SBD/June 7, 2012/Franchises

Franchise Notes

The NHL Kings are currently leading the Stanley Cup Final 3-1 and ESPN L.A.’s Ramona Shelburne wrote AEG President & CEO Tim Leiweke, whose company owns the Kings, this week has been "practically bursting at the seams.” Kings President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille said, “This is his baby. And he’s always treating us like we’re his baby.” The Kings have “always held a special place in Leiweke's heart because they were the first team he ran” in L.A. Long before he “helped get the Staples Center built or ever dreamed of luring [MLS Galaxy MF] David Beckham to L.A., Leiweke was a hockey nut.” Kings Senior Pro Scout Rob Laird said, “We had good support from our ownership in terms of being able to have some patience on developing young players and then the financial commitment to go out and sign key free agents" (ESPNLA.com, 6/6).

FRUGAL OR CHEAP? In DC, Mike Wise wrote Capitals and Wizards Owner Ted Leonsis is “frugal, almost conservative.” In his first two seasons as Wizards owner, the team’s payroll “has been 21st in the NBA.” His “perceived summer of change” has instead become his spring of “Eh, just sign him for another year.” Wise wrote, “Staying the course, something Leonsis does well, seems sensible.” But it also “obscures one other aspect of the methodical approach: It’s a lot cheaper." At some point when the conservative approach “doesn’t result in championship runs, what was once praised as frugality and patience starts to become scrutinized as cheapness and complacence” (WASHINGTON POST, 6/6).

BEHAVING BADLY: ESPN.com’s Jemele Hill wrote instead of “being giddy” about how Jaguars first-round draft pick Justin Blackmon “can bolster the Jags' anemic offense -- which ranked last in the NFL last season -- the team now has to worry about whether money will improve Blackmon's decision-making or make it worse.” Blackmon, who pleaded not guilty to a DUI charge Monday, was “thought to be in line" for a contract in the $20M range. But he has now “brought bad press to a city and franchise that simply can’t afford the negative attention.” Blackmon “bears the ultimate responsibility for changing his behavior.” The Jaguars “just need to make sure he’s properly motivated” (ESPN.com, 6/5).

GOLDEN TICKET: In Nashville, Alex Cate writes a new 5K race in the city “will include a ticket” to a Titans football game for the runners. Mayor Karl Dean, the Titans and the Competitor Group announced “the Back to Football 5K, which will begin and end at LP Field on Aug. 25.” The registration fee is $55 and "each runner will receive a ticket to one of three games -- Indianapolis Oct. 28, Houston on Dec. 2 or Jacksonville Dec. 30.” Runners can “indicate their preference when they sign up” (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 6/7).
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