The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced today that Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks have been selected as finalists for the 2009-10 Ted Lindsay Award. The Ted Lindsay Award will be presented annually to the “Most Outstanding Player” in the NHL, as voted by fellow members of the NHLPA.
On April 29, 2010, the Ted Lindsay Award was introduced, and it remains the only award voted on by the players themselves, carrying on the tradition established by the Lester B. Pearson Award. The Award honours Ted Lindsay, an All-Star forward known for his skill, tenacity, leadership and his role in establishing the original Players' Association.
The Ted Lindsay Award will be presented at the 2010 NHL Awards in Las Vegas on June 23, 2010 to one of the following finalists:
Sidney Crosby, of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, Canada, appeared in 81 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009-10, finishing second in the league in points (109), while his career-high 51 goals tied him with Tampa Bay ’s Steven Stamkos for the “Rocket” Richard Trophy. In just his fifth NHL season, the 22-year-old has proven himself to be a bona-fide superstar, having already won the NHLPA’s “Most Outstanding Player” award (2006-07), the Hart Trophy (2006-07), the Art Ross Trophy (2006-07) and led his club to the 2008-09 Stanley Cup. Crosby is looking to cap off a brilliant season that also saw him score the Olympic gold-medal winning goal for Canada .
Alexander Ovechkin, of Moscow , Russia , appeared in 72 games for the Washington Capitals in 2009-10, finishing amongst the top-three players in the league in points (109) and goals (50). This is the third straight season that Ovechkin has reached the 100-point plateau and tallied more than 50 goals – reaching the 50-goal plateau for the fourth time in his five-year career. The two-time defending recipient of both the NHLPA’s “Most Outstanding Player” award and the Hart Trophy, Ovechkin led the Capitals to their third-consecutive Southeast Division title in 2009-10, as well as the first Presidents’ Trophy in franchise history. Should Ovechkin be selected, he would join Guy Lafleur and Wayne Gretzky as the only players to win the award in three consecutive seasons.
Henrik Sedin, of Ornskoldsvik , Sweden , appeared in all 82 games for the Vancouver Canucks in 2009-10, winning the Art Ross Trophy with a league-high 112 points (29 goals, 83 assists). Playing every game of the season for the fifth consecutive year, Henrik far surpassed the 82 points he registered in 2008-09, establishing a new career-high in points. Henrik also set three different Canucks franchise records in 2009-10: passing Trevor Linden for the club’s all-time assists lead; eclipsing Pavel Bure’s single-season points record; and besting the Canucks single-season assists record, breaking the previous record he set in 2006-07.
The NHLPA also launched the 2009-10 Ted Lindsay Award Contest today on www.nhlpa.com. Fans are encouraged to select the Ted Lindsay Award recipient, just like the players do. A random draw will take place June 24, 2010, following the 2010 NHL Awards in Las Vegas NV , to determine the Grand Prize winner, as well as the second and third-place finishers.
To honour the history of the “Most Outstanding Player” Award, an NHLPA Goals & Dreams equipment donation will also be made in Lester B. Pearson’s name to a Canadian youth hockey organization, which will be selected together with members of the Pearson family. Launched in November 1999, NHLPA Goals & Dreams was created as a way for the players to give back to the game they love, and has donated more than $18-million worldwide to grassroots hockey programs.
SELECT READ MORE TO SEE A COMPLETE HISTORY OF "MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER" AWARD RECIPIENTS
The Associated Press reported Monday that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said that the deal for the purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes by a group headed by Jerry Reinsdorf would be beneficial to the franchise and the league.
“It w will be great for this league and that franchise if Jerry is able, with his partners, to consummate that transaction,” Bettman said before Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals between the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks.
Bettman also said the sale of the team is on the horizon but the commissioner would not give a timetable. “There is much that has to be done with the city of Glendale, both with the league and the prospective owners,” Bettman said.
While Bettman is pleased, conservative watchdog group The Goldwater Institute is not. The group, which tracks public subsadies to private corporations, said the Reinsdorf places too much burden on the Glendale taxpayers and not enough on Reinsdorf’s group. Goldwater was also not happy with Reinsdorf’s option to sell the team after five years.
