Houston Aeros 1994-2013: Thank you for all the great memories and two decades of great hockey and entertainment.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Wild winger Pouliot fined $2,000, loses licence for impaired driving

The Ottawa Citizen reports - Wild winger Pouliot fined $2,000, loses licence for impaired driving.

It doesn't paint Benoit in a good light as it appears he tried the old "Do you know who I am?" trick AND he doesn't seem to have too much remorse.

When asked whether the decision would affect him in the coming season, Pouliot said, “I don’t need a car to play hockey, so I don’t see a problem at all.”

Round One: Freer Region 2 v 7

2 - Ryznar, Lammers, and Kassian celebrate a goal

7 - Kolanos battles for room to work

All photos by Fred Trask

Vote below for the best photo (and remember, we're trying to find the best photo... not just your favorite player):

Round One: Chabot Region 2 v 7

2 - Brusty gets a toe on the shot

7 - Goal celebration with Kassian, Albers, and Love

All photos by Fred Trask

Vote below for the best photo (and remember, we're trying to find the best photo... not just your favorite player):

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Round One: Wiseman Region 2 v 7

2 - Brusty's pilot mask

7 - Schaef makes melon save

All photos by Fred Trask

Vote below for the best photo (and remember, we're trying to find the best photo... not just your favorite player):

Round One: Tippett Region 2 v 7

2 - Corey Locke sets for a face-off

7 - Just another day at the office for Krys Kolanos

All photos by Fred Trask

Vote below for the best photo (and remember, we're trying to find the best photo... not just your favorite player):

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Round One: Freer Region 1 v 8

1 - Dimples tracks the puck into his glove

8 - Another one bites the dust at the hands of Mitch Love

All photos by Fred Trask

Vote below for the best photo (and remember, we're trying to find the best photo... not just your favorite player):

Round One: Chabot Region 1 v 8

1 - Nolan Schaefer makes a glove save

8 - Paul Albers stalks an opponent in the corner

All photos by Fred Trask

Vote below for the best photo (and remember, we're trying to find the best photo... not just your favorite player):

Friday, August 28, 2009

Round One: Wiseman Region 1 v 8

1 - Group hug after a win


8 - Matt Beaudoin hustles up the ice

All photos by Fred Trask

Vote below for the best photo (and remember, we're trying to find the best photo... not just your favorite player):

Round One: Tippett Region 1 v 8

1 - Celebration after beating Manitoba to advance to Game 6


8 - John Scott rounds out his "John Scott Hat Trick"
(three fights in one stop in play) with Matt Foy

All photos by Fred Trask

Vote below for the best photo (and remember, we're trying to find the best photo... not just your favorite player):

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Twits and the Phoenix Coyotes

I don't know how many of you are still following the Phoenix Coyotes saga, but just when things appear to be settled or calmed down, something really stupid happens and things are once again thrown into turmoil. Like Phoenix's white night, Jerry Reinsdorf, pulling his bid off of the table and dropping his quest to save the Coyotes for Phoenix.

But don't worry. The NHL has found a new owner. The NHL. That's right. The NHL is making a bid to purchase the team from bankruptcy, and get this, its offer is for even less money than what Reinsdorf was offering up. And from I've read, the NHL's plan is to purchase the team and then sell it to whoever will offer up cash for it -- and the team doesn't even have to stay in Phoenix.

And coming up next week, the Judge is supposed to decide if he will allow Jim Balsillie to bid on the team, or whether the NHL's vote finding him "not qualified" to be an owner will keep him from bidding on the team.

I no longer have any idea of what is going to happen here. But I'm pretty sure, after everything that's happened, that the NHL is being run by this group of twits.

First Annual Fred Trask Photo of the Year Competition

It's been a long, hot, dry, hockeyless summer, but I think we're all seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. And to help pull us all through to the start of training camp AND to reminisce a bit about some of the great moments of the past season via Fred's amazing photography, we bring you The Photo Contest.

We picked our top 32 favorite photos from the past season, then we ranked them and created a bracket. (Click to enlarge)

So for the next few days, you can vote on which photo in each match-up will advance to Round 2. Then when those are decided, we'll start voting for Round 2 and so forth until we get to the championship.

We'll fire it up first thing tomorrow morning, with two new match-ups a day for a while. Voting will be open for two days for each individual match-up, so don't miss a vote.

