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Reinsdorf's Group Submits
$148M Offer For Coyotes
GREAT ONE TAKING A HIT: The GLOBE & MAIL's Allan Maki wrote Coyotes Managing Partner and coach Wayne Gretzky is "being rubbed face-first against the glass; his character and allegiances called into question by those who want a seventh NHL franchise in Canada and believe it is the Great One's obligation to make it so." Gretzky, "whether he cares to admit it," is "involved in the Phoenix situation and his opinion can sway others." If Gretzky "were to tell ... Bettman, 'Hey, I love Phoenix but this team needs to go,' then rest assured the league would be moving heaven and ice to find the Coyotes a new locale." But instead the NHL is "fighting to stay in Arizona while Mr. Gretzky is content to avoid the issue by saying how much he would like to see an NHL team in both Phoenix and Hamilton" (GLOBE & MAIL, 6/27).
Writer Questions Coyotes'
Chances Of Survival In Phoenix
SALARY DUMP: In Vancouver, Tony Gallagher noted the Flames Saturday acquired the negotiating rights to D Jay Bouwmeester from the Panthers for a "player they weren't going to re-sign in [D] Jordan Leopold and a third-round pick." But in order to "clear the cap space to have even a ... chance to sign Bouwmeester, they first off-loaded the $2.3[M] cap hit" of D Jim Vandermeer to the Coyotes for F Brandon Prust, who makes $500,000. Gallagher: "There you have it in a nutshell. A league run for the benefit of losers to the detriment of the teams that have a decent hockey market and know how to run their businesses properly. It's a league where the fans in the best markets get screwed" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 6/28).
Postolos Showing Interest
In Acquiring Bobcats
THE JORDAN RULES: FanHouse.com's Kevin Blackistone said of Jordan possibly owning the Bobcats, "This is perfect for him and this is a good place to do it." Blackistone: "This is a franchise that’s been beat up, been beat up so much that it’s very cheap, valued at $284(M) right now which is less than what Bob Johnson actually bought it for.” Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw: “He’d be a great owner as long as his first order of business is to hire a GM and realize he’s not going to go spend the 80 hours a week working the phones and doing the things that the modern GM does" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 6/26). ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said Jordan should own the team because “he hasn’t shown he can run the team" ("PTI," ESPN, 6/26).
STAYING ON: In N.Y., Julian Garcia reported Nets Sports & Entertainment President & CEO Brett Yormark, while "not ruling out the possibility of a sale" of the team, said that interest in buying a stake in the team has "increased only because of the team's impending move to Brooklyn and not because" Nets Owner Bruce Ratner is looking to sell. Yormark: "The current ownership group remains committed to the Nets and to Brooklyn and the Barclays Center" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/27).
Rubio Entertaining Offers To Play In
Turkey Or Spain Instead Of Minnesota
WRONG PLACE, WRONG TIME: Rubio said of not working out or interviewing with the T'Wolves ahead of the NBA Draft, "The NBA is attractive, but if you don't want to be on a team at this time, well, you can wait. Right now, the work is that of the agent." Kahn said that he is "prepared for a 'turbulent' summer if the matter comes to that and promised to remain patient." In Minneapolis, Jerry Zgoda noted the T'Wolves "maintain Rubio's NBA rights as long as he's playing professionally elsewhere." Kahn: "If there's a team out there that can wait, it's us. If it means we have to wait a year, we wait a year. If we had to wait, God forbid, two years, he'd be 20 when he got here." Zgoda wrote the team "might be able to wait on the court," but off the court the T'Wolves "lost nearly $20[M] last season, can't sell many upper-level tickets for $5 and possess minority owners concerned and hurting from the economic downturn." Rubio's presence next season "won't fill Target Center, but it will grow buzz about the team" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 6/27). In St. Paul, Don Seeholzer wondered if T'Wolves fans are "ready to wait a year or two" for Rubio. Kahn: "I hope people understand that it's not just about one person here. In order to be a championship-contending team, we're going to have to have seven or eight guys" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 6/27).
