Monday, September 29, 2008

The Homecoming King

The Senators have arrived in Sweden and host Daniel Alfredsson can't wait to show off his hometown to his team mates.

Alfredsson and the Sens arrived in Goteborg, all part of their preparation for Saturday's game with the Pittsburgh Penguins, though for Alfredsson the preparations go far beyond the first hockey game of the season to come on Saturday.

Being a hometown hockey hero is going to take a fair amount of what little spare time the Sens captain will have, with media requests, old friends to visit with and functions put on by his old hockey team the Frolunda Indians.

The first item on his busy agenda will be a honorary pillar in his name dedicated at the Goteborg Scandinavium, from there the Sens will play an exhibition game on Thursday against his old squad, all part of the tune up for Saturday's main event in Stockholm with the Penguins to open the season, followed up by a second match on Sunday.

The long distance bonding between the Sens and Goteborg will take place as the Captain plays a walking wikipedia, showing the them the sights of the city and introduces them to the cuisine and beverages available there we're sure.

One thing is certain, the captain is going to be a very happy fellow coming out of training camp, perhaps setting the tone for a successful season that leads Ottawa fans back to the Stanley Cup finals and another celebration at the end of the year for the Sens captain to take part in.

Any second thoughts today in Chicago?

The Chicago Black Hawks put Nicholas Khabibulin on waivers today, a move that we suspect is probably is designed to free up some salary cap space for the Hawks, who then might address some of their more pressing shortcomings.

When the Hawks picked up Cristobal Huet in the spring last year, many figured that Khabibulin was on his way out of town at that point, and in fact there was some talk that he was Ottawa bound just in time for last season's playoffs. However, some unfortunate timing in the injury department took him off the trading block at a most inopportune time, leaving the talk of a potential move to work through the off season, picking up some currency once Huet signed on the dotted line.

Now two weeks into training camp, the Hawks it seems are looking to see if anyone wants to kick some tires, and pick up the Bulin wall in the last year of his 27 million dollar four year contract.

While the would be buyers check out the mileage and wear and tear on the chasis, the heavy lifting will most likely be moved over to the shoulders of Huet, who received a crash course in NHL travel arrangements upon his departure from the Candiens and then after his thirteen game session with the Capitals over the off season. Huet signed his own four year deal in July, set to collect 22 million over the term of his time with the Hawks.

While the Hawks are notorious for wanting to save money, perhaps they might be wondering if perhaps they should keep Khabibulin around for a while, especially if Monday night in Columbus was any indication of what's to come.

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's Hockey Night in Hong Kong and beyond

"A dynamic sport with relatively simple rules."--Thomas Kressner, chief executive officer of Hong Kong based Yes TV, explains his networks latest programming acquisition...

The NHL's global footprint is about to get an Asian influence, as the NHL signs a distribution agreement with the Hong Kong based YES TV organization.

YES TV plans on carrying at least 130 regular season games, playoff matches, Stanley Cup finals and the All Star game. Providing Asian nations with a fairly reliable diet of the game that has started to find some success in northern Chinese cities.

While some areas of Asia may find the sport a tad baffling in the early going its hoped that NHL hockey will make for a nice diversion for Asian Television viewers.

The Globe and Mail had some details on the plans and how the league hopes it expands the potential for international attention for the North American version of the game.

Manitoba makes its case, again...

While the house wasn't full, though it was close (and after all it was Phoenix and it was but barely an exhibition scrimmage..) the spirit and the pain of the return of the team formerly known as the Jets has once again opened up that still raw wound of a love affair snatched off for southern climes.

The score of last nights Jets, ooops Coyotes/Flames game was an incidental byline for Winnipeg's sports fans today (3-1 for the Flames for those keeping track), instead the talk was mostly about what they have to do to get the attention of the NHL's power brokers and provide for a rightful return to the NHL fold.

The case has been outlined why Winnipeg wouldn't support an NHL team, boiling down it seems to corporate support, the fact that over 15,000 hockey fans on most nights would head for the MTS centre somehow isn't enough for a league that regularly has problems finding over 12,000 in many of their southern outposts.

