May 31, 2008

Money Matters

PiggybankA report in the Toronto Star yesterday details how much money each team in the NHL brings in per game.

Little surprise, but a good chunk of the NHL's ticketing revenues come from north of the border, with Canadian teams (all six of them) accounting for 31 percent of league ticket money.

According to the report, which can be accessed here, six of the top seven teams in revenue producing from tickets are the Canadian teams (the Rangers broke up the sixsome by coming in at fifth).

Here are some cool numbers for you: The Maple Leafs pull in $1.9 million in ticket money -- per game. According to these numbers, it takes the Panthers almost four games to bring in that kind of cake. Florida is ranked tied with Chicago for 28th in the league in ticket monies, getting an average of $500,000 per game.

The Coyotes were last in the league in ticket money, getting $450K per night -- a drop of 18.2 percent from the season before.

Some teams were up from 2006-07, some teams way down. The Panthers? Even Steven. Florida brought in about the same amount of money per game in 2007-08 as it did  in 2006-07.

It appears Florida will once again get some revenue sharing money from the big boys in the league, Florida doing its part in trying to sell tickets but finding it a hard sell. Some blame the market, and that has plenty to do with it. Not making the playoffs seven straight seasons also makes this team a hard one to sell.

Here's the complete PDF from the Star.

-- Well, Doug Armstrong isn't going to head up the Leafs, instead going to St. Louis to be the GM of the Blues after current GM Larry Pleau retires in 2010. Don't know what that means for Joe Nieuw. Time will tell. Armstrong, fired as GM of Dallas last fall, takes over as Blues' VP of player personnel and will handle a number of duties within the organization.

Sounds like a solid move for Armstrong, and a smart move for the future of the Blues. Read about it here.

May 03, 2008

Preparing for the Move

Lastsmoke3 Tonight is University of Miami Family Night at Joe Robbie Stadium, something the Marlins have done in the past but tonight takes on a different feel since the Canes football team is moving here come August.

Charleston Southern? Who?

Anyway, little more green mixed in with the orange seats here in Miami Gardens, a lot of UM facility, students and alums taking in the game.

Sebastian the Ibis is down on the field taking photos with Billy the Marlin, a little ironic since these two mascots will be switching venues in the coming years. Sebastian gets to stay, Billy has to move (although I'll believe in Marlins Park at the Orange Bowl when I see the cement being poured. And even then I may be a tad skeptical).

As far as baseball goes, not much change from Friday night. Marlins throwing out the same lineup it did last night, save for pitcher Ricky Nolasco going instead of Mark Hendrickson.

Padres making quite a few changes to the lineup, trying to get something going. The Fathers have lost four of five and 13 of 16. In past five games, Pads have scored 15 runs.

-- Here are tonight's starting lineups:

Marlins: Amezaga CF; Hermida RF; Ramirez SS; Jacobs 1B; Cantu 3B; Uggla 2B; Gonzalez LF; Rabelo C; Nolasco P

Padres: Giles RF; Iguchi 2B; Gonzalez 1B; Kouzmanoff 3B; Edmonds CF; Greene SS; Bard C; McAnulty LF; Peavy P

-- Nice run by Big Brown, no? First horse since 1929 to win out of the 20 slot. Definite shame to see Eight Belles (which placed) break both front ankles after the race and have to be euthanized almost immediately. Always hate to see that.

Mayra_2 -- Throwing out the first pitch: On Frozen Pond favorite Mayra Veronica (called one of 100 sexiest women by FHM back when FHM was around). Bad pitch, but who cares? The Marlins, I should add, need more Mayra Veronica.

This was not the first time she threw out the first pitch when I covered a Marlins game. Some of you may remember this post from back in the day.

-- Tomorrow should be a good time at the ballpark. Padres' Greg Maddux going for his 350th career victory against the Fish. Start time at 1:10. What else you got going on?

-- For those Marlins fans who enjoy visiting cyberspace, The Herald is about to launch a new blog just for the Marlins. Clark Spencer, Mike Phillips and myself will opine on everything Marlins at Fish Bytes. Coming soon to a neighborhood computer near you.

