NHL Franchise Notes: LaFontaine Speaks, But Won't Discuss Details Of Sabres Exit
In Buffalo, Bucky Gleason notes former Sabres President of Hockey Operations Pat LaFontaine yesterday "finally broke his silence," but he "refused to elaborate about the events leading to his unexpected departure." LaFontaine "would not say whether there were problems within the front office or provide any other insight or details concerning his abrupt exit," and he "wouldn't even acknowledge whether a confidentiality agreement existed." He confirmed that he "would return to his post with the NHL" (BUFFALO NEWS, 3/10).
BC HEADACHE? The GLOBE & MAIL's Gary Mason wrote the Canucks are "in free-fall and about to begin, it would seem, another dark chapter in the team’s checkered history." Canucks co-Owner & Chair Francesco Aquilini "must be beside himself," as he and his family "have poured millions into the team in an effort to make it a model NHL franchise." He has funded "everything from dressing room makeovers to sleep doctors in a bid to give his team an edge over the competition." The team's fans are "in full panic mode, and this is not good news for the ownership" (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/8).
A MILE A MINUTE: In Denver, Adrian Dater reports odds are "strong that the Avalanche will play an outdoor game at Coors Field next season." Rockies Owner, Chair & CEO Dick Monfort said that the MLB team has "been in discussion with the Avs and NHL about it." MillerCoors Dir of Sports & Entertainment Marketing Adam Dettman has publicly stated the company's "desire to host a game in Denver." Coors Light is the title sponsor of the NHL Stadium Series (DENVER POST, 3/10).
DALLAS BUYERS CLUB: The Stars on Saturday retired Mike Modano's No. 9 jersey, and NHL Network's Neil Smith noted Modano following the team's move from Minnesota in '93 "really created interest in hockey down there through his great play." Smith said, "If you look at the numbers, this is what Dallas needed to create a hockey market. They needed a superstar. They had it in Mike Modano, a great spokesman for the team and a good-looking guy that did a lot of different things in the Dallas market” (“NHL on the Fly,” NHL Network, 3/8).