Florida Panthers Talk with Matt Pryor

Once again, Matt Pryor of TheHockeyWriters.com joins the show. This time we talk about the Florida Panthers.

  • What kicked in and worked to lead them on their recent 12 game winning streak  catapulting them to the top of their division 
  • Is this Roberto Luongo’s best season?
  • The Panthers have some of the best young talent in the game. Mid-Season report cards on the young guns 
  • Matt makes a bold prediction on wether the Panthers can make the playoffs and how deep they can go!

We had a great episode with Matt this time. It’s always good to get his perspective on the Stars, the Panthers and the league in general. Follow him on Twitter @BigTex26 or catch his blog on The Hockey Writers!

Catch the show on ITunes and as always, thanks for stopping by!

Mark Warner

The Vegas Hockey Podcast 

    Advertisements

    Bruins Talk

    Cam Hasbrouck of The Hockey Writers jumped in the box to talk about a whole lot of topics with us. Among those are;



    Podcast

    • The surprising season the Boston Bruins are putting together.
    •  The improved offensive numbers, especially the Power Play numbers, and what changed in special teams philosophy
    • Two trades went down last week and we talk about the effects to come on the teams involved
    • Up and coming young talent in the Bruins system and their contributions this year
    • The hit on Adam McQuaid and the repercussions

    Plus we get into a lot of other hockey talk as well!!  Check out the Podcast!

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/vegashockeypodcast/id987189439?mt=2&i=360613885

     

    Oilers Talk

    Hello hockey fans! Our guest on this episode is The Hockey Writers Edmonton Oilers contributor Rob Soria. Chris and I cover all the basses with Rob, including…

    • How has new Head Coach Todd McLellan worked to change the culture with the Oilers
    • What does new GM Peter Chiarelli  need at the trade deadline?
    • When is Connor McDavid coming back?
    • Are they ready to compete for a playoff spot?
    • The new barn Rogers Place

    Plus much more!! Check it out on iTunes , Soundcloud and HockeyTalkRadio.us  Or right Here!!!

     

    Thanks for stopping by. Leave a comment, give us a rating, and enjoy the show!!

    Chris Lizza can be found at The Hockey Writers

    VegasHockeyPodcast

    The World Awaits… NHL Expansion: Who’s In… And Who’s Out

    Mark Warner

    July 17 2015

    With the NHL Announcement on June 24th that it will begin accepting Official Applications for new franchises, speculation has run rampant on which cities would formally apply. This report on CBSSports.Com sums up the announcement:

         NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced that the league’s board of governors has approved the opening of a formal expansion process. This does not necessarily mean the league will definitely expand, but this will allow the league to more formally gauge interest from various markets and explore all possibilities.Formal applications for expansion will start being accepted on July 6. They will have to be submitted no later than August 10

    By “more formally gauge interest” we assume they mean collect the application fee from as many cities as possible. It is reported  to be 10 million dollars, 2 million of which is non-refundable.

             As first co-reported by thn.com and The Seattle Times last week, the price just to apply for a team is a minimum of $2 million. But wait, there’s more. Prospective owners are required to put down $10 million when they formally apply for a team. If they do not get a team, in a best-case scenario, they’d have $8 million returned to them.

    This fee, and the cost of a franchise, which is reported to be variable by market, is certainly having its effects on who will apply.  The following is from a Sporting News article

    Applying for an NHL expansion franchise will cost $10 million, an unidentified NHL source confirmed to the Seattle Times, not the $1 million that has been reported by media outlets in the U.S. and Canada. Additionally, $2 million of that fee is non-refundable, presumably a big enough number to prevent groups that might not be fully committed to the process from applying.

    And this from THN.COM

     Conversely, Las Vegas wants in the NHL badly and the team will be owned by a billionaire, so the price tag there might be closer to $500 million, whereas Seattle, a place where the NHL would like to place a team, might be in the neighborhood of how much it would cost Quebec City to get a team.

    Kansas City Out 

    These fees have eliminated Kansas City, a city many thought would apply. As reported in the Kansas City Star, the likely ownership groups will not materialize.

         Lamar Hunt Jr., who owns the ECHL’s Missouri Mavericks, a minor-league hockey team that plays in Independence, called the NHL’s $500 million price tag for an expansion franchise “a ridiculously big fee,” and said that he is not aware of anyone in Kansas City who will make a push for a team.

    “No, it’s not on my radar,” he said. “It’s not on this team’s radar, and it’s not on my radar.”