It's no wonder Manitobans get frustrated when even the usually sure footed Wayne Gretzky starts to echo the Bettman agenda, Gretzky's Coyotes haven't exactly been setting attendance records over the years and as far as importance in the Phoenix Sports hierarchy, one suspects that the Desert Dogs are far behind their NFL, MLB and NBA cousins.

Gretzky who must have been feeling a bit of heat during his return to the Peg, wondered aloud just what it was that he said that was so different from past pronouncements about market size and corporate support.

For Winnipeg hockey fans though it's a dream that won't be extinguished any time soon, websites pop up dedicated to bringing the Jets back or rebutting the NHL version of the urban myth when it comes to Winnipeg's capabilities as an NHL franchise.

Considering the fragile state of the US economy these days, one might be wondering why the NHL would not at least be more receptive to interest from the Winnipeg's, Hamilton's and Quebec City's.

When the family income takes the kind of hits that American families have already taken and soon could feel even more, the disposable income is the first thing that gets re-allocated, the NHL could be feeling more of that pain than most sports franchises and then, finding a home like Winnipeg where hockey would be king and the reception warm as opposed to ice cold might make for a handy parachute...

For now they'll just keep talking it out in Winnipeg, a growth industry in a town that won't forget and waits for its next opportunity to get back into the game.

Fourteen months of Habulation

They usually do things up right in Montreal and when you get an occasion such as the 100th anniversary of one of Canada's most storied sports franchises, well you just know they're going to pull out all the stops.

The Montreal Canadiens will celebrate their 100th year on December 4, 2009 when the franchise observes the date that Les Habitants first took to the ice in Montreal.

Between then and today however will bring an amazing list of events and commemorations that should keep Montrealers and Canadiens fans worldwide occupied for much of those fourteen months.

The Canadiens previewed some of their plans on Wednesday night with a special presentation, showcasing the newest toy for visitors to the Bell Centre, a 510-square-foot, 7 million dollar High Definition viewing screen in the arena. A guys rec room dream come true we assume, complete with the latest in bells and whistles to make the in the rink experience that much more enjoyable.

When they weren't locked onto the visual wonder of the new screen, invited guests learned of the many surprises planned through the next fourteen months as the rouge, blanc et bleu receive their tributes.

Among some of the intriguing ideas that are set to be launched are a special stamp from Canada Post recognizing the Canadiens achievements, commemorative coin sets and a special issue by the Mint of some 10 million loonies bearing the teams logo.

Books and DVD's on the history of one of Canada's greatest success stories, a Montreal Canadiens edition of Monopoly, a Symphony Performance, an all star game, amateur draft and the retirement of Patrick Roy's jersey.

There will be Habs Hall of Fame, a 500,000 dollar outdoor rink for the community and a selection of historic jerseys worn on eight separate occasions, marking the many eras of Montreal hockey.

There are so many plans in the works, one wonders if the team will find the time to practice and play in the actual games this season, as they mark the centennial year for most discussed part of Quebec history.

The Montreal Gazette provided some background for us on the plans for the long running celebration, a moment of history that Montrealers will be fully involved with as the next fourteen months progress.

The only thing that could possibly top all of the excitement would be a Stanley Cup parade down St. Catherine Street come June, and while the team we're sure works on their end of the bargain, the Habs management are probably developing plans just in case, it would certainly make for a storybook finish to a celebration that many have been looking forward to.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Can Winnipeg find comfort from Keenan?

It's a complicated thing for Winnipeg hockey fans, you can cheer on the exploits of the jersey's that replaced the ones that used to skate in your town, or you can start up the Go Flames Go chant, something never heard before in a Winnipeg arena.

It's almost hockey night in Winnipeg, as the NHL taunts Manitobans with a smell of the game they once held as their own.

The annual exhibition trek through the Canadian west is underway with the Flames and the Coyotes meeting up on Wednesday night at the MTS Centre.

