SBD/June 23, 2014/Franchises

Franchise Notes

NHL Kings GM Dean Lombardi said that he "wanted to take the team and the Stanley Cup to visit the prime minister of Canada in Ottawa." Lombardi: "Why not?" He also pointed out that "many Kings players were born in Canada." In L.A., Lisa Dillman noted Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper is "more than an avid hockey fan, having written a book" on the history of the game. In addition, "two proud Canadians," Kings C Jeff Carter and D Drew Doughty, can "bring along their Olympic gold medals from Sochi" (LATIMES.com, 6/20). Meanwhile, the L.A. TIMES' Dillman notes the Clippers have "shifted a preseason game so the Kings could open their season and raise their championship banner Oct. 8 at Staples Center" against the Sharks. Seven of the Kings' first eight games will be at home (L.A. TIMES, 6/23).

THE CONTINUING STORY OF BUFFALO BILLS: The AP's John Wawrow reported Sabres Owners Terry and Kim Pegula "have a strong desire to see the Bills stay in Buffalo, and aren't ruling out making a bid to buy the NFL franchise." The Pegulas in a statement "declined to go into further detail of their intentions." The statement was "released in response to numerous reports of the Pegulas having serious interest in purchasing the Bills" (AP, 6/20).

WHO SAYS YOU CAN'T GO HOME? In Jacksonville, Ryan O'Halloran noted Jaguars QB Blake Bortles on Friday night represented the team on its "second caravan stop" in his hometown of Oviedo, Fla. An estimated crowd of 1,200 fans "began showing up five hours before the players and wearing all kinds of Bortles-related gear." Oviedo Mayor Dominic Persampiere said the municipality was previously "a mixture of the state’s three teams, but it’s definitely Jaguars turf now" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 6/21).

NO QUICK FIX: In Chicago, Paul Sullivan wrote the Twins are "another example of what happens when teams sell the concept of a new ballpark as a cure-all to their losing ways." Attendance at Target Field "has gone down steadily every year since its inaugural season" in '10, and the Twins began their weekend homestand against the White Sox "averaging about 3,000 fewer fans per game than at this time" in '13. Sullivan: "The notion of a modernized facility leading to World Series rings is a fallacy, as teams have proved time and time again. The only way to win consistently is through smart front-office decisions and talented players living up to their promise" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/22).
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