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  • Davidson sells Lightning

    Also the [Detroit] Pistons owner, he surprises league and community by unloading team on local investors.

    TAMPA, Fla. -- A group led by former Florida Panthers coach Doug MacLean has agreed to buy the Tampa Bay Lightning and said Tuesday it has no plans to move the franchise that won its only Stanley Cup three years ago.

    "Absolute zero thought of that," MacLean said at a news conference following the surprise sale by Palace Sports and Entertainment, a group headed by Pistons owner Bill Davidson.

    "Typically, you come into a situation where ownership has been an issue," MacLean added. "We're following a great ownership group that took the Tampa Bay franchise and really put it on the map."

    Davidson bought the Lightning in 1999 and helped transform them from a perennial last-place team struggling to sell tickets into a franchise that won the Stanley Cup in 2004 and has made the playoffs the past four seasons.

    The one thing Davidson couldn't do, though, was make the Lightning profitable.

    Team officials have said the team has lost more than $70 million under current ownership, and the only season the team made money was during its title run.

    Still, the sale caught many in the organization off guard.

    Although current Lightning chairman and governor Tom Wilson said talks with MacLean's Absolute Hockey Enterprises had been ongoing for about six weeks, the team never was formally placed on the market by Davidson.

    "We really weren't (for sale)," Wilson said. "But one thing he always said, even to (NHL commissioner) Gary Bettman years ago, is 'I'll know when the time is right. But the one thing I want to promise you is if and when the time comes, we're going to sell it to the right people.

    "Passionate hockey people, people with Florida roots so we can have local ownership. ... And, it's going to be people who are committed to the game."

    The purchase agreement also includes the leasing rights to the St. Pete Times Forum and about 5.5 acres in properties adjacent to the downtown arena.

    MacLean declined to discuss the purchase price, saying the sale still is subject to approval by the NHL's board of governors.

    MacLean coached Florida to the Stanley Cup finals in 1996. He was fired in April as the Columbus Blue Jackets president and general manager.
    http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll...77/1004/SPORTS
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    • That was a bit of a shock.

      One less target for Balsille.
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      • This announcement might be a tad early, but just an FYI for the coming season - I won't be defending my (two time) title in fantasy hockey. Our first child is due in November and I really don't think I'll be following the games all that closely for quite a while. This is actually good news for everyone else though - someone else can win for a change.

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        • Splitter!
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          • It is getting close to that time though.

            Are many people around here going to want another season of fantasy hockey?
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            • I'm in, but with HM, KH and Asher gone, I doubt we'll get enough people.
              Golfing since 67

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              • Originally posted by Tingkai
                I'm in, but with HM, KH and Asher gone, I doubt we'll get enough people.
                Where did KH and Asher go?

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                • Asher got banned and was told the only way back in was if he apologized and promised to be nice, which he ain't going to do.

                  KH left in protest over the Asher ban.

                  Oh and congrats on starting a family. Photos are of course expected.
                  Golfing since 67

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                  • Originally posted by Tingkai
                    Asher got banned and was told the only way back in was if he apologized and promised to be nice, which he ain't going to do.

                    KH left in protest over the Asher ban.

                    Oh and congrats on starting a family. Photos are of course expected.
                    Hardly surprising.

                    That's too bad.

                    Thanks, and...maybe.

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                    • Originally posted by Tingkai
                      I'm in, but with HM, KH and Asher gone, I doubt we'll get enough people.
                      We had 14(?) last year. I'm sure we can muddle through so long as apathy does not prevail.

                      KH may well come back, but joncha is another absentee who voiced displeasure with the hows and whys of the last Asher incident.
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                      • THN predictions. Based on points I think, rather than the 1-3 seeds for division leaders.

                        Western Conf
                        1 Detroit
                        2 Anaheim
                        3 San Jose
                        4 Calgary
                        5 Vancouver
                        6 Minnesota
                        7 Nashville
                        8 Dallas
                        9 St. Louis
                        10 Colorado
                        11 Los Angeles
                        12 Chicago
                        13 Edmonton
                        14 Columbus
                        15 Phoenix

                        Eastern Conf
                        1 Ottawa
                        2 NY Rangers
                        3 Pittsburgh
                        4 Tampa Bay
                        5 Buffalo
                        6 Atlanta
                        7 New Jersey
                        8 Toronto
                        9 Philadelphia
                        10 Carolina
                        11 Montreal
                        12 Washington
                        13 Florida
                        14 NY Islanders
                        15 Boston

                        Flames over Ducks in WC Final.
                        Senators over Rangers in EC Final.

                        Senators over Flames in SC Final.


                        I think they have Anaheim and Nashville high (off season changes discounted). St. Louis is high. I know they are improved, but better than Colorado? The Oilers are written off (no big surprise there).

                        I have a harder time finding things way off in the EC, but I am less familiar. They seem overly pessemistic about the Bruins though. Especially given how badly the Isles have blown up.

                        An interesting contrast... Anaheim lose Selane and Niedermeyer, but stay right where they were last year. Buffalo lose Briere and Drury and slip 4 spots. More thought put into the EC standings?
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                        • Originally posted by notyoueither
                          Are many people around here going to want another season of fantasy hockey?
                          Sure, why not? I'm in. Can't promise I'll be any good though
                          Former President, Vice-president and Foreign Minister of the Apolyton Civ2-Democracy Games as 123john321

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                          • I'll be in for a team this year, but it's definitely looking like a thin field.

                            Who would we conceivably have?

                            nye
                            Kontiki
                            Tingkai
                            boo
                            Guy (maybe)
                            Imran (he usually throws his hat in, but doesn't participate much)
                            Pekka (maybe he can pay more attention this year)
                            Jaguar (big question mark - haven't seem him much)
                            Sparrowhawk (maybe)
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                            • We'll be fine.

                              We had 14 teams last year. We lose a few and gain a couple.
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                              • http://www.apolyton.net/forums/showt...hreadid=169697
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