By Amanda DiPaolo
The NHL’s board of governors meet today and tomorrow in Palm Beach, Florida, to issues considered to be essential to the business aspect of the game. While most of the meeting will no doubt deal with the financial side of things, the Board of Governors are also expected to hear a report on the new head shot rule.
The NHL is trying to limit the number of concussions suffered from its players, but there is no indication that head shots and blind sided hits have decreased because now players get sent to the box and/or the play will be reviewed by the league. It will be interested to see what the report on the rule in the first couple of months of the season reveals.
On top of the agenda is the sale, or at least potential sale, of a few teams around the league, two of which are in the Western Conference. Dominating the discussion will no doubt be the Western Conference's own Phoenix Coyotes. Apparently, the team has a buyer and according to analysis on Hockey Night In Canada, the sale is supposed to be finalized by the end of the year — the calendar year, not the season. That buyer is an options trader from Chicago, Matt Hulsizer, who is expected to make an appearance at the meeting over the next couple of days. Hulsizer is going to explain to the board of governors what his plans are for the team if his ownership big is approved.
It has been a year and a half since the Coyotes first declared bankruptcy. The team has been owned and operated by the NHL itself and the League has placed December 31st as a deadline in place for the sale of the team. If no sale is in place by the deadline, arrangements can then be made to relocate the team out of Phoenix.
Another Western Conference team, the Dallas Stars, is also likely on the agenda as the current owner, Tom Hicks, is in financial trouble and has already sold off his shares in other sporting ventures he had been a part of, including the Texas Rangers, which made their first appearance in the World Series this past fall.
Another issue to be discussed is linked to the issue of success and failure of owners. Since the league overall is making money (according to the latest edition of Forbes magazine), an increase in revenues is likely to result in an increase in the salary cap–by as much as up to $2 million.
Other Western Conference teams likely to be discussed at the meeting include two Central Division rivals, the St. Louis Blues and the Nashville Predators. Neither are up for relocation discussions, but both have had financial issues that owners need to address.
For the Blues, they are having a hard time finding investors to replace those that cashed out last year. As for the Predators, need to refinance their debt, but according to the Globe and Mail, this shouldn’t be an issue because Nashville has shown an increase in tickets sales (and increase by 19% over last year!).
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