hungry for more.
All logos below from Chris Creamer’s website.
HISTORY OF THE PENGUINS LOGO
“The Penguins? No, really, what will the team be called? You can’t call a hockey team ‘the Penguins.’ That’s ridiculous.” – Freelance Pittsburgh artist Bob Gessner in 1967 after the results of a “name the team” newspaper contest were revealed.
Gessner, who was paid $1,500 to design six logos for the Penguins, favored the name “Hornets” for the new NHL expansion team. This nickname had been used for the city’s American League team from 1936-1956 and again from 1961-67. Plus, he designed the Hornets logo when they returned in the ’60s.
“How can you make a penguin look mean? They are slow, small and awkward.”
The first Penguins logo is what I like to call “Beer League Penguin” because it’s the only one with a gut. He’s the most happy, harmless looking logo in the team’s history, with his smile, wide eyes and dangling scarf. But he didn’t appear on a jersey until the 2011 Winter Classic at Heinz Field (the second penguin design was used at the 2008 outdoor game).
The Penguins used the beer-leaguer as their primary logo for just one season and though he appeared on pucks and other merchandise, the team’s jerseys only had “Pittsburgh” printed diagonally down the front.
Though the Penguins’ original primary color was blue, the triangle in the logo represents the city’s downtown “Golden Triangle.” And, eventually, yellow and black would replace the blue altogether.
Learn more about Gessner’s design and other logos he created.