NHL Rumors IV: Vegas, Sabres, Senators, Canucks, Sharks and Penguins

  • Craig Custance of ESPN: (mailbag) Las Vegas has already started building a 20,000 seat area on the Vegas strip by MGM and AEG.

    “I haven’t been there to look at the arena,” Bettman said during a conversation last week. “I was in Vegas for a 60th birthday weekend for one of my college buddies, with four or five couples. I don’t know if that was before or after the last awards to be perfectly accurate. I have not been there on business other than the awards.”

    Bettman did say that there are interested groups in Vegas, and the same can be said for other cities as well. The NHL has not started any expansion processes. There are more risks in a Vegas market when compared to Seattle.

    The Sabres own three second round picks and are looking to add another first round pick. Some teams have a draft pick value chart when trading draft picks. Trading roster players to get back into the first round may be a more likley scenario. The Sabres will get calls on Christian Ehrhoff, but a team may have to pay big as he a good cap number of $4 million and because of the cap recapture penalty if he retires early.

    The Senators could be looking to trade Jason Spezza at the draft.

    Will the Canucks go into the full rebuild? If they do, Ryan Kesler and Alex Edler could be available.

    The Sharks could be looking at a shake-up after another disappointing playoff.

    If the Penguins re-sign Matt Niskanen and bring in some bottom six depth, it could put them in a good place.

  • Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News: Sharks GM Doug Wilson:

    “I want players that want to play here,” Sharks general manager Doug Wilson told me, “not just live here.”

    Kawakami thinks it was directed towards Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and a few other established players who might not be in Wilson future plans. Both Thornton and Marleau have no-trade clauses. If back, Kawakami doesn’t think Thornton would be the captain.

  • Hope Smoke: Darren Dreger: “When organizations get to point where they’re asking players to give up the C, is there a bigger character assassination than that?” … “Maybe right at the end of a career when it’s the passing of the torch. Thornton is inching towards that place but not there yet” … “If they’re trying to push Thornton out then this type of speculation [rumours about stripping him of the C] might encourage that”


  1. ChrisB

    06/02/2014 at 4:20 pm

    Understandable that the Sabres will be getting calls for Erhoff, but even without the recapture penalty, I don’t think they should be in a rush to trade him just yet. He’d be a great mentor for guys like Risto and Zadorov, who are coming up. Myers seems to be finally coming into his own, but could still probably use some tutelage.

    If the Sabres are indeed willing to part ways with Erhoff, retaining salary(if they’re willing to take on dead cap space for X number of years) would not just help maximize his value, but would reduce any potential recapture penalty.

  2. Ryan

    06/02/2014 at 6:10 pm

    I’m curious what are the “…more risks…” in regards to Las Vegas compared to Seattle? I would think the opposite.

  3. ChrisB

    06/02/2014 at 8:56 pm

    Two that I can think of…….sports betting(not just NHL, but probably why no major professional sport has opened up shop in Vegas) and the casinos will more than likely win any competition for people’s spending dollars.

  4. ChrisB

    06/02/2014 at 9:30 pm

    Vegas is basically is in the same boat as Phoenix, f not worse off. Not just because of the two I mentioned, but Phoenix is much more of a media market. Which is a pretty big factor(Seattle is just behind Phoenix). Both are not traditional hockey markets, so a committed owner with deep pockets is pretty much needed. That goes with really any team, but more so for an expansion team. Which Phoenix was not, and they’re still not out of the woods, almost 20 years afterafter relocating from Winnipeg.

  5. Ryan

    06/06/2014 at 7:08 pm

    Sports betting is a non-issue. That’s up to the regulations of the NGCB which is in a symbiotic relationship of the casinos who are the most interested in building, owning, and operating the arenas in Las Vegas.
    The market is a HUGE exception, not the rule to Atlanta, Phoenix, even Seattle, Nashville, and all other smaller markets. Investors aren’t banking on the local community (which is a sizable 2 mil), they’re banking on the tourists, geographic location, and time-zone.
    A) Tourists – The numbers are available on LasVegasTourismBoard. The amount of revenue, # of people, and the regions by which air and car traffic comes into Las Vegas daily is astounding. If you’re from NY and you’re in Vegas why wouldn’t you catch a Rangers game or ANY game for that matter? S. Cal makes up 35% of weekend traffic. Frozen Fury (LA vs Col @ MGM) Sells out nearly every year. You think those chuckleheads aren’t going to make every excuse to come out to Vegas for a party weekend and catch a game?
    B) Location – LA, Anaheim, even Phoenix(if they survive) San Jose, Colorado, & Dallas are all an 1.5 hr or less plane ride. Seattle has Vancouver…that’s about it. The only benefit is to accommodate Vancouver.
    C) Time-zone. PDT – The one thing AZ does have right is their stubbornness to not conform to DST. However, not practical to in sports and for viewing schedules.

    I’m just sayin’ everyone bags on LV, but the fact is there is way more upside to LV than Seattle hands down but no one see’s past their stereotypes to think of the actual business, strategic, and sport advantages. They just view it as something in the desert and therefore not deserving.

  6. Ryan

    06/06/2014 at 7:12 pm

    Oh also, Las Vegas is the hotbed of MMA/UFC, and boxing. Every major match happens here. You think those events happen without betting?