It will be a night which offers up any number of conflicting emotions for the former Jets fans, the Coyotes still have an attachment to Winnipeg from the roots of the franchise, while the Flames were always one of the top rivals and enemies from those heated days of Hawerchuck, Barnes and Carlyle et al.
A Flames/Jets game was one part hockey game and one part street fight at times, as emotions frequently would boil over after seemingly minor incidents. Calgary forever claimed their fame as enemy number one when a Jamie Macoun cross check sent Dale Hawerchuk to the sidelines for the remainder of the 84/85 playoffs.

So to try and figure out where Winnipeg should put its attachment on this game is the thing for Lucy Van Pelt or at least Doctor Phil.

As is always the case whenever the NHL brings their pre season workouts to Winnipeg, talk quickly moves towards the prospect of Winnipeg one day getting a team of their own again, a constant wish since the day that the Jets last held their sticks in the air on the way off the then Winnipeg Arena ice and rambled off to the Arizona desert.
While they work on their tans under the Arizona sun, they have made occassional returns to the land of ice and windchill factors, having returned three times since their move in 1996, bringing training camp skateathons back to the prairies for occasional visits.

Since that infamous day of departure, the topic of Winnipeg as returning to the fold comes up and seemingly gets pushed back to the bottom of Gary Bettman's inbox every time. The city pops up every time an NHL franchise (normally in a southern climate zone) takes on a bit of water, but the NHL pull out the pumps, prop up the troubled team and then cobbles together some kind of thank you for Winnipeg, saluting their interest but advising that there won't be any relocations at this time.

Many in Winnipeg however feel they're ready once again, but so far there's not many outside of the province jumping to their side to try and bring them back. For what it's worth for Winnipeg fans however, one of the two head coaches in Wednesday's game is on your side.

While Wayne Gretzky recently ruminated about expansion and gave his nod towards Hamilton, suggesting that Western Canada probably can't support anymore, Iron Mike is of a different opinion.

While he admitted he was not knowledgeable enough about financial matters to offer an opinion on the financial capabilities of Winnipeg, Keenan did explain that he was more than aware of the emotional attachment that the province has for the game and he would "love to see a team in Winnipeg".

Now as hard as this is going to be for Winnipeg fans, the chant for Wednesday night is Go Flames Go....

You have to dance with the one who wants you!

Stevie Y, wonders where!

“I guess I would just say that I’ve got certain things that I want to accomplish in hockey, and that opportunity may or may not be here in Detroit,” -- Red Wing great Steve Yzerman looking a little further down the calendar

He's been synonymous with the Red Wings since he arrived in the NHL, but while he may be retired from the rigours of the battles on the ice for a few years now, Steve Yzerman still is seeking a rewarding place in the game in his post on ice career.

In a story that will have them talking in Detroit today, Yzerman does a little thinking out loud and suggests( quietly we're sure as that is his nature) that his next career move may require that he leave the Red Wing nest.

Yzerman who has been involved with Hockey Canada in addition to his duties in the Red Wings front office over the last three years has noticed that the upper management offices aren't particularly populated by old men and that promotion may be hard to come by in the near future in Detroit.

He's been on a learning curve in Detroit since he put away his blades and feels he's ready to move on to the next phase of his career, with a number of goals in mind and we suspect with the same drive and determination to reach them that he had as the Red Wings captain.

Now that he's floating his name out there for NHL owners to consider, we figure he'll be finding that the phone calls will begin to come in from time to time, sounding him out on potential prospects that would be a good combination for him.

While many in Detroit may think it the unthinkable that Stevie Y bids them goodbye, he has far too many hockey smarts to remain in a potted plant role for much longer.

It would be a smart owner that gives him a call to pick his brain, sound him out and measure him up for a possible position. If nothing else ask him to show you his ring collection, that might help in answering any questions about success or leadership quite nicely.

Monday, September 22, 2008

NHL's camping season underway

The physicals have been taken, the rookie games complete and the first few days of full practice are under their belts, so for the NHL's player pool (well those that aren't still actually sitting beside a pool trying to decide if they want to play anymore (hi mats), it's as they say Go time.

