An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• A legal analyst takes a look at the case of the 10 players who are suing the NHL for conspiring to hide information about the damaging effects of concussions. Going by this, it’s quite unlikely that anyone who is involved with the league is losing much sleep over it.
• This story suggests the future of broadcasting legend Don Cherry is up in the air as a result of the new Canadian broadcasting deal. That’s probably accurate, at least in the sense that, at this point, no one, not even Grapes himself, appears to know how this will play out. Not quoted in this story, though, is Scott Moore, the President of Broadcast at Rogers, who spoke last night on CBC Radio’s As It Happens. Essentially, he said he considers Cherry and Hockey Night In Canada host Ron MacLean to be vital parts of the program, adding that he’d already reached out to Cherry. Moore certainly gave the impression of a man who wanted to keep Grapes on board.
• That massive $5.2 billion deal came together quickly and with very little fuss, writes Jordan Heath-Rawlings.
• Only $5.2 billion? The rest of the sporting world mocks this puny deal. Except maybe the National Lacrosse League. This one probably looks pretty good to them.
• The upshot of this deal for the NHL? It changes the financial underpinning of the system. Teams that previously fretted about the bottom line will soon have a guaranteed revenue stream that directly impacts their ability to sign players. For a team like the Oilers, it means their bevy of young stars could remain with Edmonton for life. For a team like the Coyotes, it means there’s no chance they will miss the revenue triggers that would have allowed them to exercise an escape clause and leave Arizona. There’ll be a lot more written about this in the coming days.
• TSN may be losing NHL hockey, but it won’t give up “The Hockey Theme.”