May the Best Photo win! (You're all winners!!!)

Round One
1 v 8 seeds
Tippett Region - Scott vs. Foy Fight
Wiseman Region - Group Hug
Chabot Region - Schaef glove save
Freer Region - Love fight

2 v 7 seeds
Tippett Region - Kolanos scores on SA
Wiseman Region - Schaef melon save
Chabot Region - Brusty toe save
Freer Region - RyzKasLam goal cele

3 v 6 seeds
Tippett Region - Love & angry looks
Wiseman Region - Dimples gives a shove
Chabot Region - Kassian fight
Freer Region - Kolanos Superman

4 v 5 seeds
Tippett Region - Locke beats Legace
Wiseman Region - Irms skating
Chabot Region - Brusty diving save
Freer Region - Stoner & Brusty

Round Two
Tippett 7 v 8 - Scott v. Foy fight
Wiseman 1 v 7 - Schaefer melon save
Chabot 1 v 2 -Brusty toe save
Freer 8 v 2 -Love fight

Tippett 3 v 5 -Locke beats Legace
Wiseman 6 v 5 - Dimples gives a shove
Chabot 3 v 5 - Brusty diving save
Freer 3 v 5 - Kolanos Superman

Round Three
Tippett Division Final - Locke beats Legace
Wiseman Division Final -Dimples gives a shove
Chabot Division Final - Brusty diving save
Freer Division Final - Love fight

Round Four
Howe Conference Final - Locke beats Legace
Avco Conference Final - Brusty diving save

Championship - BRUSTY DIVING SAVE

New Training Camp/Preseason Information

The Aeros will report to camp Sunday, Sept. 20 and will take physicals Monday morning.
Later that day, they will practice in Sugar Land for the first time.

On Saturday, Sept. 26, the Aeros will host the San Antonio Rampage in their first preseason game and will travel to Cedar Park to take on the Stars Monday, Sept. 28.

Fans should be happy that they'll get a chance to see the team live before it opens up on the road the following week.

I know I plan on driving over to Austin to check out the new building. With the game being on a Monday night, how many of you will be able or willing to make the trek for preseason?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New Wild third jersey leaked

The Wild is officially unveiling its new sweater on Sunday, but due to some web site updates the NHL is doing, some photos got leaked.

You can see the photos here at Icethetics, which is an awesome site if you're into jerseys and logos and stuff, but it's back to the dark green and looks like a wheat color? And an old-school script logo.

It's pretty sharp, IMO, but not one I'd buy. But very much sticks with that old school hockey aesthetic that Minnesota hockey lovers should dig, given their strong pride in the hockey heritage there. Pride or obnoxiousness, anyway... Kidding MNs! Love ya.

Anyway, check it out and come back and tell us what you think. I think Burnzie needs a haircut.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Aeros Training Camp set for 9/21; Traverse Prospect Tourney

T3I has learned that the Aeros will begin training camp at Sugar Land Ice (SLICE) on Sept. 21.

That's less than a month away, with Wild Training Camp starting a week earlier on Sept. 13 in St. Paul.

Later this week, we'll try and get you a peek at possible camp invitees and info on pre-season games.

Also, we tweeted about it earlier but the Wild released their roster for the Traverse City Prospect Tournament, which several NHL teams participate in to get another look at their prospects before everyone heads to their respective training camps.

Last year, the NHL Network showed the tournament games, but looking at their schedule, nothing is listed yet, but they do this stuff last minute a lot of times, so maybe it's still a possibility. It was fun watching Clutterbuck be the "veteran" last year. Looks like Morten Madsen and Justin Falk will be the vets this year.

How about Cheli's Chili at Toyota Center

Reports are coming out of Chicago, and the rest of the hockey world for that matter, that long-time and ancient blueliner Chris Chelios wants to play hockey this year and could sign an AHL contract with the Chicago Wolves in the near future.

Talk about sure-fire veteran presence there, something many AHL followers will note the Wolves surely missed in 08-09.

Cheli's time dwindled in Detroit last year, but he wasn't horrible.
My opinion is that if he's willing to do it to help some of Atlanta's young blueliners and he still gets to play the game he loves, then why the heck not.

Makes me wonder now if Darren McCarty is thinking about another run with Grand Rapids.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

So, Just How Financially Stable Are The Dallas Stars?