From Anaheim to Washington and all the letters of the alphabet in between, the dawn of the 2008-09 season is almost here.

New faces have taken up new colourful uniforms, old owners are trying on some prison greys and the age old question still remains on everyone's mind, just how bad will the Leafs be this year.

The National Post spent the weekend contemplating just that mission, as Bruce Arthur suggests that they have to get worse before they'll get any better, a sentiment that should do wonders for the always fragile psyche of the Leaf Nation.

The Leafs head into training camp as a team that is seeking to reinvent themselves, a wish that Leaf fans probably participate in as well, though in the Leaf fans imagination perhaps this years Leafs could look more like the Leaf teams of the sixties or better yet, maybe they could look like the Habs teams of the sixties, seventies, eighties and maybe even the nineties...

Speaking of the other Canadian original sixer, the Habs who had such an enjoyable playoff roll last season are looking forward to getting this campaign under way. It's a season that the Montreal media observers feel depends on where Alex Kovalev factors himself into the line up. If he becomes a dominant player again, much like he showcased at times last season, then many see the Habs making giant strides this season.

Should he step back from the leadership role and become more of a participant rather than a motivator then many suggest that the Habs will remain stagnant this year. Montreal is perhaps one of the toughest markets in the NHL, the fans are knowledgeable and not afraid to share an opinion or two or three.

Sliding through a season in Montreal has never been acceptable, and after showing that they are once again ready to challenge, sliding backwards certainly won't find favour with the fans at the Bell Centre or the tens of thousands more that follow the team without having to step inside the rink.

In Ottawa they've banished off some of their more disappointing participants and look to the new year with the same zeal as every other season of late, for Ottawa fans that means a regular season of rising expectations and if their lucky, a post season that won't follow previous trends.
To that end, the back end has seen a major shakeup, with only Chris Phillips and Anton Volchenkov as names that have any kind of history with the Sens. Off into exile, is the mercurial Ray Emery who now will be counting rubles and the days until he can return to the NHL a changed man with a working alarm clock and hopefully a better driver.

The exodus on defence began a few years ago with the departure of Zdeno Chara and again this off season as Wade Redden found the lights of Broadway to his liking. Newcomers Jason Smith, Brendan Bell and Filip Kuba will try to bring a new attitude to defending the Senators zone, all while making sure that the puck gets up to a Senators forward group that will be feeling more pressure this season than ever before.

For Winnipeg this is another year of hope and renewal, another chance to exorcise all those old ghosts. Oh wait, what's that? Ooops sorry, we're still waiting there aren't we, and judging by the last media soundbite provided by expansion commentator Wayne Gretzky, they may be waiting a long time in the Manitoba capital before the NHL comes a calling again. (You may however wish to get in line early for season tickets for Hamilton, which Gretz gave his blessing to earlier this month).

Sorry Jets fans, we'll catch up with you again next season, don't forget to cheer loud for the Coyotes when they arrive in town on Wednesday....

Down the road in Calgary, it's all about Todd and whether the Bertuzzi experiment will take the Flames to the next level or help to contribute to a complete retooling. Bertuzzi who has never been particularly fond of the media will once again become the focus of an ever vigilant press, a major shift from those carefree days post Vancouver, spent in Anaheim and other NHL outposts previous to his settling in with Calgary.

So far the media has focused in on Bertuzzi's bid to become lighter and more agile, giving a fair amount of press to his official weigh in over the weekend, providing it with the kind of attention that they show on the TV program the biggest loser.

For the record, Big Bert clocked in at 226 pounds, a good 24 pounds lighter than when he was prowling the ice on behalf of the Vancouver Canucks. Flames fans are still trying to wrap their minds around the idea of actually cheering for Bertuzzi, who earned a special place over the years in in many Flames hearts as public enemy number one.

He begins the process of becoming the fan favourite as the Flames roll into their pre season schedule. If all goes according to plan the next boos he hears will be when Bertuzzi suits up in a Flames uniform in Vancouver or Edmonton.

