The Pittsburgh Penguins were on the verge of being sold to a Hamilton based group who would have moved the team to Hamilton if IOC doesn’t win the license but the Hamilton group has backed out citing there is no way this team will be moving. The other slot license hopefuls Harrahs and Don Barden have agreed to pay 7.5 million a year for 30 yrs if one of them wins and because of that the NHL has said it would have not approved the sale to the Hamilton based group because of their intentions to move the team in IOC doesn’t win. So in the end the Hamilton group backed out and the news can’t be any better for the city of Pittsburgh. Plan B still has few loopholes because some aspects of it are not written in stone but with the city buying the land and the National Hockey League taking charge and saying that Plan B will work and we won’t allow a sale to go through to a group that wants to move the team is great news.
Mario Lemieux and the higher ups in National Hockey League are the hero’s of the likely senario of securing an arena for the Penguins not politicians Ed Rendell, Bob OConnor and Dan Onaroto. Mario has saved the team more than once and since buying the team in 1999 he was promised a new arena. Mario trusted the politicians and obviously was lied to but he never quit. After a couple years Mario could have just given up and sold the team. He never quit and kept the pressure on the the politicians and finally caved. Also give credit to the NHL for stepping up and saying they will not approve a sale to the group from Hamilton. Pittsburgh is one of the NHL’s best markets and they know a move to KC would be bad news for the league. Politicans Onaroto,OConnor and Rendell are not the hero’s. For years they have put giving a new arena to the city on the back burner and had not given us any indication until recently that a new arena is the right thing for the city. They underestimated Penguin fans and because of the pressure from them and other politicians they finally have done the right thing and have 99.9% secured a new arena. The reason I can’t give credit is because there only doing the right now after all these years to save their jobs not the city.
The Hamilton groups bid was the highest at 175 million while the other four bidders offers are in the 150 million range. There is know word on who the new ownership will be but the Murstein’s group is the favorite as of right now – Mark Madden has reported….
The New York Islanders have fired General Manager Neil Smith after one month. Yes one month. Smith produced a Stanley Cup for the New York Rangers in 94 and was a finalist for the Penguins job. If Ray Shero didn’t turn down the Bruins, Smith would have been the pick. This franchise is a laughing stock and guess who they replaced him with: Former Pittsburgh Penguin goalie Garth Snow. party on Garth
Steve Phillips of ESPN is reporting that the Giants and Dodgers are high on closer Mike Gonzalez and it’s very possible he may be traded….Trading Gonzalez would then be filled in by Matt Capps and the potential move of trying Oliver Perez as the teams new closer.