So while researching some info for a mothership post for tomorrow, I came across something rather interesting, and something which I thought I might bring out over here for discussion purposes, if you guys don't mind.

Now I've written in the past that Tom Hicks and Hicks Sports Group are having some financial problems and that Hicks has decided to deliberately default on his debt. He has placed a majority interest in the Texas Rangers up for sale, and he has placed a minority interest in the Dallas Stars up for sale. Now we're being told that everything is a-ok with the Stars, and that the team has no financial problems and will make it through the season fine.

And that could be so, but...

It is now being reported in Dallas that Major League Baseball is effectively running the Texas Rangers, going so far as to step into negotiations between the team and a draft pick and withdrawing an offer that the team had made and substituting a substantially lower offer at the signing deadline because other MLB owners thought the offer was too high.

I'm not sure of what exactly this means for the Stars, but I've really got to question just how stable the Stars really are.

Aeros hire Green, Tretiak as Trainer, Equipment Manager

We've known about Jody Green for awhile now -- thanks to a purposely unnamed social media Web site -- but T3I could not reach a unanimous decision as to whether or not we should have posted that information a few weeks ago.

The decision was made not to put that information on the blog, and the Wild organization was not quite ready to release it at that time.

Although these promotions are great for the respective parties, this news pales in comparison to last week's schedule release or even a preseason schedule announcement. We are still hoping to get that soon. The games and dates have already (virtually) been decided, so now we are just waiting for the announcement.

Green is replacing a Houston Aeros staple in Jerry Meins, and I wish him the best of luck filling those shoes. We'll miss Jerry, but Green is certainly an up-and-comer. As for Tretiak, he has a cool last name and come to find out, jokingly, he is not the same goalie from USSR hockey lore.

I wish him well in his new role too.

The following is the news release the Aeros sent out earlier today:


HOUSTON – Houston Aeros General Manager Jim Mill announced today the American Hockey league (AHL) team hired Jody Green as the new Athletic Trainer and Doug Tretiak as the new Equipment Manager.

“We are excited with the new additions to our staff,” Mill said. “Jody and Doug bring the experience and professionalism needed to handle the intensity of the jobs that are key to the success of our team.”

Green, 25 (6/1/84), worked as a graduate assistant athletic trainer for the Alabama Crimson Tide Volleyball Team last year while studying for his master’s degree in Arts and Health Studies. The Gulfport , Mississippi native has also worked with the Mississippi Sea Wolves of the ECHL as an intern and assistant athletic trainer. Green earned his bachelor of science in Athletic Training at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette where he made the Dean's List in 2006 and 2007. He is board certified in athletic training and CPR and is a member of the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society (PHATS) and the Society of Professional Hockey Equipment Managers (SPHEM).

Tretiak, 42 (4/26/67), comes from the RGV Killer Bees (Central Hockey League) and RGV Dorados (Arenafootball2 League) where he has been equipment manager since 2006 and was recognized as an outstanding equipment manager in 2008-09. The Winnipeg , Manitoba native is approaching the 800 game milestone, working for teams in the Western Professional Hockey League, International Hockey League, AHL and National Hockey League where he started as a visiting team attendant with the Winnipeg Jets in 1987.

Green and Tretiak will begin their new roles with the team immediately.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A.J. Thelen Update

A couple of weeks ago someone asked about what had happened to former Wild prospect A.J. Thelen. Well, here's your answer. He just re-signed with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL, and he will be attending the AHL camp of the San Antonio Rampage.

Thelen played in only 34 contests for the Blades last season, suffering through an injury-plagued season that included two concussions. In those 34 games, he scored 3 goals and 14 assists for 17 points. He also played in 10 Kelly Cup playoff games.

Slow News Day Funny

Since we're all friends in the hockey world, I thought I would take this time to do a little research and try to make some people laugh all at the same time.

Over the summer, two things have been bothering me about two of the Aeros Game 7s from the playoffs in 2009.

First, how did that puck get through the net in Peoria (check around the 50 second mark)? And secondly, why did Milwaukee come to the rink so unprepared to play Game 7 in the next round?

I can't figure out the first one, but check out the video below. I think this proves what happened to the Admirals after blasting the Aeros (actually, that should say kicked the ever-living crap out of) last spring.