Up the highway they're not really thinking too much of Bertuzzi at the moment, instead with a new and monied owner firmly in control, Oiler fans are looking to the future and a return to that City of Champions title.

The quest for the top however will most likely be in installments rather than in one fast paced delivery. The Edmonton Oilers are once again talking a lot of promise, while mindful of the setbacks along the way in the last few years.

Not since the young pups named Gretzky, Messier, Anderson and Fuhr were skating on The Northern Alberta indoor pond has youth been the message that it is today in Edmonton. Potential is the word and head coach Craig MacTavish is even boldly suggesting that a division title is within their grasp.

Of course, we must note the calendar date is September 22, we'll check back in about six months or so and see how things have gone. But for today, hope gushes eternal and the gusher is wearing Blue and Gold.

Out Vancouver way it's all about programs, get your programs, can't tell a player without a program. Wholesale changes seem to have been the nature of the off season, as familiar names made their exits and less familiar ones decided that Vancouver might just be a nice spot to park on the NHL merry go round.

All except one particular name, as Mats Sundin took unrequited love to a whole new level as he sat and thought over the Canucks 20 million dollar, two year offer. Still thinking, ( we think) and still on the table (we think), there hasn't been any progress on the Mats front since new GM Mike Gillis got everyone all excited with his offer early on in the summer, leaving Sundin to sleep on the offer , with Rip Van Winkle still in slumber the Canucks head into camp with a potential spending spree to come should Sundin not sign on the west coast.

With no Mats on the dotted line and a Markus out of town and playing elsewhere, the quest now it seems is to find someone to wear a C on a Canuck uniform. With Naslund and Morrison relocated and longtime leader Trevor Linden retired, Alain Vigneault now sees the opportunity for a new culture of leadership to develop.

How quickly his new group seizes the opportunity could go a long ways towards letting us know if this will be an enjoyable or horrible season for Canuck followers. Should it be the former and not the latter then Gillis and company will have been able to buy some time as they retool their machine.

If however, things get off on the wrong skate from the get go, then this will be a very long, nasty and uncomfortable season for the coach, GM and owner, not necessarily in that order.

Friday, September 12, 2008

And for dessert, perhaps some Friendship Cake!

Vancouver General Manager Mike Gillis finally got around to touching base with the Sedin brothers, the first time he’s apparently had a face to face since taking over the Canucks earlier this year.

Gillis and the Sedin boys had dinner together on Wednesday, perhaps to compare notes on the status of their contracts, or maybe to go over the plan of attack for the 2008-09 season.

Whatever the conversation topics may have been, Gillis clearly had to do a little fence mending after getting off to a rough start with what now are the two of the few recognizable names left on his roster. At the time of his arrival as the new sheriff in Canuckland, Gillis basically suggested that the two Swedes, in his mind, were not first line players, a statement that left the twins feeling a tad unwanted.

That of course was before the Canucks started shedding many of their first line players and neglected to find the same brand of player to fill in on the roster sheet.

In fact, as Gillis conducted his thus far unsuccessful wooing of Mats Sundin, fewer and fewer first line options presented themselves to the Canucks, making the return of the Sedins’ an even more urgent event, though you have to wonder exactly how they might of felt over the summer as they digested the opinion that their new boss wasn’t particularly impressed with their potential.

As the went from the main course to the dessert table all seemed to flow smoothly, with the two sides finding each others company enjoyable and the atmosphere conducive to kind words upon the end of the first supper.

It’s a bit of damage control that Gillis probably should have handled much earlier than this, especially as the Canuck roster begins to make the locals pine for the call ups of last year from the Manitoba Moose, at least they had an idea who some of those fellows were.

The Vancouver media, frustrated at the lack of name power donning a whale jersey this season, weighed in with their meal reviews, leaving Canuck fans to digest the developments and ponder whether the Sedins are part of the bigger picture or just the bridge between the Nonis and Gillis eras.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

St. Patrick to get his day!