“He really seems to have insulated himself completely from any financial liability,” Said Carrie Ann Sitren, a Goldwater lawyer, after the proposals were released. “It is not a certain prospect for the team to stick around in the long-term. The Ice Edge deal looks more hard-working, as in let’s be creative and see how this can work.”
The Coyotes are in need of stability in ownership, the city and league appear willing to take the risk of Reinsdorf group opting to sell the team after a few years.
The NHLPA reintroduces the Lester B. Pearson Award as the Ted Lindsay Award (CLIOK TO SEE IN LARGER VIEW)
The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced today at the Hockey Hall of Fame (HHOF) that the Lester B. Pearson Award is being reintroduced as the Ted Lindsay Award. The Award honours Ted Lindsay, an All-Star forward known for his skill, tenacity, leadership, and for his role in establishing the original Players' Association. The players’ accolade will continue to be presented annually to the "Most Outstanding Player" in the NHL, as voted by fellow members of the NHLPA.
"This is a great honour to have bestowed upon me," said Ted Lindsay. "I took great pride in my hockey career, both on the ice competing towards a championship with my teammates, and off of the ice for the work that we did to ensure our fellow players enjoyed proper rights and benefits.
"I am very proud and appreciative that the most outstanding player each season, as voted by his peers, will receive the award with my name on it."
Lindsay played 14 of his 17 NHL seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, spending the three other seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks. In 1,068 career games, he recorded 379 goals and 472 assists for 851 points, and 1,808 penalty minutes. In 1966, Lindsay was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. His jersey, #7, was retired by the Detroit Red Wings in 1991. Lindsay won four Stanley Cups with the Red Wings (1949-50, 1951-52, 1953-54, and 1954-55), captaining the club for the last two of those championships.
Lindsay played on one of the most famous lines in NHL history, playing left-wing on the "Production Line" line with Sid Abel and Gordie Howe. In 1949-50 they combined to finish 1-2-3 in league scoring, with Lindsay recording 78 points in 69 games to earn the Art Ross Trophy. He was also named to the NHL’s first All-Star team eight times in his career (1947-48; 1949-50 through 1956-57).
In addition to his on-ice successes, the NHLPA honours Ted Lindsay with an award in his name for his sacrifice and leadership in establishing the original Players’ Association. With the assistance of fellow players, Bill Gadsby, Doug Harvey, Fern Flaman, Gus Mortson, Jim Thomson and others, Lindsay was instrumental in organizing the original Players’ Association in 1957 to promote, foster and protect the interests of players. Notably, he was the first President of the Association.
Lindsay paid a steep personal price for his efforts on behalf of his fellow players. He was first stripped of his Red Wings captaincy and then, following his best statistical season in the NHL, he was traded from a very strong Red Wings team to the Blackhawks, who at the time were struggling at the bottom of the standings. Though the Association would initially be stifled by management, the efforts of Ted Lindsay and his fellow players laid the groundwork for the formation of the current NHLPA. In 1967, the NHLPA was formally ratified as a labour organization whose members are the players in the NHL.
"All NHLPA members, current and former, owe a great deal of gratitude to Ted for his efforts, so it is only fitting that we name our most outstanding player award after him," said Jarome Iginla, 2001-02 Lester B. Pearson Award Recipient. "The Ted Lindsay Award is a prestigious honour that will continue the tradition set forth by the Lester B. Pearson Award."
"Naming our most outstanding player award after Ted Lindsay is the highest honour our Association can bestow upon him. We are very proud to honour one of the great players of our game and a true pioneer of our Association." said the members of the NHLPA Executive Board.
In a tribute to its namesake, the Ted Lindsay Award trophy reflects many important characteristics of Lindsay’s distinguished hockey career – combining elements of strength, history, individuality and dignity. On the trophy, one plate details how Lindsay began one of hockey’s greatest and long-running traditions. After the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 1950 in front of their hometown fans, Lindsay took the Cup in hand and skated around the ice of the Detroit Olympia, sharing the game’s ultimate prize with all those in attendance.
The Ted Lindsay Award trophy was designed by Myros Trutiak of MST Bronze, with creative input from Ted & his wife Joanne, along with Jonathan Weatherdon and Andrew Wolfe of the NHLPA in each step of the process.
