Tuesday morning links: More west coast hockey?
It’s not Kings-related, but it’s Pacific Division-related. One of the more interesting stories to come out over the weekend was this report from FOX Sports Arizona’s Craig Morgan that because of the delays in Greg Jamison’s purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes, another suitor may be emerging in the bid to buy the team – and it is likely Bill Gallacher, who owns the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks. It is still very early in this process, though Morgan reported that Gallacher “could be part of a group in the running to purchase the team on a fast track.”
Lots more, including Kings links, after the jump…
Could Portland be a viable city for an NHL franchise? Amongst American markets, so many fingers have pointed to Seattle as the next city to welcome NHL hockey. But Seattle doesn’t have an NHL-ready arena yet – Key Arena is woefully inadequate for hockey and was built with sightlines specifically for basketball – and construction hasn’t begun yet on the new multipurpose arena, which will be situated south of Safeco Field in the SoDo neighborhood. There are also concerns of sports oversaturation in a city that is the 14th-largest television market in the country but could soon be home to five major professional sports teams (MLB/NFL/NBA/NHL/MLS). Yes, the MLS’s Sounders, who sell out every game and averaged over 43,000 fans per game a season ago and receive daily front page treatment in Seattle media, are by every evaluation a major sports team in the city.
Portland has an NHL-ready arena in the Rose Garden and less competition. It’s the 22nd-largest TV market in the country, directly between St. Louis and Pittsburgh. Gallacher poured money into the Winterhawks franchise since his purchase of the team in 2008, re-establishing the team as a premier WHL franchise and vastly increasing attendance despite some of the most expensive ticket prices in major junior hockey.
The MLS found major success in the Pacific Northwest by placing a trio of expansion teams in Vancouver, Seattle and Portland, and established the “Cascadia Cup” rivalry as part of a marketing coup. It won’t be quite as easy for the NHL to simply “place” teams in Seattle and Portland, and its model isn’t exactly comparable to the MLS model, but it’s not too difficult to envision a success story in which sports fans of the northwest could find a hockey outlet for their own brand of sports rivalries.
What are your thoughts? Would you prefer to see the Coyotes remain in Arizona, or relocate to [__insert city here__]?
Now: actual Los Angeles Kings links!
Niesy at Jewels from the Crown takes a look at Dean Lombardi’s patient evaluation of the team: 41 games left: How long can Lombardi let this play out?
Gann Matsuda of Frozen Royalty identifies what the team will be looking to improve on its current four-game roadtrip: Mental Preparation, Focus Are Keys For LA Kings Heading Into Grammy Road Trip
John Hoven of Mayor’s Manor sat down with Simon Gagne to talk about the mass of soft tissue removed from his neck. Concussion-related symptoms are scary: Simon Gagne dispels cancer talk
Willie Mitchell took the ice at TSC on Monday, and Paul Armbruster of Kings News Daily was there to capture it on video.
Former Kings prospect Jeff Zatkoff beat the Manchester Monarchs over the weekend. Manchester enters play this week on a four-game losing streak, accumulating only four goals over that stretch. (New Hampshire Union Leader)
Luc Robitaille appears on How I Met Your Mother! (CBS Press Express)