Well they won't be using March 17th, but in Montreal St. Patrick's Day will fall on November 22nd, as the Montreal Canadiens officially retire the number 33 of Patrick Roy.

The retirement ceremony will try to turn back the clock almost thirteen years, an era where Roy led his team to two Stanley Cups and became a hockey icon to the province.

The Roy years came to a much publicized end on December 2nd 1995 when Patrick, having been left in the Montreal nets for nine Detroit Red Wing goals declared his own state of independence.
After glaring at head coach Mario Tremblay for a bit, Roy then walked to Ronald Corey's ice side box and basically advised him that his services would no longer be provided for Les Habitants.

The repercussions of that night bounced throughout the province for many years, sides were taken and the Canadiens a team of myth and legend over the years became more of a soap opera as the province's hockey fans either declared him a traitor or a hero.

The announcement today was heavy on reconciliation and putting the past behind, a long desired wish to have one of Quebec's most recognizable sons return to his original family.

The rapprochement between Roy and the Habs will also no doubt spur on the ever hopeful dream that he may return to the Canadiens in an official capacity, which in the past has appeared to be in the form of trial balloons that he might one day make a good head coach for the Canadiens.

But first things first we guess, for now Hab fans will just be glad that he'll be watching the rouge, blanc et bleu rise to the rafters to join the fourteen others that are currently raised high above the Bell Centre ice.

The celebration of Roy's return comes as part of the Canadiens 100th anniversary festivities, a year long procession of past glories and heroes.
There will however be a few detractors who may feel that providing honours for Roy this year, will be seen as endorsing his current status as a slightly off the page head coach, made famous by last years Junior hockey brawl. An event that still is being debated in hockey circles across the nation.
The Canadiens we would imagine will be quick to focus everyone's attention on the Patrick Roy pre December 5 1995, leaving the debate over his impact over the youth of hockey for other minds and other times.

As Montrealers seem to love their pageantry when it comes to shinny, the November 22nd event will no doubt be one of the hardest tickets in town this year, with a lengthy list of those who would like to attend.
Of course we suspect it may be short a few names of past Canadien legends, just a guess but a few of the principles of that night in December of 1995 which saw the melodrama play out on national television will probably find that they have commitments that they just can't break.
Globe and Mail-- Habs to honour Roy

Hey Mr. Postman, is that a letter in your bag for me!

Through sleet and snow and especially on the ice, the Pittsburgh Penguins will deliver the mail. Nine Pens who did the sleet and snow thing earlier this year in Buffalo and who perform regularly on the ice can add mailmen to their resumes now.

The Penguins didn't need the US Mail to get some season tickets to randomly selected season ticket holders this week, rather they did it themselves.

In what has become a bit of a Penguin tradition, some of the High profile Pens took to the streets this week, to personally deliver the tickets to the homes of 35 faithful fans of the black and Yellow.

Sidney Crosby was the high profile mailman, assisted by eight other Pens including Marc-Andre Fleury, Brooks Orpik, Jordan Staal, Sergei Gonchar and head coach Michel Therrien to name a few.

Crosby's route wasn't particularly taxing, he had but three homes to drop over to and present the season tickets, homes which we're sure didn't have any dogs on the front porch to delay the mail...

Though we suspect that the Pens hands on approach probably wouldn't impress Cliff Clavin much (he was rather particular about who could handle the mail), though we suspect he's probably a Bruins fan anyways.

Monday, September 08, 2008

From the ice house to the big house?

U.S. District Court Judge Cormac Carney has delivered a written advisory that in his opinion, "The court cannot accept a plea agreement that gives the impression that justice is for sale."

This will be of supreme interest to Henry Samueli and his lawyers, as it is the Anaheim Ducks owner that is the subject of Judge Carney's concerns and hesitations to travel down the plea bargain road.

Samueli, has already entered a guilty plea under the plea agreement to lying to investigators for the Securities and Exchange Commission, for his role in a stock options backdating case that saw the company Broadcom have to write down some 2.2 billion dollars in profits.

