Friday, December 17, 2010

Kerrzy’s Notebook: Random Friday Thoughts

Done Deal?

After what feels like years of legal wrangling and potential owner after potential owner trying and failing to buy the team from the NHL, it looks like the Phoenix Coyotes finally have their man.

The Glendale Star reports that Glendale City Council gave a thumbs up to the lease deal for arena put together by Matt Hulsizer, the new answer to the question “Who owns the ‘Yotes?”

So who is Matt Hulsizer?

The 40-year-old Chicago businessman is the CEO of Peak6 Investment and played college hockey for Amherst, wearing the “C” for the Lord Jeffs, which is actually the name of the school’s hockey team.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was at the council vote and gave his support to the decision – the Star quotes him as saying “we believe hockey in Arizona can and will work.” Yes, they rank dead last in attendance, they haven’t been out of the bottom three in that category since the 2006-07 season (when they were in 24th place) and the team is hemorrhaging money, but hockey will work!

KSWT News reports local watchdog The Goldwater Institute may sue to block the lease agreement, which has the city of Glendale forking out over $200-million to Hulsizer. The city’s attorney says he is confident that the deal will withstand a challenge from the courts though.

Good on Hulsizer for getting over the hurdle that has stopped every other potential owner in their tracks, but I am still not sold on hockey working in that market. You’d think that with everything that has happened in the past year or so with the Coyotes, they’d be able to fill their building once in a while. Even when the team is good, they rank last in the league in attendance! The Edmonton Oilers were dead last in the NHL last season and still managed to sell out the entire year!

Speaking of the Phoenix Coyotes, did you hear about their backup goalie on Thursday night in New York against the Rangers?

With Ilya Bryzgalov out with the flu, 26-year-old Tom Fenton got the call. Don’t worry; I didn’t know who he was either! He works in the community relations department at Manhattanville College in nearby Purchase, New York, and got the call during the day while he was getting his haircut.

Thankfully for him, he was able to just watch from the bench because Jason LaBarbera went the distance. What a thrill that would be! At the same time, I don’t think you could really enjoy yourself until it was all over!

Boudreau’s Bad Language

The HBO series “24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the Winter Classic” debuted on Wednesday night, a profile of the two teams in the lead up to the big game on January 1st at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

The Pens are on a roll, the Caps are in a huge slump, but the star of the show so far has easily been Washington coach Bruce Boudreau!

Dan Steinberg’s DC Sports Bog had an unofficial tally of 70 varieties of the F-word thrown down by Boudreau, along with about nine other “bad” words in speeches to his team or timeout tirades. Here’s a censored example, transcribed by [bleeping] Steinberg:

“So [bleep’s] not going right. It’s not [bleeping] working the last 10 days. [Bleeping] get your heads out of your [bleep] and [bleeping] make it work by outworking the opposition. You killed two [bleeping] men and then we stand around and watch it while they [bleeping] score here!”

The language used by the coach is so bad, in fact, that his mom gave him a call on Thursday after seeing a clip of one of his speeches on TV. The same thing happened to NY Jets coach Rex Ryan this summer after his mother saw how he spoke to his team on HBO’s Hard Knocks!

Another guy whose mouth is getting him in trouble this week is FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

When asked if fans might run into any cultural problems when they travel to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup, Blatter said that gay soccer fans should “refrain from any sexual activities,” if they travel to that country, smiling as he delivered his answer.

I think Blatter had good intentions because homosexual behavior is apparently illegal in Qatar, but the comments have gay rights groups demanding an apology nonetheless!

The European branch of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, or ILGBTIA I suppose, are really taking offence to what Blatter had to say. The group says instead of standing up to a country that is violating what they see as the basic human rights of its people, FIFA is practically encouraging the behavior.

What do you think: Should countries with laws that discriminate against certain groups be taken out of the running for massive events like the World Cup?

Is TCF Stadium TFC?

This week’s NFL Monday night tilt pits the no-playoffs Minnesota Vikings against the NFC-North leading Chicago Bears, and the most interesting thing about the game might be where it’s played!

Minnesota played in Detroit last Monday because the roof of their stadium collapsed over the weekend and with the Metrodome not quite ready to go yet, they decided to shovel all the snow out of the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium this week to get it ready for Monday.

The problem is the players say it’s Too Flippin’ Cold!

The Minnesota Star-Tribune says the lack of a heating system for the turf means the field will likely freeze during the game, making things a little bit dangerous for the players. Another problem is that the players haven’t been asked for any input, which may lead to a grievance being filed!

Wouldn’t it be funny if the Vikings had to play back-to-back home games away from home?

Speaking of funny – check out this piece from The Wall Street Journal on all of the shows ESPN will have to cancel once Vikings QB Brett Favre retires for good!

A Long Time Coming…

If you missed it this week, Detroit Red Wings rookie defenseman Nick Lidstrom scored his first career hat trick on Wednesday night.

Well, he’s not quite a rookie – the 19-year vet has played in 1,442 career games and won six Norris Trophies as the league’s top d-man, but his three goals (and four points) on Wednesday marked the first time he has been showered with hats in his long, productive career. points out that the captain had 19 two-goal games before finally getting that elusive third goal!

Other stuff…

FIFA says it will consider moving the controversial 2022 World Cup to the winter because of the scorching hot temperatures in Qatar during the summer…

Fort Chipewyan, only accessible on the ground via a 100-mile ice road in the winter, gets a synthetic hockey rink

When you’re Wayne Gretzky, you can even up the value of a bathroom wall with the stroke of a sharpie…

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