Monday, August 17, 2009

HOUSTON AEROS 2009-10 SCHEDULE

DATE/TIME/RESULT    OPPONENT

October

10/02     07:30         @ Manitoba     

10/03     07:30         @ Manitoba     

10/09     07:35         TEXAS        

10/10     07:35         TEXAS    

10/16     07:35         SAN ANTONIO    

10/17     07:35         TEXAS    

10/21     07:05         LAKE ERIE    

10/24     07:00         @ San Antonio        

10/25     03:00         @ San Antonio    

10/27     07:05         HAMILTON    

10/29     06:00         @ Grand Rapids         

10/30     06:00         @ Grand Rapids

November

11/01     05:00         @ Texas    

11/05     07:05         MANITOBA    

11/07     06:35         SAN ANTONIO    

11/13     06:30         @ Lake Erie    

11/14     01:00         @ Lake Erie    

11/15     04:05         CHICAGO    

11/18     07:05         PEORIA        

11/20     07:05         MILWAUKEE    

11/22     04:05         MILWAUKEE    

11/25     06:30         @ Hamilton    

11/27     06:30         @ Syracuse     

11/28     03:00         @ Toronto

December

12/03     11:00         SAN ANTONIO

12/04     07:00         @ San Antonio    

12/11     07:35         PEORIA    

12/13     04:05         ROCKFORD    

12/15     07:30         @ Texas Stars     

12/16     07:05         SAN ANTONIO

12/18     07:35         TEXAS    

12/20     04:05         GRAND RAPIDS     

12/26     07:35         SAN ANTONIO     

12/28     07:05         SYRACUSE    

12/30     07:00         @ Chicago     

12/31     07:05         @ Rockford    

January

01/01     07:00         @ Milwaukee    

01/03     04:05         ABBOTSFORD    

01/06     07:30         @ Texas    

01/08     07:35         ROCKFORD    

01/10     04:05         ROCKFORD     

01/13     07:05         @ Rockford    

01/15     07:05         @ Rockford    

01/16     07:35         TORONTO    

01/22     09:30         @ Abbotsford    

01/23     06:00         @ Abbotsford    

01/27     07:00         @ Chicago    

01/29     07:00         @ Milwaukee    

01/30     07:00         @ Peoria    

February

02/01     07:05         ABBOTSFORD    

02/03     07:05         PEORIA        

02/05     07:00         @ Milwaukee    

02/06     06:00         @ Grand Rapids     

02/12     07:35         GRAND RAPIDS    

02/13     07:35         GRAND RAPIDS    

02/14     04:05         CHICAGO    

02/19     07:00         @ Milwaukee    

02/20     07:00         @ Chicago    

02/21     03:00         @ Peoria     

02/25     07:05         MANITOBA    

02/26     07:30         @ Texas    

02/27     07:35         TEXAS    
    

March

03/03     07:00         @ San Antonio    

03/05     07:35         SAN ANTONIO     

03/06     07:00         @ Texas    

03/12     07:35         PEORIA    

03/13     07:00         @ Chicago    

03/14     05:00         @ Rockford    

03/20     07:35         MILWAUKEE    

03/21     04:05         MILWAUKEE        

03/26     07:35         LAKE ERIE    

03/27     07:00         @ Peoria    

03/28     02:00         @ Peoria    

03/31     07:05         CHICAGO

April

04/02     07:35         CHICAGO    

04/03     07:00         @ Texas    

04/06     07:05         ROCKFORD    

04/08     07:00         @ San Antonio     

04/10     07:35         TEXAS        

04/11     02:00         @ San Antonio

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Nice Schedule blog by SA's Tony U

Tony U. is one of the hockey writers for the San Antonio Express-News.
He was the team's first P.A. Announcer and is still around the team working as a freelancer. He does a nice blog for the Express-News and did this post recently, breaking down the schedule for one of the Aeros' big rivals to the West.

If you ever thought the Aeros schedule was bad, SA fans have a tough go of it in February when the team is forced to spend the month on the road because of the rodeo that occupies the AT&T Center.

Consider this excerpt from Tony's blog:

"San Antonio's worst stretch will be 5 games in 7 nights after they return from their rodeo road trip, which will once again stretch 15 games in 10 different cities, but at least there will be back-to-backs this year in Manitoba and Peoria to help that endurance trip."

