SBD/May 9, 2011/Franchises

NHL Franchise Notes: Bruins Turning Boston Back Into A Hockey Town

Bruins advanced to Conference Finals for first time since '92
In Boston, Steve Buckley wrote with the Bruins sweeping the Flyers to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, the "entire regional sports populace should applaud the Bruins ... for turning Boston back into a Hockey Town." The Bruins have not appeared in the Conference Finals since '92, and Buckley wrote, "Considering there was a time, not long ago, when the Bruins were below the Somerville High girls basketball team in the popularity rankings of local sports teams, it’s hard to not get excited over the specter of hockey remaining on the docket all the way into deep May. Or June" (BOSTON HERALD, 5/7).

SPEAK YOUR MIND: Also in Boston, Kevin Paul Dupont noted Capitals Owner Ted Leonsis "decided to tickle his computer keyboard immediately after his club’s wipeout Wednesday night at the hands of the Lightning." Leonsis wrote on his blog, "The wheels fell off for us. No doubt about that." Leonsis "went on to offer an apology to Capitals fans." Dupont wrote, "Quite refreshing. ... There are times when an apology, or at least a substantive explanation, needs to be heard by the paying customers. Especially so in a town that has been waiting 40 years for a Stanley Cup parade, and especially so in a town that knows good hockey from bad hockey" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/8).

WHO'S ON OUR SIDE? In Columbus, Doug Caruso notes two years after the Blue Jackets "floated the idea of a public purchase of Nationwide Arena, no one has agreed on a way to help the hockey team stem its financial losses." Key city and county officials "haven't met about the issue since October, despite initial suggestions that a solution was urgently needed." The Blue Jackets in May '09 announced that they had lost about $80M over the past seven years, "mostly because of its lease deal with the arena owners." The team last year said that its "deficit runs about $12 million per year" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 5/9).

GREEN WITH ENVY: In Vancouver, Ian Walker noted since the NHL received a complaint about the Green Men, the two Canucks fans "have become media darlings, taking their act on the road" last week for the two Canucks-Predators playoff games at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. The CBC, ESPN's "E:60," "PTI" and "Jim Rome Is Burning," and "newspapers from coast to coast have all featured the duo's plight." Walker: "While we may never know the reasoning behind the NHL's change of heart, chalk one up for the green guys. For despite the league's best efforts to curtail their fan-friendly antics, it seems Sully and Force are still getting the last laugh" (VANCOUVER SUN, 5/7).
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