GLOBAL STAR POWER: TRUEHOOP's Henry Abbott cited sources as saying that Rubio's buyout from Joventut is "something of a red herring." Joventut "does not sell a ton of tickets, does not have much of a fan base, and does not make a lot of money." But Rubio "has global star power," and that "sets up a dynamic where everyone involved ... is better off financially if Rubio comes to the NBA where he can realize his star value on and off the court." If Rubio can get other parties to "pay some or all of his buyout, there are plenty of people willing to float him a loan for the difference" (ESPN.com, 6/26).
DID PRIVATE MEETING TAKE PLACE? In St. Paul, Charley Walters cited a source as saying that Rubio and his father "were to fly to Minneapolis on Saturday to quietly meet" with Kahn. Rubio and his father planned to "sneak into Minneapolis on Saturday, and not on Friday when the Wolves' other top draft picks ... were publicly introduced" because they "didn't want the attention with the contract issue unresolved." The T'Wolves "don't plan to exert any pressure on Rubio," but they will "do what they can to accommodate the flashy point guard from Spain without interfering with his current contract status" with Joventut (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 6/28).
Islanders See Ticket Sales Boost
Following Selection Of Tavares
Patience Required: NEWSDAY wrote, “Don’t expect to see John Tavares’ face on a billboard overlooking the LIE just yet.” Islanders Owner Charles Wang is “taking the low-key approach with his new No. 1 pick.” Wang: “This is no Jesus-savior kind of thing. This ain’t like getting LeBron James, as good as (Tavares) is” (NEWSDAY, 6/27). On Long Island, Anders Lee wrote Tavares “knows the ropes in terms of fulfilling his responsibilities as the new face of a franchise.” Tavares said the “main thing is you’ve got to win. That’s the biggest thing to attract attention is to bring a winning product on the ice, and obviously, that’s the first step in getting a club that can compete for a playoff spot and make the playoffs” (NEWSDAY.com, 6/27).
STAR POWER: On Long Island, Arthur Staple noted the Islanders are “desperate for a star of some kind,” and they will “market the heck out of Tavares.” They “will do that because they have to, because there’s nothing else to keep the fans coming into the building” (NEWSDAY, 6/27). Staple today writes the Islanders “won the NHL draft … there’s no questioning that,” but they “won’t be doing much more winning through the 2009-10 season” (NEWSDAY, 6/29). On Long Island, Greg Logan wrote Tavares “brings his own star with him to a team that is desperate for the boost at the box office” (NEWSDAY, 6/27). Tavares threw out the first pitch before yesterday’s Yankees-Mets game at Citi Field (NEWSDAY.com, 6/28).
Sounders Expecting To Sell Out
Every Game Of Inaugural Season
BLUEPRINT FOR SUCCESS: The AP’s Tim Booth wrote the “overwhelming success of the first-year Sounders is providing an example for future MLS teams to follow.” Seattle is “easily on pace to shatter the previous attendance mark,” set by the Galaxy in the league’s first season. Univ. of Oregon Warsaw Sports Marketing Center Managing Dir Paul Swangard: "One of the current examples that we can show of the best practices of starting a team from scratch would have the Sounders all over it. … It’s across the four P’s of marketing: product, price, place and promotion. All the facets of what we would say is sports marketing 101 they’ve accounted for and are doing well.” Hanauer said, “What maybe has surprised me is that it’s become so mainstream, so prevalent, all the way through the community, through every type of sports fan so quickly” (AP, 6/27).
INT'L RELATIONS: In Seattle, Art Thiel noted a “small percentage” of fans yesterday "showed up early to take advantage of the Sounders’ late offer to put the first half" of the Brazil-U.S. Confederations Cup Final on the Qwest Stadium screens. When the Sounders game started, the Cup final “was blacked out,” but “not a peep of protest was heard.” Thiel: “These were the Sounders, damn it, and the rest of the world for the next two hours could fight for second place in the attention sweepstakes.” However, the MLS practice of releasing top players in midseason to play for national teams in international competitions such as the Confederations Cup could “chip away at the league’s credibility.” Sounders G Kasey Keller: “These MLS fans pay good money to see their top players, who now are off with their national teams. You gotta have your stars on the field” (SEATTLEPI.com, 6/28).
Pirates President Points To Attendance As One
Reason For Payroll Disparity With Similar Teams
Wilson Prefers To Wait Couple Of Years
Before Reworking Deal For Toronto Series