Should be up and running by the time I cover the Marlins in DC next week. So keep your eyes peeled.

-- Padres lineup doing a bit of damage tonight...three runs for SD in the first two innings...Marlins get two in the first off a Mike Jacobs homer to left...

-- Still 3-2 here in the fourth, Jorge Cantu making a great defensive stop, running over to the founder's box seats behind third to get a Brian Giles popup, then spinning and throwing to a hustling Hanley Ramirez to cover third and get Paul McAnulty trying to tag up. Check SportsCenter for that one....


-- Montreal trying to stave off elimination, leading the Philly Phlyers 3-1 with 7:22 left in the second period...

-- At the World Championships today, Panthers d-man Magnus "Magnum" Johansson gets a goal as Sweden upends Belarus 6-5.

Olliinternational -- And Olli Jokinen gets things going for Finland, his goal gave the Fins a 2-0 lead on Germany and turns out to be the game-winner, Finland dropping the VWs 5-1...

Now, back to your regularly scheduled baseball game...

-- Marlins trail 6-2, Peavy pulled after walking Luis Gonzalez with two outs in the sixth...

-- Back to hockey: Former Panther d-man Ruslan Salei (bounced out of playoffs by Red Wings) is going to play in the Worlds, joining Belarus on Monday...

-- Philly/Montreal tied at 4 with 7 minutes left...

-- Indians/Royals scoreless in the fourth...

-- Oh my: Flyers come all the way back, now lead Habs 5-4 with 3 minutes left. If Bullies when this one, someone in Montreal could get hurt...those fans/crazy drunks are nuts....sure the police horses are out in force in the old city as we speak...

-- Oh my II: The Marlins Manatees just did a routine on the field to 'Peanut Butter Jelly Time.'' No Dancing Banana here...

-- Announced crowd: 37,689...upper deck looks good and full so maybe...

-- Make it 6-4 Flyers...Habs were last chance for a Canadian Cup champ this year...

May 02, 2008

World Championships -- Updated with Team USA Info

DwyanewadeAnyone out there interested in these? Being held in Canada this summer, the worlds were expected to drum up much more interest in North America than in years past.

But is there any interest?

The Panthers have six players -- well, seven if you count Branislav Mezei -- representing five different countries in these games. They kicked off today with Team Canada (with Jay Bouwmeester) dropping Slovenia 5-1.

I plan on talking here about the games because I do have a slight interest in these games. Figure it will grow when they get closer to crowning a champion. Thoughts?

-- The U.S. entry (with Craig Anderson in goal and David Booth flying up the left wing) played Latvia on Friday night, sporting retro jerseys from 1960 design ( I dig 'em). Boston's Tim Thomas got the start over Anderson as the USAers trounced Latvia 4-0.

Dustin Brown, Patrick 'Miami' Kane, Zach Parise and Patrick O'Sullivan all scored for the Americans (not the Amer-I-Can'ts) on Friday night.

Here Come the Wings

WingswinYou figured the Colorado Avalanche were going to come out and give Detroit their money's worth in Thursday's Game 4 didn't you? The Wings led the series 3-0, and the Avs had one chance to extend their season.

For a while, it looked like they might. Detroit led 1-0 before the Avs tied it.

Then things got out of control. The Wings scored two more before the end of the first to lead 3-1 at the break, then scored five more before rolling their rivals and leaving Denver on a mile-high roll with an 8-2 win.

On the flip side of the Avs collapse, you have the Rangers. In a similar situation, the Rangers responded by beating the Pens 3-0 to live at least another day. The Pens get to end the deal Sunday at the igloo (I'll be covering the Marlins, but you can watch on NBC-6), and the thought here is they will.

But at least the Rangers showed us a little something, no? The Avs looked beaten and broken, and the Wings looked very championship like. They weren't the best team in the game all season for nothin' folks.