The original deal would have seen Samueli receive probation rather a prison sentence for his role in the backdating case, but with the Judge deciding that the five years' probation and $12-million (U.S.) in payments by Samueli would erode the public's trust in the judicial system, all bets it seems are off.

His lawyers have asked for time to work out a more acceptable plea bargain, or if need be withdraw from the agreement and we assume prepare for court.

The Judge has set a date of September 29th for another hearing on the matter, and while Samueli has been removed from the operations of the Ducks due to his legal troubles, it will still cast a rather large shadow over the Ducks training camp and the start of the NHL season.

Keeping the NHL on the legal and business pages, sections it might wish to stay off of should Mr. Bettman want to try and preserve the image of his league.

Judge rejects plea deal for Ducks' owner
Associated Press
September 8, 2008 at 6:28 PM EDT

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A federal judge Monday rejected a plea deal that had called for Broadcom Corp. co-founder and Anaheim Ducks owner Henry Samueli to get probation rather than prison for his role in a stock options backdating case that led to the largest corporate writedown of its kind.

U.S. District Court Judge Cormac Carney wrote that the deal calling for five years' probation and $12-million (U.S.) in payments by Samueli would erode the public's trust in the judicial system.
"The court cannot accept a plea agreement that gives the impression that justice is for sale," Carney wrote.

Samueli has pleaded guilty under the plea agreement to lying to investigators for the Securities and Exchange Commission. Broadcom, an Irvine, Calif.-based telecommunications chip maker, was ultimately forced to write down $2.2 billion in profits after the options backdating was uncovered.

Prosecutors and Samueli asked the judge for time to renegotiate their plea deal or to allow Samueli to withdraw from the agreement. Carney set another hearing for Sept. 29.
Samueli struck the plea deal with prosecutors this year in a larger criminal probe into stock-option backdating at Broadcom.

Backdating involves retroactively setting a stock option's exercise price to a low point in the stock's value, boosting the profits that are attained when the shares are sold.

It is legal when properly accounted for, but if companies fail to properly disclose the move, profits can be overstated and taxes underpaid.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Hockey Canada selects a veteran hand to guide the youngsters

Over the years Pat Quinn has found working with Canada’s national hockey talent to be quite an enjoyable experience, from Spengler cup appearances to world and Olympic medal games.

Most recently he spent his spring in Russia as he guided Canada's entry at the world under-18 championships this past April.

And Hockey Canada faced with the need to find a new head coach for their junior squad as soon as possible, are finding that the veteran Mr. Quinn fits their immediate needs quite nicely.

The job of head coach of Canada’s national junior team was bestowed on Quinn this week, a position he’ll be quite happy to saddle up for, providing him with a chance to return to the game that is in his blood and a chance to span some generations as he reveals the deep reservoir of hockey knowledge to the nations Christmas time heroes.

Hockey Canada found themselves on the recruiting drive last month when Benoit Groulx stepped down from his promotion in order to chase fame and glory in the AHL with the Rochester Americans.

Quinn while not overtly lobbying for the position, had let it be known over the last few weeks that he was interested in the possibility of helping to keep Canada’s National Junior program on track with a string of championships set for the homeland over the next few years.

For the Juniors it will be a remarkable opportunity to live a little history, if only by osmosis, having Quinn on the ice and in the dressing room offering advice, strategy and evaluation should make them better players and a very prepared and focused group seeking out Gold over the Christmas holidays.

Hockey Canada-- Pat Quinn named head coach of Canada's National Junior Squad
Ottawa Sun-- The Mighty Quinn

Headlines of the 2008-09 season

Headlines of August 2009
Headlines of July 2009
Headlines of June 2009
Headlines of May 2009
Headlines of April 2009
Headlines of March 2009
Headlines of February 2009
Headlines of January 2009
Headlines of December 2008
Headlines of November 2008
Headlines of October 2008
Headlines of September 2008

Friday, September 05, 2008

As summer heads for fall, Mr. Gillis waits (and) waits for Mats call!

