Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago
They won’t be the Las Vegas Knights because of complicated trademark issues with the London Knights of the OHL.
They won’t be the Las Vegas Black Knights because owner Bill Foley received pushback from the U.S. Army, and moved on.
They won’t be the Las Vegas Aces, Deuces, Blackjacks, Jackpots, Pit Bosses or Craps, because “the NHL has made it very clear that the name really should not be associated with gambling,” according to Foley. Despite, you know, the NHL taking ad dollars from poker sites and being an equity investor in Draft Kings. But we digress…
So what is the Las Vegas expansion franchise going to be called?
Clark Rasmussen of DetroitHockey.net sniffed around last week and discovered that along with Nighthawks, Red Hawks and Desert Hawks, the team had secured domain rights to properties involving the Las Vegas Desert Knights. Foley confirmed it.
Desert Knights, eh?
A couple of reactions to this latest round of Las Vegas name speculation:
Now, the Las Vegas Wayne Knights, on the other hand …
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago
What if I told you that your team could have two Hall of Famers and a former Stanley Cup champion for $1.675 million in total combined salary?
Granted, they have a combined cap hit of nearly $18 million, but that’s OK: Your team is basically laying on the salary cap floor, staring at the ceiling.
OK, you got me: There’s a slight catch.
One of the players is in the KHL. One of the players has a back injury so chronic that he might not play again. Oh, and one of the players is retired-save-for-the-paperwork, and in a feat of utter hilarity has an active contract as a player, a job with the League office and a Hall of Fame plaque. Which is a neat trick.
Now, would that be something that might interest you?
(In fairness, Pronger was former GM Don Maloney’s acquisition, but one wonders if that was Chayka influenced, as he had just arrived on the scene.)
So are the Coyotes exploiting a loophole that will eventually be closed?
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 5 days ago
As Joe Sakic thanked the Columbus Blue Jackets for the improbable opportunity to hire away their American Hockey League coach, his voice had the timbre of someone whose wealthy relative surprised him by posting his bail.
“It was a time-sensitive matter,” said the Colorado Avalanche general manager, with a virtual exhale.
Yeah, no [expletive]. Patrick Roy quits on Aug. 11, and two weeks later Sakic announces that Jared Bednar is the new coach of the Avalanche. The same Jared Bednar that coached the AHL Lake Erie Monsters to a Calder Cup in June, and the same Jared Bednar that won the Kelly Cup with the South Carolina Stingrays in 2009. He has a 251-158-42 career record in six seasons as an ECHL and AHL head coach.
“You have to be doing something right,” said Sakic.
It’s fairly obvious what Sakic liked about Bednar.
That’s doing your guy a hell of a solid.
But beyond why Sakic liked Bednar, there’s the other aspect of this hiring that you have to admire, which is that Bednar, in theory, is an incredible fit for the Avalanche.
Greg Wyshynski at Fourth-Place Medal 9 days ago
RIO DE JANEIRO – His plastic commemorative Rio Olympics beer cups were stacked nine high. A 10th one filled with Skol, best described Bud Light without the flavor, topped them, creating a wobbly goblet. Based on this, I knew he was my kind of people when I stood next to him on a concrete stoop, behind the last row of seats at Maracanã Stadium.
The gold medal men’s soccer match between Brazil and Germany had a thrilling first half followed by a tense but lackluster second half. This was only rumor to me, by the way, because in true Rio Olympic tradition, my journey to the stadium was mired by late buses and abject weirdness; like when the driver made an unscheduled stop in the middle of a highway to let a man out so he could locate a bar to watch the match we were trying to reach via the bus. Such is Rio.
My friend with the beer – something sold, by the way, through the end of the game, unlike at an NFL or MLB event in the States – is wearing a red and green soccer kit. He points to a logo that resembles an ancient language: an ‘F’ being spooned by another ‘F’ while being embraced by a ‘C.’
RIO DE JANEIRO — The party raged as the rain fell at the Closing Ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics on Sunday night at Maracana Stadium, as the Games of the XXXI Olympiad officially reached their finale.
(Although one more event, Navigating Incredibly Long Airport Lines, had yet to be completed.)
Here are 10 of the most memorable moments from the 2016 Rio Closing Ceremony.
Maracana Stadium is an open-air stadium, which unfortunately meant the Closing Ceremony was exposed to the elements. A steady rain fell during it, as it had for most of the evening, and could be seen blowing through the stadium under the lights.
