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SBD/June 24, 2013/Franchises
NHL Franchise Notes: Canucks "Gambling" With Hiring Of John Tortorella
Published June 24, 2013
LOW-RISK MOVE: In New Jersey, Tara Sullivan wrote Rangers’ management has "for too long made it too easy to make them a punch line, down to the actual curtain owner James Dolan passed in and out of to deliver a short opening statement of welcome" to new coach Alain Vigneault. But this time around, the Rangers’ "brain trust took the smart turn toward experience and enlightenment." Hockey HOFer Mark Messier "would have won his news conference, but with a team built to win now ... the risk was too high." Vigneault "had the résumé to win this head-to-head matchup" (Bergen RECORD, 6/22).
CITY OF GOODWILL: In Seattle, Geoff Baker writes the NHL has a "Plan B" for the Coyotes which involves "uprooting by September to a Seattle market with foggy ownership, no firm arena deal and questionable hockey demand." Quebec City is the "more plausible threat, given its new arena being built, solid temporary facility, local ownership and rabid fans." But the league would "rather expand there later and charge hundreds of millions in fees." That leaves "little else but Seattle to throw in Glendale’s face." Baker: "Even if no one calls the NHL’s bluff, it’s worth examining why we suddenly became leverage for a second sports league in two months" (SEATTLE TIMES, 6/24).