Proteau’s Blog: The K.C. Coyotes?

• I’m really glad the NHL lost a whole season so teams in all of its 30 markets could have some semblance of fiscal sanity. Hold on a secondÂ…

“We had a $42 million payroll, lost a lot of money (about $30 million this season,” Phoenix Coyotes coach and part-owner Wayne Gretzky told the Arizona Republic Tuesday. “…now it becomes a question of survival.”

Now it becomes a question of survival? Wayne, if the ‘Yotes can’t make things work under the current collective bargaining agreement, they need to get out of the desert as soon as Kansas City improves on the bid they made for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

• Speaking of the Penguins: now that the team and state have finally agreed to build it, let us never speak of their new arena again.

• From the Department of “What Else Did You Expect Them To Say?”: Ted Nolan voicing his outrage over Chris Simon’s “harsh” suspension; Trevor Linden sticking up for Ted Saskin; and Sergei Samsonov making public his regret for signing with Montreal.

If these types of stories continue, we should be seeing the headline “Bob Goodenow Says David Frost Merely Misunderstood” by month’s end.

• One more note about the NHLPA fiasco: At one point in time, Trevor Linden and Trent Klatt were teammates in Vancouver. Now, they’re on two entirely different off-ice teams and whatever friendship they had is long gone.

Just one of the many shames to come out of the lockout. I hope Goodenow and Gary Bettman are proud of themselves.

I must be in the slim minority that wanted to see the Penguins move out west, and after reading today’s Proteau’s Blog (03-13-07) I find myself incredibly disheartened to read that the Coyotes are now considering the move to Kansas City. Does the NHL even care about the Western Division? I understand everything revolves around Toronto, but really, moving Pittsburg to Kansas City and realigning the divisions would have actually made sense in this tradition be damned modern age of sports (not exactly “Bettman Sense”, but still). Now there’s talk of having a Pacific division team move even further away from the coast, thus making the travel schedules for the West even more out of whack. When you consider that bus rides are possible between a good number teams in the East and only practical between a few in the West (Anaheim an d Los Angeles being the most obvious – and no, San Jose isn’t only “an hour or two away from LA”, it’s more like six or seven) moving a team even further inland makes the grinding travel schedules of the West, especially the Pacific Division, even more difficult. Why is the NHL so set on moving a team to a city where a franchise failed? Is having a new arena more important than having fans? Why is Portland always overlooked despite having a minor league team that does good attendence-wise? I realize these are all rhetorical questions, and dollars are more important than sense, but how much is enough? I’m just waiting for next year to roll around so I can shell out $400 for a more “slimming” jersey…
– Eric Aspell

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Eric, sorry that it was a surprise to you but the silence leading up to the moment of truth were us holding our collective breath. There was some good talk out of the ‘Burgh but it really was not an option for the NHL to move out of a staple market. In fact, this is why the Pens situation was completely different from that in Phoenix, I mean what is their draw for home crowds? I can’t imagine that it’s even close to Pittsburgh’s % of seats sold. That city is so hard core sports that you really have to be there to be a major sport (no NBA but who cares). Phoenix is definately about making money, actually it’s about not losing less of it in their case and their biggest problem might be that they are tied into their lease and can’t move without major penalty. This situation equal zero leverage. Iit will interesting to see i f Wayne get’s bailed out by the league/city/another investor, etc. but he is not carrying the stick that Mario did to his fight.
– Kevin Comerford

I just wanted to say “Here Here” to your statement on the Penguins. I’ve had all I can take about that stupid arena! Enough is enough!
– Jordon

The Coyotes are not considering a move to Kansas City, that is merely speculation from the blogger nothing more. The article cited in the blog makes it clear they are in Arizona for the long haul, and their stadium deal has some harsh penalties if they try to get out of the deal early.
– Mike Dulberg

Portland does not have a minor-league team. It has a major-junior A team that is part of the Western Hockey League, the league that consistently brings out the most NHL draftees year-after-year..
– trevor mckay