Could Wild Lose $1.5 Million Per Game?
A Sports Headliners hockey source estimates the Wild could lose up to $1.5 million per game if the upcoming NHL season is postponed or cancelled.
The current collective bargaining agreement between the league and its players expires tomorrow night. If a new deal isn’t struck during the immediate hours ahead the source predicted it could take until about January 1 to start the season.
Even having a new agreement in place by then would be better than eight years ago when failed negotiations between players and owners wiped out the entire season of 2004-05. “A terrible time,” the source said.
His believes the Wild might lose $1 million in ticket revenues for each game played next season, plus other revenues including concessions, merchandising, suite purchases and parking. The pending work stoppage comes at an unfortunate time for the Wild who with the summer signing of free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter caused such a stir in the local sports market it’s possible the franchise could move to No. 2 in popularity behind the Vikings.
Most NHL players don’t get paid until the season starts but Parise and Suter received bonuses of $10 million this summer, according to the source. He also said the Wild ownership is probably working on a plan now regarding how front office employees will be compensated if the coming season is delayed for a long time.
Wild players have been working out at local rinks including the Bloomington Ice Gardens and Orono Ice Arena. They are expected to be physically prepared whenever the season starts.
Football Notes & More:
The Gophers (2-0) are favored by only a few points to defeat Western Michigan (1-1) tomorrow at TCF Bank Stadium, and there was talk earlier in the week about the Broncos being the odds-makers’ choice. Either way it doesn’t impact senior Gophers quarterback MarQueis Gray.
“As a freshman I was worried what outsiders thought about us,” Gray said. “You realize the only people that matter are the ones wearing the uniforms or that’s in this building (Gibson-Nagurski Football Complex). The comments and stuff that people say doesn’t stick to me anymore.”
Minnesota players were aggressive and focused last week, despite playing FCS New Hampshire. Coach Jerry Kill wants his team to approach each game with an “underdog” mentality, regardless of the opponent. “We feel we should do that every weekend,” Gray said looking back on the New Hampshire game.
The 6-4, 250-pound Gray ranks eighth among Big Ten rushers with 177 yards. He’s no proponent of sliding to avoid tacklers. “I don’t think about it,” he said. “I just think about how big I am. I just use my size and know that I am basically like a d-end playing quarterback. I can fall forward to get two yards. Lowering my shoulder or trying to get out of bounds are my best options. So sliding is never an option.”
Speculation a few years ago was the Gophers’ Ra’Shede Hageman would be a standout tight end in college. Although he played offense and defense at Washburn High School, he knew his preference.
“I didn’t care about defense,” he said. “I didn’t like it.”
Now a junior and one of the most promising defensive linemen in the Big Ten, Hageman has three sacks in two games and is tied for the Big Ten lead in that category with Purdue’s Kawann Short.
Broncos quarterback Alex Carder threw five touchdown passes last Saturday in a 52-21 win over Eastern Illinois. Since the start of the 2010 season he’s thrown 67 touchdown passes. The Broncos rank No. 13 in passing offense (333.50 yards per game) among NCAA major college teams.
Carder, who is on preseason watch lists for the nation’s top quarterback, is one of five fifth-year starters on the Broncos offense. The lone Minnesotan listed on the roster is Jonathan Harden, a 5-9, 319-pound No. 2 nose tackle from Cretin-Derham Hall.
Western Michigan lost its opening game this season at Illinois (24-7) but the Broncos are considered a contender to win the West Division of the Mid-American Conference.
The Broncos are 0-3 against Minnesota, with the last meeting in 1977, a 10-7 loss to the Gophers. Broncos alumni include Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings and former Vikings defensive lineman Bob Lurtsema.
Big Ten teams lost six of 12 nonconference games last weekend. The conference has only three teams in the Associated Press top 25, with Michigan Statethe highest ranked at No. 10. The SEC has four teams ranked among the top nine, including No. 1 Alabama.
Don’t believe the hype that major college football programs just schedule “cupcakes” in nonconference games. Northwestern plays Boston College tomorrow and the Wildcats’ first two games were against Syracuse and Vanderbilt. Michigan State plays Notre Dame tomorrow and opened its season against western power Boise State.
Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said Adrian Peterson still has a “ways to go” in reaching the performance level he had last season prior to his ACL injury.
Musgrave was asked if he’s ever seen anyone run harder for his size than Percy Harvin (5-11, 184): “No. Never have. What would be the term? No fair dodging. That’s Percy’s theme. He’s not going to avoid anybody. He can make people miss… he’s agile but he’s not going to run out of bounds. He’s going to run through or run over somebody.”
When St. Thomas played at Saint John’s two years ago the game drew 16,421 fans, a record for Division III football. The Tommies and Johnnies, both 2-0, play tomorrow in Collegeville with such a large crowd expected the Saint John’s sports website is featuring information about travel and parking information.
John Gagliardi will coach his 600th game for Saint John’s tomorrow. He is college football’s winningest coach and is in his 60th season as Johnnies head coach.
Gophers’ wrestling coach J Robinson, a former U.S. Army Ranger, was asked about the September 11 anniversary this week and he said Americans have been mostly “insulated” from evil during their lives. “They got a real taste of what it was like and they didn’t like it,” he said.
But Robinson also said the “wake-up call” has been forgotten by many and not much has changed since 9-11-01 for millions of Americans other than security checks in airports. That won’t alter the reality that America has its enemies. “Evil exists in the world and we are very naive in not addressing it,” Robinson said. “Evil can not co-exist with good anywhere.”
This school year is his 27th as Gophers wrestling coach. The program has won three national titles with Robinson as coach. At 66 years old, how many more can he coach? “A bunch,” he said. “I plan to but whether I will or not that’s another thing.”
Robinson expects his team to be ranked No. 2 or 3 nationally this fall. “Half of our team are All-Americans and the other half want to be All-Americans. So that’s good.”
Prep basketball authority Ken Lien is guessing that Apple Valley junior point guard Tyus Jones will attend Kentucky. He said the prep super star’s final three college choices could be Kentucky, Michigan State and Duke.
Kentucky coach John Calipari visited Apple Valley High School this week and North Carolina coach Roy Williams will be in town next week, according to Lien.