The hockey world mourns today as it was reported earlier that broadcasting titan John Saunders passed away at the age of 61. Saunders had worked for ESPN for nearly 30 years, and was one the biggest influences on hockey broadcasting in the United States. An all-star defenseman growing up in Montreal, Saunders went on to play at Western Michigan University from 1974-76. Saunders was a founding board member of the Jimmy V Foundation, a charity that has raised over $90MM for cancer research.
Many fans in the United States and across the world would not have understood, or appreciated hockey without John Saunders, and here at PHR we would like to extend our deepest condolences to his family.
- The NHL released its preseason schedule today, and among the notable games are two that will be held at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the home of the upcoming expansion franchise. The Los Angeles Kings will play back-to-back nights against the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche on October 7-8th to give the fans there a taste of what is to come. Also opening its doors for the first time will be the Edmonton Oilers’ new home, as the team will play the Calgary Flames at Rogers Place on September 26th.
- Nick Spaling’s deal with Geneve-Servette was announced today, making him the latest in the line of players heading to Switzerland. The deal is different than any given in the NHL, reports Stephen Whyno as the two sides have agreed to a one-year pact with an option for 2017-18, much like an MLB deal. This adds a new wrinkle to players looking for contracts outside the NHL, as European leagues are getting more creative in their contract structure. Spaling will be reunited with former line-mate and veteran NHLer Mike Santorelli, who signed a deal last month with the club.