Counting up the number of three-in-three's is generally a good way to see if a team is getting screwed, schedule wise. And from the looks of it, it looks like all three Texas teams will have it much easier, mostly because all three of them are now within about 200 miles of each other.

I did a quick count this afternoon and the Rampage will have to endure eight of them, while the Aeros and Stars are right behind with seven "three-in-threes" apiece.

Sorry for the digress, but this is a good read from Tony, and I thought our readers would enjoy.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

2009-2010 AHL Schedule

Here is the AHL schedule for this season. Note that the Aeros open the season in Manitoba on October 2 and 3, then they open the home schedule against Texas on October 9. I haven't really looked it over yet, but I'm sure everybody will find something to gripe about, so have it.

UPDATE: Well, I just noticed that for the first time in years, the Aeros will be on the road for Thanksgiving instead of playing San Antonio here at Toyota Center on Black Friday. I also note that the Aeros are at home for Christmas, but play three-in-three on the road at New Year's. Still, I don't see anything really outrageous.

Also, here is the Chronicle story on the schedule. A few good notes here ... also looks like a few more weekday games this year. (TWO cricket-filled Monday games on the slate too ... )

THN ranks Aeros jersey #13 in the AHL

While we're all waiting to pounce on the AHL schedule at 3:00 p.m. today, here's something to chew on.

I can tell you, my ranking wouldn't look much like that, though I'd still probably put the bomber at the middle of the pack. I've never been too fond of it. (Oh, simmer down. I do like the away darks.)

And I do like Milwaukee and San Antonio's sweaters, so they'd still be near the top for me. In fact, SA might be my favorite, as painful as that is to admit.

But Chicago's WAY too high. The only thing good about their sweater is the creepy green eyes on the wolf. And Springfield? Are you kidding me? Please.

What do you think?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Preseason Schedule could be announced next week

With the addition of the Texas Stars to the West division this year, it will be interesting to see if the Aeros are able to add them to their preseason slate.

Since the Rampage arrived in 2002-03, the Aeros have played them twice (home and away) for the preseason (save for the lockout year when they did a four-game, two weekend slate).

The regular season schedule will be released tomorrow at 3, and the Aeros preseason schedule will/could be released next week.

If the Aeros play their preseason games at San Antonio and Cedar Park the last weekend of September, would you make the drive over there to see them? Would you be upset if the team does not play at least one home preseason game this year?

Some people want to see their team in action as early as possible, while others could care less about seeing a meaningless tune-up. What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Coyote Creditors Now Support Reinsdorf Bid

Last week, after the largest creditor of the Phoenix Coyotes backed Jim Balsillie's bid for the team as the only one that they would accept, I thought for sure the Coyotes would be no longer for Phoenix after this season. But today, that same creditor announced that it has reached a deal with Jerry Reinsdorf, so they are now willing to accept Reinsdorf should his bid be chosen by the judge -- I still don't understand this in that it still does not appear that Reinsdorf is parting with any cash, but if the creditor's happy, then the judge should be happy. (There's no word on how all of the creditors feel about this, but the Court cares more about the big guys than it does the little guys.)

Frankly, I now think this dooms Balsillie's bid. Sorry Canadians, but it's looking like a city that doesn't really seem to want the team is going to continue to have a team while a country that loves hockey continues to have an under-served market.

It still appears, however, that Reinsdorf has to work out a deal with Glendale over the use of the arena. And the auction for September 10 is open to any and all bidders, so it's still possible that another bidder could swoop in and making an even better bid which the judge would accept. I still think, from what I've read of Reinsdorf's bid, that the Coyotes are doomed to failure to Phoenix, but instead of ending it, the NHL is just going to stretch things out because of Bettman's hatred of Balsillie, and I'm surprised that Reinsdorf is willing to go along with this -- oh, wait, no I'm not as there appears to be a rather crooked political deal going on involving Reinsdorf.

Justin Pogge lands in Anaheim; headed for San Antonio?

Justin Pogge, the talented goalie who has spent most of his pro career with the Toronto Marlies, has been traded to the Anaheim Ducks.

The story makes a good point that Anaheim already has Giguere and Hiller in net. So Pogge, now seemingly just a depth guy, could be AHL bound. Well, we all know what happened to the Chops, and San Antonio is already known to be the landing spot for several Ducks prospects in 2009-10.