    Cliff Illig, a billionaire and part of the ownership group of Sporting Kansas City, is also not involved with a bid for Kansas City, and does not know of anyone who is. “You could say that,” he said. “That’s certainly the truth.”

    Seattle In AND Out 

    With early reports out of the Pacific Northwest that two and possibly three  separate groups would be applying, excitement from the NHL To Seattle groups on social media was peaking.

    In our conversation with Paul Rogers from the Seattle Sin Bin, the excitement appeared to be giving way to uncertainty, as the various groups around Seattle jockeyed for position. The Vegas Hockey Podcast show is quite interesting, give it a listen!

    With yesterday’s reports on the SB Nation page SonicsRising detailing the withdrawal of Chris Hansen and the SODO Arena plan, as well as the mysterious Bellevue group, The Puget Sound NHL hopes rest squarely on the shoulders of  the Tukwila/Bartozek group. From Sonic Rising:

         A source involved from the Seattle effort said Friday the Coleman group had told the NHL it wanted to finalize the arena site before submitting an application. The same source also indicated Vancouver, B.C., native Coleman hoped to “fast track” the expansion process once a land deal is completed. Coleman’s camp, according to sources, also indicated it is still committed to bringing an NHL franchise to Seattle.

    So, there is still optimism  in Seattle, but the initial excitement is turning into frustrated hope.

    Las Vegas Still The Favorite

    From the privately funded arena on schedule to open in the spring of 2016,  the ownership group privately paying any expansion/application fees, the very successful ticket drive, the lease agreement in place, everything points to an NHL expansion team starting play in Sin City for the 2017-18 season. As CBS Sports says:

           There is no market right now that appears as ripe for expansion as Las Vegas. They have the building — a 20,000-seat arena being built by AEG and MGM slated for completion in 2016. They have the ownership group — billionaire Bill Foley and Las Vegas magnates, the Maloof family. They even have had the season-ticket drive, for which they’ve received pledges well over the 10,000-ticket goal they set. People put down real-money deposits for a team that doesn’t exist yet. With all of that in mind, Las Vegas is No. 1 for expansion right now.

    Quebec City Closing Strong

    With the ownership group of Quebecor Media and their billions, the beautiful new Videotron Centre, and the apparent unraveling of things in Washington State, Quebec Cities bid to reignite the Nordiques flame is gaining steam. The Globe and Mail reported Quebecor’s intention:

         “Quebecor has consistently stated that its objective is to establish an NHL franchise in Quebec City and it intends to make every effort to achieve that goal,” the statement said. “Out of respect for NHL authorities and the process that has been established, Quebecor will maintain its policy of discretion as it proceeds.”

    The fan-base is fanatical about hockey, something it holds above any other market applying for a team. With the city and province shifting from their political stand against financial help to the original Nords, to one where they jointly financed the new arena, all the questions appear to have been answered in Quebec.

    The Long Shots

    Portland, Toronto, Milwaukee, and Houston have all been linked to NHL rumors at one time or another recently. Each city has their pros and cons, but are viewed as secondary options.

    Portland would be a great option if the Seattle groups can’t get an arena project approved. They have an NHL sized arena already. The problem there is lack of an interested ownership group. Paul Allen owns the arena and the NBA Trailblazers, and is not an enthusiastic hockey guy.

    The lack of an arena seems to eliminate putting a second team in the greater Toronto area. The Maple Leafs and Sabres both have voiced proximity concerns.

    Milwaukee is having their own political quagmire concerning a new arena and the NHL must be hesitant to enter another publicly  funded arena minefield.

    Houston would create a nice local rivalry with the Stars, but doesn’t expand the league footprint the way the efforts of Seattle, Portland and Las Vegas would.

    With the new deadline of June 20th looming and only Quebec City and Las Vegas believed to have submitted their bids, the hockey world waits with baited breath to see who else will join the expansion party. The more time passes, the more the pretenders are separated from the real contenders. In September, Gary Bettman and the NHL Board of Governors will announce the winners of the expansion lottery, if any. Stay tuned.

    Follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our Podcast on iTunes for all the latest expansion news!

    The End Draws Near

    The Stanley Cup will be awarded in three games or less. The NHL season is all but complete. The playoffs have been fantastic. Again. The Finals have featured an Original Six powerhouse looking for dynasty status and the upstart, young, non-traditional market team on a run.With the teams tied at two games a piece, it’s two out of three for the Stanley Cup!!!