The Wings now get to go back to Motown and rest up a bit, watching tonight's game from San Jose with interest. Got to think the Wings are rooting for the Sharks to win tonight and then force a sixth game in Dallas, one more game meaning a few days fewer days off for the red-hot Stars.

Course, the Stars have won eight of their past nine in San Jose, so things are looking good for them.

Redwingsring You think the Wings have what it takes to win it all? As always, comments are more than welcomed.

Don't you think the league -- and especially the suits at NBC -- would love a Detroit/Pittsburgh finale? Or, if a miracle happens, the Wings-Rangers?

Tomorrow's Montreal-Flyers tilt looms large, and the Habs are going back to Carey Price in net. Coach Guy Charbonneau told the CP that Price -- benched for Montreal's eventual Game 4 loss in Philly -- "deserves a second shot.''

Carbonneau adds "he had time to calm down and refocus and get ready for another long stretch.'' Don't know about this one, you have to think Price's confidence is shot right now. Yet he came back from some pretty bad outings in the Boston series and won that one, one of the reasons I picked to Habs to win this series as well. I thought surviving that experience was only going to make him stronger. We'll see.

April 24, 2008

Playoffs for Panthers -- Kind Of

BeezerratsWell, the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs kicks off tonight, and believe it or not, the Panthers are involved.

Of course we're talking about ex-Panthers. Always seems to be plenty around in the playoffs.

Of the Elite Eight teams remaining, only Montreal and Philadelphia don't have former Florida players on their active roster. Three teams (Detroit, San Jose and Dallas) have two each. Here's the breakdown:

Western Conference -- Detroit: Andreas Lilja (2002-04); Mikael Samuelsson (2003-04). Colorado: Ruslan Salei (2006-08). San Jose: Sandis Ozolinsh (2002-03); Alexei Semenov (2005-07). Dallas: Stu Barnes (1993-96); Niklas Hagman (2001-04). Eastern Conference -- Pittsburgh: Gary Roberts (2005-07); Rangers: Martin Straka (1995-97).

Enjoy the semifinals...

April 23, 2008

Hockey Talk

HarrydoyleBefore this site turns into 'On Frozen Diamond*' thought I would dedicate today's post to the second round of the NHL playoffs.

Looks like we have some fun matchups. Feel bad for the Capitals (they had plenty of chances to win that one), but good for the Flyers. Think that's going to be a decent series one in which I think the Habs win in 6. Carey Price shutting out the Bs on Monday night was huge. Huuuuuge.

Can't wait to watch the Pens and the Rangers, though, and I'm picking the Blueshirts to win that one in 7. Could go either way, obviously. I love the Pens, you all know this, but I also am a big fan of Henrik Lundqvist. I think he's a money maker and a difference maker. Goalies like him are built for the playoffs. Rangers just have too much going for them right now in my opinion.

Out west, what hockey fan doesn't love a Detroit-Avalanche matchup? That's just good, old fashioned hatred right there. Sure, a lot of the names have changed, but a few haven't. Bad blood always boils the best. I like Detroit there, and I think they need to stick with Osgood for the foreseeable future. Colorado may be the sixth seed, but they are a darned good sixth seed. I could see them winning here as well. Again, another fun series.

Good win for the Sharks on Tuesday, J.R. really coming to play by getting four points in Game 7. Not bad for a guy who text messaged a reporter in Philly this summer to tell him he was retiring, only to come back and sign a one-year deal with the Sharks. Did you see JR after the game last night? You could see him savoring every moment of that deal. That said, I like Dallas to win that one in 7.

-- PS: A total of seven Panthers will be representing their respective countries at the upcoming World Championships starting next week in Canada. David Booth and Craig Anderson will represent the U-S-of-A and Jay Bouwmeester will play for the homestanding Canadians. Others: Olli Jokinen (Finland), Ville Peltonen (Finland), Magnus 'Magnum' Johansson (Sweden), Branislav Mezei (Russia).

(*) Going to be doing a live report from tonight's Miami-FIU baseball game, and will also be doing some Florida Marlins reports when I cover them in May. Gives me something to do. Would have stopped in when I covered horse racing last weekend, but I was too engrossed in my Daily Racing Form to log on. Thanks to Mike and Michele at Gulfstream and Calder for all their help.