Lester B. Pearson’s name will also continue to play an important role within the NHLPA. The official text of the Lester B. Pearson Award is plated on the new trophy and the names of the Pearson Award recipients are engraved onto its wooden panels, maintaining the strong history of the Award. An annual NHLPA Goals & Dreams equipment donation will also be made in the former Prime Minister’s name to a Canadian youth hockey organization, which will be selected together with a member of the Pearson family.
The Ted Lindsay Award will be presented at the 2010 NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas on June 23, 2010 to the 2009-10 recipient.
Ted and his wife Joanne were on hand today at the HHOF for the media conference at the HHOF to unveil the new trophy. The media conference was emceed by Chris Simpson with guest speakers Jamal Mayers, former Executive Board member and a trustee of the NHL Players’ Pension Plan; and Dick Duff, HHOF member. Mike and Marian Ilitch, the owners of the Detroit Red Wings, were also in attendance.
Who says the NHL needs a new TV deal? Through the first five days of playoff hockey, Versus has scored its highest playoff ratings since 2002. The network averaged a 0.6 household rating (up 50 percent) and 543,000 viewers (up 21 percent), according to Neilsen data. The 2009 postseason numbers were 0.4 and 447,000 respectively. Versus saw a boost in key demographics including 6 percent in 18 to 34 males and 18 percent with men 25 to 54.
The last time the NHL saw numbers this high, the league could be seen on ESPN2.
Some highlights from regional sports networks included a12.2 overnight ratings for the Buffalo Sabres vs. Boston Bruins Game 1 on MSG Network and a 21.6 rating for Game 3 of the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators.
So why the boost? Here’s five reasons why the NHL’s ratings are up:
USA vs. Canada introduced us to a few things: How great hockey can be when something is on the line and the Olympics introduced casual fans to the league’s top American players. Fourteen players from the USA men’s hockey team are currently playing in the NHL playoffs.
This one’s pretty self explanatory, if games are close, people will want to watch them. Here’s the score through those first five days: 18 of the first 20 games were separated by two goals or less.
Ovechkin and Crosby
These guys are the faces of the league, they are clearly the most recognizable and most exciting players in the league. Plus, they benefit from having contrasting images; you’re either a Crosby person or Ovechkin person, you can’t like both. When these two are in it, casual fans will watch. It’s kind of like having two Tiger Woods’ without the….nevermind.
Casual fans like goals. Heck, fanatics like goals. There has been an average of 5.75 goals per game, which is up 46 percent from 2004, the last year of clutching and grabbing.
The league’s website is one of the best among sports leagues. It’s accessible, it’s easy to navigate and the site is very easy to navigate. And, it’s very easy to find where to find the goods. The SHOP.NHL.COM link is right at the top above all the team names along with pictures of merchandise (orders are up 37 percent).
In a press release by Versus, the network listed growth of unique visitors to NHL.com through the first five weeks of the playoffs:
That didn’t take long. Only days after the city of Glendale, Ariz. released the proposals from the Reinsdorf group and Ice Edge Holdings, the city made its choice. The Glendale City Council approved the proposed arena lease agreement by the Reinsdorf Group Tuesday. The council rejected the plan submitted by Ice Edge Holdings, shooting down the group of Canadian and U.S. investors by a vote of one yes to five no.
The Reinsdorf Group, headed by Chicago Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, had their proposal unanimously OK’d by the council. The City (and the NHL for that matter) are determined to keep the team in Glendale and part of the Reinsdorf Group’s proposal is to keep the team for the duration of the 24-year lease of the stadium.
Reinsdorf has an out, though. According to the New York Times, if certain conditions related to the facilities district aren’t met, the group could give 180-days notice that it intends to sell the team. The city would then have to find a buyer who would keep the team in Arizona.
Ice Edge told Glendale “seller beware,” before the council voted. Chief executive officer Anthony LeBlanc warned the council about taking a proposal that with an out clause. But, some questioned whether Ice Edge actually had the capital available.
The Reinsdorf Group hopes to reach an agreement with the NHL within 90 days.
Glendale has released the two competing buyers of the Phoenix Coyotes’ lease proposals. The two groups are Ice Edge Holdings and Reinsdorf Group, which includes Chicago sports tycoon Jerry Reinsdorf.
Things apparently got –to use a hockey term – chippy between Ice Edge and the city of Glendale, Arizona. According to the Arizona Republic, Ice Edge, a Canadian and American investor group threatened early last week to walk away after Glendale asked for changes to its proposal.