He’s counted those twenty million dollars over and over again, no doubt having stacked them up nice and neat in the corner of his office at GM Place, just waiting, oh so patiently to call the Loomis guys to come and pick them up.

Mike Gillis, who has tied up some twenty million dollars of Canuck cap and spend financing in a bold attempt to bring Mats Sundin west, must be wondering just what he has to do to get an answer.

Recent ruminations from Sundins’ agent suggest that the ponderous Swede is still trying to determine if or when he really is inclined to play this shinny game any more.

Sundin himself told the Toronto media that while he’s been working out lightly, he hasn’t really engaged in the more rigorous workouts that he normally would prior to another year of the NHL battles.

Where this all leaves Gillis, who it appears may not even be the first choice for Sundin, is the question that is making the rounds of the Vancouver sports bars and radio talk shows.

Having spent the summer chasing Sundin, other free agents found other homes none of which will be a benefit to Vancouver’s real estate agents. Instead the Canucks seemed to feature a house cleaning of many of the old familiar names, while replacing them with those names that Canuck’s fans probably have heard of but certainly don’t set their hearts on fire, nor will open their pocketbooks for same day tickets.

While Canuck fans probably found the flash of the big offer intriguing in the early days, now that a few months have gone by and Mats hasn’t dropped by, many are figuring that perhaps Gillis should just pull the offer.

Gillis for his part says he's willing to play the waiting game should Sundin not come to Vancouver, ready to consider trades to help build the team, but only if the right deal comes around. Which means the game of patience will no doubt become a favourite around the Canucks office it seems.

It’s too late to harvest other free agents with that twenty million dollar pile, but holding out hope that Sundin may eventually make up his mind doesn’t seem like the kind of reassuring strategy that Canuck fans were hoping for after last years disappointing end to the season.

Gillis for his part says he's willing to play the waiting game should Sundin not come to Vancouver, ready to consider trades to help build the team, but only if the right deal comes around. Which means the game of patience will no doubt become a favourite around the Canucks office it seems.

As they head into training camp, there are still way more questions than answers when it comes to whether the Canucks know what they are doing and whether they are anywhere closer to competing for the Stanley Cup than they have been over the last couple of years since the exile of Brian Burke and Pat Quinn before him.

National Post-- The Silent Swede
Vancouver Province-- Sundin unlikely to play here

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Headlines of September 2008

The last of the free agent stragglers begin to sign contracts and the NHL's member clubs prepare to open up training camp for the 2008-09 campaign.

September 30-- Balsillie back in Predators picture
September 29-- Blackhawks place Khabibulin on waivers
September 28-- Same old, same old hapless Maple Leafs
September 27-- Sens leave on winning note
September 26-- Crosby makes impressive return
September 25-- Habs unveil Centennial initiatives
September 24-- Hockey theme song gets new recording
September 23-- Coyotes hire Muckler
September 22-- Sprint Center buzzes for first hockey game
September 21-- Habs look to matured crop of youngsters to take leadership role
September 20-- Stamkos scores in Tampa win
September 19-- Selanne to return to Ducks
September 18-- NHLPA looks to Olympic participation beyond 2010
September 17-- Radulov contract headed for arbitration
September 16-- All quiet on the expansion front
September 15-- Gretzky bows out of top Olympic job
September 14-- NHL, Russia eye Euro cities
September 13-- Islanders name Gallant consultant to GM
September 12-- A new NHL team not in the cards for West: Gretzky
September 11-- Roy to have jersey retired by Canadiens
September 10-- QMJHL cracks down on fighting
September 9-- Burke a better bet to join Leafs than Sundin
September 8-- Judge rejects plea deal for Ducks' owner
September 7--- Legal battle brews over Radulov
September 6-- Sundin NOT down to two teams: agent
September 5-- A few lessons left to teach
September 4-- Sundin won't be rushed into decision
September 3-- Canadiens leaning towards outdoor game at Olympic Stadium
September 2-- Report: Quinn to be named Canadian World Jr. Head Coach
September 1-- Hockey Night theme power play: CBC contest closes with thousands of submissions