    Starting the series, most pundits picked the Chicago Blackhawks to skate the cup. With the uber talented forward corps, the Conn Smythe favorite on defense Duncan Keith, the more experienced goaltender Corey Crawford in net, and the Head Coach with the third most wins all time against the young coach with just three years NHL experience. All signs pointed to the Hawks winning their third Cup in six years. Smart money was on the Hawks in Las Vegas, with the series price opening Hawks  -$1.40. That means to win a dollar, you had to bet one dollar and forty cents. Or, nearly a 1.5 to one favorite. After their game one win, the price soared to -$2.70.

    But the pesky Lightning have had their say in this series so far. Going into Game Four, the Lightning have lead for 174:21 out of 180 minutes. After losing the first game at home, they rebounded to win the next one at home, then took game three in Chi Town, recapturing home ice in the process. Unfortunately, Ben Bishop who left Game Two twice in the third period, became increasingly immobile during the game.Then, in Game Four, the Lightning were forced to go with Andrei Vasilevskiy, their twenty year old backup. Tampa responded with their most solid defensive start to a game in the playoffs, holding the vaunted Blackhawks offense to just two shots on goal in the first period, and nineteen overall. They lost two to one. “Tampa was the better team today no question about it,” said Hawks defenseman Kimmo Timonen. “It doesn’t matter though, because we won.”

    With just three games to go, and two of them at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay, here are four reasons why the Lightning will win the Cup.

    Number One: They have dominated the series, having led or been tied for about 221 out of 240:00 minutes played so far. The games have all been one goal games, but credit that to Crawford. He has been his best when the Hawks have needed him most. For large portions of all the games played so far, the ice has been tilted in Tampa’s favor. All the fancy stats favor Tampa thus far.

    Number two: History. The home team tied at two in the Stanley Cup Finals has won Game Five 81% of the time, and have won the series 81% of the time. Given the chance, I’m sure both teams, their fans, and all other players in the league for that matter would take two out of three on home ice for the cup in training camp. Tampa has that chance.

    Number three: Physical play. The Lightning have carried the bulk of the physical play so far out hitting the Hawks 154-110. After a very physical series with the Ducks where they were outhit in that series as well, the Hawks looked a step slow for most of Game Four. With Coach Q only rolling four defenseman, the physical pounding of the last month may be taking its toll.

    Number Four: More consistent depth scoring. With both teams star forwards kept off the score sheet, Towes with one goal, Kane, Hossa, Sharp 0 goals, and Stamkos, 0 goals, the series will be decided by the second and third liners. Tampa has a decided edge here, with Kucherov, Palat, Callahan, Paquette, and Johnson all tallying goals in this series.

    With  two Stanley Cup Championships in the last five seasons, the Chicago Blackhawks won’t go away quietly, that’s for sure. Here are four reasons the Blackhawks can win the series.

    Number One: Goaltending. Corey Crawford has elevated his play from early in the playoffs, where he had lost his job to Scott Darling. He has kept the Hawks in every game, and can be thanked for the series being tied at two. With the Lightning’s Ben Bishop injured and the 20 year old rookie Andrei Vasilevskiy possibly starting the rest of the way, Corey Crawford can steal this series for Chicago.

    Number Two: Experience. With the Blackhawks looking to extend their Championship run to three Cups in six years, the edge here goes to the Hawks. They will not panic. They will not break. They may bend, as we saw in the Ducks series, but you have to kill a Champion, or they will keep fighting. These Hawks posses an intangible calmness and poise to their game that the Lightning haven’t yet cultivated. The core group for Tampa is mostly 26 years old and under. The future is bright, but is the future now?

    Number Three: History. The Hawks have never lost a series tied at two in the Kane-Toews era, and are riding an eight game winning streak in the postseason when tied at two. If that continues, the Hawks could be looking to close things out on home ice Monday night. Don’t look for the stars of Chicago to be shutout for an entire seven game series,either. They are too good, and have been there before. They have always come through in the past.

    Number Four: Coaching. Coach Q has been tested this post season. He has answered the bell every time. Willing to bench a Stanley Cup Champion goalie, creating positive matchups for his team at home or on the road, and moving his lines around when his team has needed a spark. He has been masterful throughout the playoffs. Coach Cooper is a fantastic coach, but this may be the Master and the Apprentice.

    The series resumes tonight at 8 PM Eastern Time in Tampa. There are plenty of questions left to answer and only a short time left to do so. The team that remains strong to the points listed above should come out on top. Right now it’s a toss up, with Tampa holding home ice. The Stanley Cup will be awarded soon. To whom? Tune in and find out! It’s been hell of a ride so far, don’t miss the rest!