The agreements released are broad outlines of how Ice Edge and Reinsdorf plan to pay Glendale to use Jobing.com Arena. The city built the facility in 2003, spending $180 million. The Reinsdorf group would buy the team for somewhere between $100 and $165 million. Ice Edge plans to offer the NHL between $140 and $150 million.
Both groups said they would raise parking fees, while Ice Edge would raise money on non-hockey events and through ticket surcharges. They said the team would keep the Coyotes in Glendale for the 24-year duration of the arena lease.
No matter which proposal “wins,” the Phoenix Coyotes will no longer be called Phoenix. Part of both proposals is to change the name of the team to either Glendale or Arizona.
Whichever teams buys the Coyotes will be in for a challenge, the team hasn’t turned a profit since moving to Arizona in 1996.
• Buy the team from the NHL for $65 million, less than half of what the league paid for the Coyotes in bankruptcy court.
• Fund the team's purchase price and up to $100 million in losses over seven years through a community facility district, which the city would create around the arena within 120 days. The independent taxing district would sell bonds and collect other revenues.
• Raise parking fees to between $8 and $20 per car and share the revenues with the city at the current level.
• Take over arena operations.
• If, after five years, the Coyotes continued to lose money, the city would cover the losses or the group would sell the team for no less than $103 million.
Ice Edge Holdings LLC would:
• Offer the NHL between $140 million and $150 million, the price paid by the league for the team last fall, through bank financing.
• Raise $14.5 million per year from landowner fees, parking fees and ticket surcharges, including non-hockey events, paid through a community facility district, to cover team losses.
• Give any money above $5 million from landowner fees to the city for 10 years.
• Share part of the parking proceeds with Glendale.
• Have the option of playing five games in Canada.
• Have the first right of refusal if Glendale sold the arena.
The Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik announced Monday that the team has fired head coach Rick Tocchet and general manager Brian Lawton. In a statement the owner said the hockey operations department “needs a fresh start in order to help us fulfill our goal being a word-class organization.”
Neither Tocchet nor Lawton had been in their position more than two years. The team missed the playoffs the past three seasons after making the post-season four seasons in a row from 2002-03 to 2006-07. The Lightning, let go coach John Tortorella after missing the playoffs in 2008, then hired Barry Melrose to start the 2008-09 season, but he was fired after just 15 games (5-7-4). Tocchet replaced Melrose going 19-33-14 in the remained over 2008-09 and 34-36-12 this season.
Lightning star Steven Stamkos, who was among lead leaders in goals scored this season, was not shocked by the firing. "It's not something that was a huge surprise," Stamkos told NHL Live! Monday. "Obviously, the success wasn't there the last couple of seasons and there was a lot of media attention surrounding what was going to happen. This is the first of a lot of moves that'll be made this summer and it's something you have to respect and just go out and do your thing."
In the statement by Vinik, he also mentioned that the search for a new CEO is underway and that the team is in the process of interviewing candidates. By the start of 2010-11 season, the team will have a new CEO, GM and coach. Starting fresh is right. Here’s why the Lightning need a “fresh start:”
According to Forbes team valuations, the team scored a 72 in the “wins-to-player cost ratio” category. This category compares the number of wins per player payroll relative to the rest of the NHL. A score of 120 means the team achieved 20 percent more victories per dollar compared to the league average. To give you an idea how far the team has fallen off, their wins-to-player cost ration was a 196 in 2004.
The Lightning, who won the Stanley Cup in 2004, ranked 21st in attendance this season filling just 78.4 percent of the St. Pete Times Forum. Last season the team averaged filling 85.6 percent of the stadium. Both of those numbers are a major decline from 2008, when the team averaged 94.6 percent attendance drawing near 19,000 fans per game.
On Saturday, Maury Brown, the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, was on SportsRadio 950 ESPN in Rochester with fellow BSN staff writer, and The Blue Host for the show, Matthew Coller, talking about several issues in the NHL including possinle relocations in the NHL, specifially, the Phoenix Coyotes, how former MLBPA Executive Director Donald Fehr would impact matters if he were to become the Executive Director of the NHLPA, and more.
Click the icon below to listen to the segment through your browser, or the link provided to download in MP3.