If this guys ends up at the AT&T Center with Josh Tordjman, look out. That will be a very formidable tandem in net for the Silver and Black.

(UPDATE!) -- A quick look at the stats reveal that Pogge has never lost in regulation to the Aeros dating to the start of the 06-07 season. His first three starts against the boys were better than that last three, and the only time the Aeros beat him was in the shootout (at Toyota Center) just last year.

In 2006-07, he was 2-0-0 and allowed 4 goals on 62 shots (.935)
In 2007-08, he was 2-0-0 and allowed 4 goals on 65 shots (.938)
In 2008-09, he was 1-0-1 and allowed 6 goals on 44 shots (.864)

His best game was a 33-save shutout at Toronto on Feb. 10, 2008
His worst game was last Oct. 26 at Toronto when he allowed four Aeros goals on 23 shots.

I hope everyone finds this information useful.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Uh, Mr. Bettman, About That Whole Southern Strategy Thing

Here's a little something that I'm sure has Jim Balsillie all excited this morning. Because, just in case that whole Phoenix Coyotes thing fall apart, there now definitely appears to be another Southern NHL team in need of rescuing. This time, the franchise is the Tampa Bay Lightning.

According to the St. Petersburgh Times, the NHL has issued an ultimatum to the Lightning ownership: "The NHL apparently has decided the Lightning's ownership situation is unsustainable and set up a process in which squabbling co-owners Len Barrie and Oren Koules can buy each other out." There is apparently a 60-day window in place for Barrie to buy Koules, and if he fails to so do, then Koules has 60-days to buy out Barrie. But along with buying the other out, Barrie or Koules must also prove that he can handle the substantial debt obligations to the previous owner, Palace Sports & Entertainment. Should neither be able to do that then it is possible the NHL will be charged with finding a new owner -- and we all know how good the NHL has done with finding a new owner for Phoenix.

So once again, Mr. Bettman, how is that whole strategy of moving away from Canada and into the South working out for the NHL?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Alumni Update: Steve Kelly

From Syracuse.com comes a little story on former Aeros Steve Kelly. Kelly's currently a free agent who is still recovering from surgery on his hip, which he injured last March when playing for the Crunch.

But don't worry about Kelly. Should he come up with no other career options (Europe?), he's got a back-up plan. He's going to become a police officer.

On a side note: Kelly was a good go-to guy in the locker room for quotes the year he was here. Which reminds me that in about a couple of months I'm going to have to start figuring out who the new go-to quote guys are.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

[Addendum] The Phoenix Coyotes Are Dead, Almost, Just Give It A Minute

Ding dong. The witch is dead. Maybe. Almost. We'll know more next month. But in a ruling that perhaps surprised only the NHL, the Phoenix bankruptcy judge overhearing the Phoenix Coyotes bankruptcy today announced that the Jerry Reinsdorf no-money bid, the mythical-yet-to-be-submitted bid from Ice Edge Holdings, and the $212.5 million bid of Jim Balsillie will all be considered by the bankruptcy court in an auction on September 10.

Originally, there were to be two auctions regarding the Coyotes -- a keep the team in Phoenix auction which was supposed to have been done today, and the September 10 open to relocation auction if the original auction was deemed to be unsatisfactory. But Jerry Reinsdorf's bid has proven to be a bit inadequate, and he's still attempting to negotiate with the city of Glendale, AZ over the use of the Coyotes arena, so he and the NHL requested a delay so as to work on the bid. The judge granted that delay, with the result being that all bids will be considered on the same day.

This is bad news for Phoenix, Reinsdorf, and the NHL seeing as how the judge and the leading creditor have both stated that they prefer Balsillie's bid, seeing as how actual money is involved and the creditors are paid off. But in even worse news for Phoenix, Reinsdorf, and the NHL, the judge also stated that the auction is "open to any and all bidders including, but not limited to P.S.E. [Balsillie]."

What that, in effect, means is that the everybody is welcome to bid on the team, and there has been speculation that once the team was open to relocation more bidders might leap in. So it's possible, seeing that this team can now be moved and is not stuck with having to stay in Phoenix, that other parties are going to submit bids to purchase the team and move it, and the NHL has virtually no way to prevent this unless they find a way to get Reinsdorf to offer up at least as much cash as Balsillie.

