Hate to say I told you so, but lookie here Â– the Nashville Predators' prospective ownership group doesn't appear to be the saviors they were painted as a couple months back.
Perhaps it's simply a case of a stare-down between competing financial interests, but the stalemate between a local business group and the city of Nashville seems exactly like the Winnipeg-based soap opera that dragged on for months before the Jets eventually left town.
It gives me no pleasure to say this to loyal Tennesseans who've adopted the game into their homes and hearts, but enjoy NHL hockey while you can, folks. It ain't gonna be around much longer.
Â• I'm getting a lot of people from a lot of different NHL markets writing in with captain-related questions of late. Is Jason Smith deserving of the Flyers' Â‘C'? Is Ethan Moreau the right captain for the Oilers? Why won't the Wild stop divvying up the captaincy from month-to-month and assign it on a full-time basis to one player?
Honestly, I think many of you put entirely too much stock in the concept of a designated leader. Yes, a captain helps set the tone for a team's on- and off-ice approach; however, if the team he's captaining is as competitive as a new-age, soft-touch, Montessori school, nothing he does will result in a playoff berth or championship.
To wit: Mark Messier, the man generally regarded as the game's ultimate captain, wore Vancouver's Â‘C' for three years (1997-2000). In that span, the Canucks won just 78 games and never qualified for the post-season. See what I'm getting at?
Â• Had to laugh at an interesting phrase in The Canadian Press story about hockey related tourism and (surprise, surprise) its lack of popularity among outside of Canada. Check this passage out:
"A lot of (Brits) have never seen a hockey game,Â” said Tanya Semos, general manager of Banff Adventures. "They all are fascinated by the idea the players can fight. They love that. They all want to see a fight. You have to kind of re-educate them on that," said Semos, referring to new NHL rules that have cut down on the fistic byplay.
Fistic byplay? I thought that's what Al Pacino's character witnessed at an underground club in Cruising.