Arizona Coyotes fans got good news last week when Alex Meruelo closed on his sale of the franchise and the expects to keep the franchise in Arizona. The new owner must still figure out whether the team can get a new arena and make his claim to keep the team in the state of Arizona a reality.
Arizona Sports 98.7’s Matt Layman notes five takeaways from his press conference last week, including the owner’s desire to win. However, perhaps the most interesting fact is that Meruelo is known for buying failed businesses and making them viable once again. While Arizona isn’t a failing franchise, the team has been losing money and Meruelo might be the perfect owner to take over a struggling franchise that many feel cannot survive where it is, hence the rumors that the team will eventually make its way to Houston.
At the end of the day whether you’re flipping pizzas or you’re hitting hockey pucks, it’s a business and it must be treated as one. Hockey is a sport, but it’s also a business. I’ve had a lot experience growing businesses and turning them around. For 40 years I’ve been doing this. I’ve had a lot of success. I’ve got good people that I work with that I consider to be my team and my family and that makes me who I am today.
- The Calgary Flames may have $7.76MM in projected cap room still, but with Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane still unsigned, the team will be forced to offload a contract to bring both forwards, especially Tkachuk under contract. While there has been plenty of talk of Calgary trading away a defenseman such as T.J. Brodie or Travis Hamonic, The Athletic’s Kent Wilson (subscription required) writes that another option would be Michael Frolik. The middle-six forward is still just 31 and is coming off a 16-goal season, which might make him more palatable than many of the veteran free-agent options remaining on the market. Frolik has one year remaining at $4.3MM. Wilson suggests that Ottawa might make a good fit. The Senators are way under the cap, but Frolik will actually be paid just $3MM in salary despite his cap hit number, something that the budget-focused Senators love to acquire. The scribe adds the New Jersey Devils, Columbus Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers as alternative options for Calgary.
- Sportsnet’s Luke Fox writes that Calgary Flames new goaltender Cam Talbot hopes to prove his value to his new team. Talbot, who signed on to be a veteran backup to David Rittich this summer, struggled in his final two seasons with the Edmonton Oilers before finally being traded at the trade deadline. Talbot said he hoped that a trade to Philadelphia would be the reset of his career that would allow him to bounce back. However, Talbot played just three and a half games with Philadelphia as the backup to Carter Hart and never got a chance to prove his value. Now in Calgary, Talbot said he hopes to be more than just a backup to Rittich and hopes to split time with him evenly. “[Rittich] played extremely well last year and kinda took that spot and earned his right to battle for it. I’m going in. I want to complement him,” says Talbot.