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François Gagnon: penguins are for sale, CH is not for sale!  (NHL)

François Gagnon: penguins are for sale, CH is not for sale! (NHL)

PALM BEACH – Unsurprisingly, 32 NHL teams signed Fenway Sports’ acquisition of the Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday as part of the first two days of the governors meeting in Palm Beach, Florida.

This $900 million deal not only allows Mario Lemio and co-owner Ron Burkell to inflate their bank accounts while staying within the penguin owners group. It also boosts the value of the other 31 organizations as this deal confirms the interest of major investors such as Fenway Sports Group in the NHL.

The approval of the sale was just a formality. However, Jeff Molson and the nine other owners who are members of the NHL Executive Committee spent several hours Thursday morning with their new partners. It wasn’t to make sure they had the money and the seriousness to sit around the big NHL table. exactly the contrary. This was primarily to allow them to ask questions and benefit from the extensive experience of the members of the Fenway Sports Group in their way of maximizing their investment in the world of sports. Owners of the Red Sox, Fenway Park where they play in Boston, the Liverpool Reds in the English Football Big League and a team in the NASCAR Series in motorsports, Fenway Sports Group members can bring new management and marketing tools into the NHL.

Besides selling the penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning and Minnesota Wild have also made minor reorganizations in sharing ownership of their teams.

General Manager: Meetings in January

Speaking of sharing ownership of NHL teams, rumors have been circulating for weeks about a possible restructuring of the Canadians’ structures.

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He met Jeff Molson on the sidelines of a governor’s meeting, and Jeff Molson flatly denied the rumor. Not only did he insist that none of his current partners indicated an intention to leave the ship, or reduce their involvement, but added that he was not looking for any other partner to join the adventure.

NHL stakes: increasing their value and maintaining their popularity

Canadiens owner also confirmed that CH part-owner Michael Andlauer is the owner of Hamilton Bulldogs in OHL – he also owned Bulldogs when they were the Habs School Club – and that a large carrier will complete the committee that will coordinate the selection of the next General Manager for the Hab Moon.

Jeff Molson, of course, Jeff Gorton, the new vice president of hockey operations, and Bob Gainey who was recalled last week, completed the commission.

A draft list of candidates – it seems certain that al-Kindi will be interested in the nominations of a few women – is underway. Although there is no limit because the committee wants this process to be as inclusive as possible, the initial list should be between 10 and 15 candidates. The first selection must be made by the committee, which will begin interviews in January with candidates who have passed the first stage of the process. Since the Canadian will undoubtedly have to seek and obtain passes from other formations in order to make the roster, the process should go smoothly once the interviews start.

How many interviews will the committee conduct? The number has not yet been finalized. But it should hover between six and ten.

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Al-Kindi will not be alone in his quest to find a new general manager. The Vancouver Canucks, who cleaned the house last Sunday, confirmed Jim Rutherford’s appointment as team boss on Thursday.

He must now find a new GM to replace Jim Benning.

Hiring Rutherford is interesting, because I thought the Canadian would turn his search for a head of hockey operations.

By giving this position to Rutherford rather than Jeff Gorton, the Canadian would have got his hands on a “great sage” who would have served as the godfather to the next General Manager rather than being, in Jeff Gorton, a career General Manager, still the young man who would have complete control. . Hiring Rutherford would undoubtedly have satisfied, if not eliminated, the claims of many aficionados who had already concluded that the next general manager would be Jeff Gorton’s French-speaking spokesman.

But hey: Gorton is on a long-term contract and Jim Rutherford is no longer available.

Olympic Games, Arizona, Quebec

Other administrative problems in the Arizona Coyote came to mask the blue skies and the rising sun over the governors’ meeting Thursday morning.

Because they “forgot” to pay $1.3 million in municipal taxes to Glendale and various taxes to Arizona, the Coyotes were warned that they could be kicked out of the Gila River. The arena they have been playing in since 2003.

The censorship process was patched Thursday, according to a statement from Coyotes. But this omission highlights once again the problems plaguing this organization that the NHL has carried at arm’s length since virtually the exodus of planes leaving Winnipeg for Phoenix.

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These increasing problems allow to raise the possibility of moving to Quebec. Prime Minister François Legault may have raised himself by noting that he contacted the NHL and instructed the Finance Minister, Eric Gerard, to meet with the NHL to flesh out a potential nomination for Quebec and prove that the city and province had enough back. Financially strong, the league is reconsidering returning to a settlement where the Nordiques played in 1972 in the defunct World Hockey League before jumping to the NHL in 1979. Nordiques left Quebec for Denver in 1995.

COVID cases that have infected 19 of the 32 teams this season, including the Canadiens, continue to worry the NHL, which has had to cancel senators’ games in Ottawa and the New York Islands.

We are closely monitoring the situation and have tightened the precautionary measures. However, while we’ve seen some major outbreaks, our players are much less affected this year than they were last season. “This is a beneficial outcome of the mass vaccination of our players and staff,” Assistant Commissioner Bill Daly said.

The answers to these questions and those related to the final decisions of the NHL and its players regarding their participation in the Beijing Olympics in February will come only on Friday.