There is also going to be a court hearing next Tuesday so as to address the fact that the NHL last week rejected Balsillie's bid. My thinking is that the judge will hear the NHL out, tell them to shut up, and get on with the real work. Considering some of the owners they have let into the league, like "Boots" Del Biaggio for example -- it's funny to listen to Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold go on about Balsillie being a liar when you consider that Leipold thought Del Biaggio was an honest guy -- I don't think the judge is going to be too sympathetic to the NHL's concerns. Especially since the judge's concern is getting the money back to the creditors, not helping Gary Bettman dig himself out of this grave he's buried himself in.

So the future of the Coyotes in Phoenix is dead. Almost. Not quite. But in a minute. They'll be stone dead soon. It won't be long.



ADDENDUM:

I want to be clearer about something: with the bidding process thrown open to anybody who wants to buy the club and move it, I wouldn't be shocked or surprised if someone makes a bid that surpasses that of Balsillie's and ends up with the team.

Jim Mill article on theAHL.com

Check out this quick article on Jim Mill's desire to get back to the competitive side of hockey after 11 years in the AHL office.

Interesting that he's declaring a light hand when it comes to complaining about officiating on behalf of the team. Makes me wonder how often Tom Lynn charged that hill for the team. Regardless, Mill certainly brings an interesting perspective to the position.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

From The Request Line

Sorry for the delay, but as requested earlier today after the Nolan Schaefer post, here's James Morrison with "Nothing Ever Hurt Like You."

Some Aeros Misc. Info Over At The Press

There's a new Aeros post up over at the mothership if you're interested. It's nothing really new except for some stuff about the Aero Dynamics and a quote from the new captain of the Aero Dynamics. But not everybody reads T3I -- and why not -- so the Press is the place for them to get some info. (Well that, and I get my press pass through the Press.)

So Long, Farewell, Nolan Schaefer

We knew this was happening, but the question was to where. And today we know.

Nolan Schaefer appears to have signed a contract with CSKA Moscow of the KHL. And here's an article in Swedish on the signing, followed with this Google translation. Here's a quote from his new coach: "I have received very good recommendations on Schaefer from North America and the last two seasons in Houston, he has very good statistics, says new coach Sergei Nemtjinov to Sport-Express."

Sergei, I can also give you a very good recommendation on Schaefer. He's not flashy. But he's solid. He's not going to make stupid mistakes. He's not going to panic. He's going to keep you in games. Hell, if you score a goal, he'll probably be able to win you a game.

With Doobie's signing in Minnesota, and Barry Brust and Anton Khudobin under contract and hoping to play here, it was pretty much a forgone conclusion that Schaefer was leaving the team. Still, I'm going to miss talking to him in the locker room -- the guy was always good with giving us a quote and good explanations for what happened in the game. I wish him luck in Russia.

So so long, farewell.

NBA schedule to be released today

What does this have to do with Houston Aeros hockey you ask?

Well, the AHL schedule usually comes out within days of the NBA's release of theirs. We'll see if that proves true this time.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Disorder In The Court: The Phoenix Coyotes Drag On And On

For those of you still attempting to follow along, the idiocy continued in Phoenix today as once again, the bankruptcy judge refused to bring things to an end. Of course, there are a couple of good reasons the bankruptcy judge didn't bring things to an end, first and foremost being that the idiots running the NHL couldn't get a decent bid from the savior that is supposed to be Jerry Reinsdorf, and Reinsdorf and the other so-called bidder seeking to keep the team in Phoenix begged for a delay in the auction so as to have more time to negotiate with the creditors -- primarily the city of Glendale.

Another reason that the judge couldn't end things today is that there's only one legitimate bid, and that's Jim Balsillie's bid to move the team to Hamilton, but that portion of the auction is scheduled for next month. The judge declared Balsillie's bid to be the "highest and best" of the offers, and it's actually the only one in which creditors will get money.

That's probably why the largest creditor of the Coyotes, SOF Investments, a fund owned by Michael Dell of Dell Computers, appeared in court and said it was only interested in being paid in full and in cash and requested that the court reject the other bids. That should end up having a big influence on the court because the role of the bankruptcy court is to make sure that the creditors get their money back -- and when the largest creditor is happy with only one bid, then that's probably the bid the judge will end up backing.