But the athletes didn’t let it rain on their parade: Using hoods, plastic ponchos and official team umbrellas, the danced through the drops and kept the energy up as the rain came down.
Team GB light-up shoes
They later used the shoes on their hands to wave during the musical segments. Jolly good show!
Return of the shirtless Tongan
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RIO DE JANEIRO — As the Olympic torch was officially passed at the Rio Olympics Closing Ceremony on Sunday, it was time for Tokyo to make an impression for the 2020 Summer Games.
That impression? Well, if dressing up Japan’s prime minister as Super Mario and having him pop out of a giant sewer pipe in the middle of the Rio Closing Ceremony is any indication, we’re in for a show in four years.
As the Tokyo 2020 presentation started, a video was shown of Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister. He was passed a red ball, symbolizing the Japanese flag, from an athlete. His job? Rush the ball to the Rio Opening Ceremony.
Tokyo 2020 … you have us officially intrigued.
RIO DE JANEIRO – The Rio Olympics had two “megastores” open during the Games. One was situated inside the Olympic Park, while the other was located on Copacabana Beach. “We had an average of 85,000 visitors at both stores every day,” said Mario Andrada, Rio 2016 spokesman.
But what were they buying?
According to organizers, here are the top three best-selling items at the Rio Olympics:
3. Copo Elegance Dose (a.k.a. a box with three shot glasses)
These three shot glasses with the logos of different Olympic sports were sold out at the Olympic Park megastore by Sunday’s Closing Ceremony. They retailed for 35 Brazilian Real, or about $12 U.S., which is a pretty decent bargain for officially licensed shot glasses.
But they’re also an investment! These ones are selling for 200 Real on an auction site.
1. This Dumb Hat
RIO DE JANEIRO – As the Rio Olympics ended, the United States Olympic Committee celebrated its gold medals, its medal count and the continued domination of its athletes.
“But it was not perfect,” CEO Scott Blackmun said. “We had the one regretful incident with our swimmers.”
Lochte was in the U.S. while the other swimmers were detained in Rio. Feigen was charged $10,800, a fine payable to a Brazilian charity under their laws, to earn the right to leave. Lochte was not charged in the matter.
While the USOC provided security, transportation and help with legal counsel for the swimmers stuck in Rio, Blackmun pushed back on the notion that Team USA tried to help any of them “flee.”
All four swimmers now are back in the United States. Lochte, in at least his third version of the story, regretted his previous misstatements in a television interview with Matt Lauer on Saturday.
Blackmun called their actions regrettable.
More Olympics coverage:
Greg Wyshynski at Fourth-Place Medal 11 days ago
RIO DE JANEIRO – David Boudia of Team USA swam out of the Rio Olympics 10-meter platform diving competition with the bronze medal, after finishing 10th in the semifinals on Saturday.
The gold medalist in the event at the London Games, Boudia placed third behind Aiden Chen of China (gold) and German Sanchez of Mexico (silver) in the event, held at the Maria Lenk Aquatic Center in the Olympic Park. He also won bronze in synchronized diving in London.
It was a bit of a heartbreaker for Boudia, who entered the final of six dives in second place behind Chen. But he saved his worst for last, notching a 68.45 on his final dive – a forward, 4.5 somersault tuck – that gave Sanchez an opening to move ahead.
It’s been along journey for Boudia, 27. He placed 10th in his first Olympics in 2008, a result that sent him into a downward spiral in his personal life.
“It was something I used to laugh at quite frankly before that. But it really just changed my life, and told me why I’m here.”
The next chapter? The bronze medal in Rio, the first Olympic place he’s taken since the birth of his now-two-year-old daughter.
Live from Rio: Ryan Lochte, international fugitive; the strange side of the Games:
Greg Wyshynski at Fourth-Place Medal 11 days ago
RIO DE JANEIRO – It’s difficult, at times, to dig out from under the layers of equine excrement that is piled on by the International Olympic Committee. It’s like a well-crafted parfait of deceit and delusion, topped with the delicious froth of the Olympic Spirit.
There were many examples of this as IOC President Thomas Bach spoke on Saturday, one day before the 2016 Rio Games stagger like a mugging victim to the finish line. But this one was perhaps my favorite:
“There is no public money in the organization of these Olympic Games.”
I mean, c’mon, Mr. President. You could have gone with ‘funded by the sale of dragon eggs’ or ‘funded by wagers made using a sports almanac from the future,’ and instead you went with something completely fanciful.
Let’s talk about public funding and the Olympics:
Finally, some truth.