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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Filatov in North America by the 7th? Could Syracuse lose the Crunch?

First up a reader pointed out in the comments of another post that according to Nikita Filatov's blog he is planning on arriving in North America between September 7th - 9th to prepare for camp.

I think I express the thoughts of many out there when I say I'll believe it when I see it. I know this kid's story has stayed the same since the draft about his commitment to the NHL but color me skeptical until his butt is firmly planted in central Ohio.

It just seems this date keeps getting pushed and pushed. At first it was August then it was as soon as he got his visa and now its just a few days before rookie camp begins.

I want to believe in this kid...I really do...but with all that's going on with the KHL and hockey in Russia and the sting that remains from guys like Svitov bolting I'm going to wait until he shows before breathing a sigh of relief.

In other CBJ related news Lindsay Kramer has done a fantastic job of covering the dispute between the Crunch and Onondaga County Legislature on a 9.1 million dollar package to refurbish the War Memorial which is oldest arena in the AHL. Unfortunately the crowning jewel of the package -- which was a new $750,000 scoreboard -- was left out.

Crunch owner Howard Dolgon's response:
"I think it's another band-aid,'' he said. "It's more duct tape. It's business as usual.''

"We've been good soldiers,'' Dolgon said. "What more can we do to show them we are here to stay long-term? But it's been a one-way commitment for too long.''

When asked about the possibility of moving the team:

"I don't think we need to make inquiries,'' he said. "People follow this. There are a lot of empty buildings in bigger markets that would throw a party to get us.''

Kramer goes on to speculate that markets like Florida, Brooklyn, Oklahoma City and Kansas City could come calling.

Kramer has a follow up entry here with even more quotes.

From an outsider looking in the Crunch have played in Syracuse since 1994. Their owner seems genuine and is not asking for the world. Furthermore it appears the scoreboard has been in the works since the last lease was signed and although not "guaranteed" in the lease verbiage it sure appears that it was the way all parties were steering.

It will be interesting to follow how this story develops. Dolgon may be forced to use the only hammer he's got and that's to listen to other offers from interested cities. With only a year to go on the lease I'm sure there will be some folks out there willing to finance the Crunch breaking it.

At the end of the day this whole thing doesn't seem to be on the owner or the fans as both have supported one another. The problem is the facilities and the commitment by the city to improving them.

I've got to feel for the Crunch as no matter what sport you choose to support nobody wants their team to move.

Let hops both parties can get something worked out.

Be sure to check out NHL.com's preview of the Jackets here. A teaser:

The key word in Columbus this season is depth, which is something the Blue Jackets have never really had until now.

They have depth up front with the potential of 15 or more NHL-ready forwards. They have depth on the back end with eight or nine NHL-ready defenseman. They have depth in goal with a true No. 1 backed by a veteran and an up-and-comer.

Will it translate into the organization's first playoff berth? That's still unknown, but coach Ken Hitchcock believes Columbus is closer than it's ever been and it's finally fair to put some lofty expectations on his revamped club.

"As coaches we all get excited because it's a new year, but the players know when you're legitimately competitive or not, and the players we have coming back know exactly what we have done and they are really jacked up," Hitchcock told NHL.com. "They see this as the best team in the existence of the franchise and they are excited because they see this as a legit opportunity to get to the dance."


There are also new articles on Filatov and Goloubef.

-LTL

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually, Filatov and his parents are supposed to be in Toronto on September 7 and will spend a few days with his agent. He is expected to arrive in Columbus on September 10. I tend to think that he will show up.

LTL said...

Got it. I went ahead and made the change.

-LTL

Anonymous said...

I have heard that those dates have been pushed back. The plan is to fly over the pond on the 10th now.

LTL said...

Uggh.. Here we go. If it gets pushed back anymore the kid isn't going to make development camp and then things get really interesting.

I'm bracing myself that this kid doesn't make the jump to North America at all this year.

-LTL

markislander said...

Yeah this is how it starts push back push back until they say were not sure now.

Anonymous said...

RE: The CRUNCH and minor league hockey in Ohio

Your posting concerning the problems that the Crunch are currently experiencing with respect to refurbishing the War Memorial in Syracuse, with the possible consequent that they will seek to relocate, is disturbing. I try to follow the Crunch as best I can over the inter-net and must admit that that in recent years I have developed an affinity for both the team and their loyal fans. Hence, considering that the next two weeks will not be a bounteous period for Blue Jacket news, would you be so kind as to devote some of your vast investigative resources to the coverage of this story as it unfolds in Syracuse?

Also, since the relocation of the Crunch appears to be possibility, albeit a regrettable possibility, would you give some thought and future coverage to the overall state of minor league hockey in Ohio particularly as it might relate to the Jackets down the road. For example, what is the status of the old Cincinnati (Ducks) AHL franchise? The last I heard was that it was not defunct but rather dormant; it could be resurrected if favorable conditions were to materialize. Of course, aside from the advantage to Columbus fans of having ready access to AHL games in general—the Garden in Norwich is less then a two-hour drive from north-Columbus—the additional potential prospect of establishing an affiliation in the “A” between Cincinnati and the Jackets is too exciting to even contemplate.

Let’s not forget Dayton either. We had some manner of an affiliation with the Bombers in the ECHL until last year, which for a handful of Jacket fans, of which I was one, was sufficient incentive to attend a number of Bomber games at the easily accessed Nutter Center. (There are a number of us old Chill fans who still love the ECHL.) What happened here to cause the rupture between the Bombers and the Jackets? From conversations with knowledgeable Bomber fans I have gleaned that financial responsibility might be at the heart of the matter, a somewhat plausible hypothesis considering the financial mismanagement that characterized the Dayton franchise from about 2002-2006 just prior to the assumption of the team by its current owners.

Finally, there is a relatively new minor league team in the Akron area in a low-level league comprised largely by South-Western cities. Who are they? What is their current status?

I suppose, what I would really like to know is the thinking of top Blue Jacket management relative to their minor league arrangements in the future, particularly arrangement that might involve cities within driving range of Columbus. And as mentioned at the outset, during this down time in the hockey news world, now appears to be a good time to devote some attention to minor (minor league) matters. No?
JJK
bluejacketfan@insight.rr.com

LTL said...

JJK -- great post and I agree that now is a great time to discuss where minor league hockey stands in terms of the Jackets and the state of Ohio.

I'm not sure I have the answers to a lot of your questions or the resources to obtain them but will most certainly follow this Crunch story and see what I can dig up in terms of affiliate plans for the big team.

Thanks for the comment. Keep em comin!

-LTL

Jeremy said...

JJK,

I fowarded your post to my season ticket rep to see if I can help you get some answers. If I get a response, I will post it back here.

Anonymous said...

Check out this blog post by that NYR guy...pretty funny:

He calls it 'the good, the bad, and the ugly' haha

http://scottyhockey.blogspot.com/2008/07/good-bad-and-ugly.html

This guy is a good blogger--I have added him to my loop!

Anonymous said...

http://scottyhockey.blogspot.com/2008/07/and-survey-says.html

Here is some follow up--apparently he reads you too ltl.