1. Wheels are turning in Las Vegas to launch the construction of an arena near the Strip that is apparently destined for NHL hockey. James Mirtle breaks down the expansion scenario, as the NHL's Board of Governors prepares to meet in Toronto. Personally, I think this a fascinating possibility. While the locals may not be able to fully support a team there, I could definitely see a brisk business for people visiting there to catch their favorite team. Just ask yourself, would you rather pack up a few pals and follow your team to St. Louis, Edmonton, or Las Vegas?
2. One question I have is how expansion money might affect the Sommet Center lease agreement, which allows local ownership a buyout prior to 2012 if financial losses exceed $20 million. I know that when it comes to "Hockey Related Revenue" that drives the salary cap under the CBA, expansion fees (which may net each team $10-20 million if two teams join the league soon) aren't counted, but I'm not intimately familiar with the lease terms as to whether anything's different there. The reason that's important is that if expansions fees are considered part of the general bottom line (which I would consider likely), that may effectively take that 2012 buyout option off the table. I hate to even bring up lease stuff, but it's a thought that crossed my mind.
3. The Nashville Predators advertising campaign has kicked off, and it's good to see the team aggressively marketing themselves. When I moved to Nashville in the fall of 2005 I was suprised to see how little was being done in that area, other than a few incredibly lame billboards.
4. Puck Update highlights a fascinating occasion; a MSM columnist (Terry Frei) writes a column about Patrick Roy, gets blasted by readers for omitting comment about the infamous junior hockey brawl that Roy and his son were involved in, and then writes a followup that not only admits that he could have handled it better, but offers up a preferred version of his text. MSM "bloggers" aren't usually so interactive with their readers, let alone open to criticism and self-correction. Well done, Mr. Frei.
5. The Predators and "Our Team Nashville" are hosting a Rally at the Sommet Center all day Tuesday, September 23rd. It's a day chock-full of activities, with a radiothon running from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on 104.5 "The Zone". Just take a look at the happenings, and stop by at some point:
6-8 a.m.: FREE breakfast sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts (mmm... donuts...)
10-11 a.m.: Hockey 101 Presentation (duck out of the office and tell your boss it's for an educational seminar)
11:00 a.m.: Nashville Predators Rookie Game
11 a.m. -1 p.m.: $5 Box Lunch Special
11 a.m. -12 p.m.: Nashville Predators Player Appearance (select players will be in attendance)
2:30-3:30 p.m.: Rookie Autograph Signing
4-6 p.m.: GNASH (Greater Nashville Area Scholastic Hockey) Senior Game
5-7:30 p.m.: Nashville Predators Foundation Silent Auction
5:45-6:30 p.m.: Beverley Mahood performing on Plaza
6:30 p.m.: Rally Begins
7:15-9 p.m.: FREE Public Skate (register at the Preds website beginning September 20).
The public skate on the Sommet ice sounds like a great idea. So if you work downtown, make your plans to stick around afterwards and catch some live music, get fired up at the rally, then do your best prat fall on the very ice where the Predators play.