The matter as to Reinsdorf is now being postponed until September 10 to give Reinsdorf and the mythical bid (mythical because a bid has yet to actually be made) time to get their act together and get not only concessions from the city of Glendale, but also to find a way to make creditors like SOF Investments happy. (There will be a hearing on Wednesday as to whether the relocation auction will be still be held on September 10.)

There are major problems arising with Glendale, and Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes revealed these problems in court filings last Friday. Primarily, Reinsdorf is trying to get a $23 million subsidy from the city over the use of the arena, and that subsidy would be raised by creating a special district around the arena which would charge a so-called voluntary surcharge on retail sales in the district which includes a large mall. More importantly, the district also includes the stadium used by the Arizona Cardinals, and the Cardinals have made it known that they're not happy about this: "The NFL team’s stadium would be in the special district and team president Michael Bidwell was quoted in local media reports as saying it was not fair that Cardinal fans should have to pay for the Coyotes’ problems."

And it gets better, if Glendale couldn't raise the necessary money through the surcharge, the city would end up paying the Coyotes out of city funds, and if, within five years, the team was still not showing a profit and if the city then refused to pay the team $15 million a year, then Reinsdorf would be able to move the team.

And if you have the time, there's a good story from a sister paper to the mothership which reports that there are some very serious shenanigans on the part of Glendale's city manager to make sure a good friend of his (a co-bidder from Reinsdorf) gets the team, and that this city manager has failed to offer up similar deals and concessions to the current owner and any others who might have been interested in the team.

So, in summary, there will be a hearing on Wednesday to determine if the relocation auction originally scheduled for September 10 will still take place on September 10, or whether it will be pushed back so that the incompetent fools chosen by the NHL can attempt to get their act together in time for another auction on keeping the team in Phoenix on September 10. Further, the judge likes the Balsillie bid. The largest creditor likes the Balsillie bid and has stated it wants to be paid in full and in cash. There's some shady business dealings going on between the city of Glendale and Jerry Reinsdorf, and even the Arizona Cardinals are against the Coyotes.

At this point, I think we should all be happy that George W. Bush put Mike Brown in charge of FEMA and not Gary Bettman because I can't help getting the feeling that the Gulf Coast would still be under water from Katrina if Bettman was running things.

P.S.: For a little fun, here's some real disorder in the court.

2009-10 Schedule should be out soon

Warning ... the following is only being posted to help with a rather slow news day.
Please lower your expectations immediately.

On July 22, the AHL wrote and said the schedule should be out the week of Aug. 3.
HEY ... That is this week! ... So those that plan their lives around 80 exciting games should get their fill of news in the coming days.

Someone wrote me and asked why the schedule wasn't already out.
Another e-mailer asked the earliest the schedule has ever been released.

I don't know the answer to either question, but I can give you the dates of the last six schedule release dates. Here they are as follows:

2008 - Aug. 7
2007 - Aug. 7
2006 - Aug. 2
2005 - Aug. 5
2004 - Aug. 10
2003 - July 31

This is as far back as I keep that information, but it is interesting to note how early they got it out in 2003 and how late it came out the next year.

Some people live and die for this date, and other hockey fans could care less.
Do you care when the AHL schedule is released? What is the first thing you look for when you get it?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mark LeRose hired as Aeros Assistant Coach

T3I has learned and confirmed with Kevin Constantine that Mark LeRose is being brought in as the second assistant coach for the Aeros, filling Luke Strand's vacant position.

LeRose comes from the Everett Silvertips where he was hired as an assistant coach the year after Constantine left for the Aeros, but was the coaching staff assistant to KC during his last season as the coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 99-00.

@3rdIntermission: We got your Twitter right here

T3I is jumping into the Twitter fray! You can follow us at http://www.twitter.com/3rdIntermission.

The goal is to get breaking news out, let you know when there's a new blog post, provide info that might be interesting but maybe isn't worthy of a whole post, etc.

We also discussed tweeting during games, so we'll see how that goes when the season starts.

If you're already following @Houston_Aeros, then you know the drill. Just sign up for a Twitter account (you don't ever have to post any tweets yourself) and go to the link above and click Follow. Easy as pie. Then all our tweets, plus any other Tweets you follow, will show up on your main Twitter page.

You can even set Tweets to come to your phone, which I assume is pretty cool, but I have too crappy a cell phone to actually use this application. *grump*