-- Bonus stuff on Detroit-Colorado: Colorado's Adam Foote and Joe Sakic have played in all 30 playoff games between the Avs and Wings, Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom and Darren McCarty have also played in all 30. Peter Forsberg, Kris Draper and Chris Chelios have played in 29 of the games.

-- Our good friends at have forwarded me their current Stanley Cup odds. Use these as you will. Odds to win the Stanley Cup: Detroit Red Wings 5/2; Pittsburgh Penguins 7/2; San Jose Sharks 9/2; Montreal Canadiens 6/1; New York Rangers 13/2; Dallas Stars 7/1; Colorado Avalanche 14/1; Philadelphia Flyers 16/1

-- Also, here is the complete schedule for Round 2. Clip and paste!
SERIES I TIME (ET) #1 Montreal vs. #6 Philadelphia Network

Thursday, April 24, 2008 7 p.m. Philadelphia at Montreal CBC, RDS
Saturday, April 26, 2008 7 p.m. Philadelphia at Montreal CBC, VERSUS, RDS
Monday, April 28, 2008 7 p.m. Montreal at Philadelphia VERSUS, CBC, RDS
Wednesday, April 30, 2008 7 p.m. Montreal at Philadelphia VERSUS, CBC, RDS
*Saturday, May 3, 2008 7 p.m. Philadelphia at Montreal CBC, VERSUS, RDS
*Sunday, May 4, 2008 7 p.m. Montreal at Philadelphia VERSUS, CBC, RDS
*Tuesday, May 6, 2008 7 p.m. Philadelphia at Montreal CBC, RDS

SERIES J TIME (ET) #2 Pittsburgh vs. #5 NY Rangers Network
Friday, April 25, 2008 7 p.m. NY Rangers at Pittsburgh VERSUS, CBC
Sunday, April 27, 2008 2 p.m. NY Rangers at Pittsburgh NBC, CBC
Tuesday, April 29, 2008 7 p.m. Pittsburgh at NY Rangers VERSUS, CBC
Thursday, May 1, 2008 7 p.m. Pittsburgh at NY Rangers VERSUS, CBC
*Sunday, May 4, 2008 2 p.m. NY Rangers at Pittsburgh NBC, CBC
*Monday, May 5, 2008 7 p.m. Pittsburgh at NY Rangers VERSUS, CBC
*Wednesday, May 7, 2008 TBD NY Rangers at Pittsburgh CBC

SERIES K TIME (ET) #1 Detroit vs. #6 Colorado Network
Thursday, April 24, 2008 7:30 p.m. Colorado at Detroit VERSUS, TSN
Saturday, April 26, 2008 3 p.m. Colorado at Detroit NBC, TSN
Tuesday, April 29, 2008 10 p.m. Detroit at Colorado VERSUS, TSN
Thursday, May 1, 2008 10 p.m. Detroit at Colorado VERSUS, TSN
*Saturday, May 3, 2008 1 p.m. Colorado at Detroit NBC, TSN
*Monday, May 5, 2008 10 p.m. Detroit at Colorado VERSUS, TSN
*Wednesday, May 7, 2008 TBD Colorado at Detroit TSN

SERIES L TIME (ET) #2 San Jose vs. #5 Dallas Network
Friday, April 25, 2008 10 p.m. Dallas at San Jose VERSUS, TSN
Sunday, April 27, 2008 9 p.m. Dallas at San Jose VERSUS, TSN
Tuesday, April 29, 2008 7:30 p.m. San Jose at Dallas TSN
Wednesday, April 30, 2008 9 p.m. San Jose at Dallas VERSUS, TSN (JIP)
*Friday, May 2, 2008 10 p.m. Dallas at San Jose VERSUS, TSN
*Sunday, May 4, 2008 9 p.m. San Jose at Dallas VERSUS, TSN
*Tuesday May 6, 2008 10 p.m. Dallas at San Jose TSN