An historic media partnership between the NHL and MLB is announced, Canucks re-sign Brandon Sutter and more.
NHL.COM: The National Hockey League has signed a six-year agreement with Major League Baseball Advanced Media. As per the press release, “The partnership will transform the fan experience by creating a fully integrated global hub of digital content that encompasses video, live game streaming, social media, fantasy, apps, along with statistical and analytical content.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This agreement should improve the distribution of the NHL’s digital media, especially in U.S. and international markets, thus providing a substantial boost to league revenue.
THE VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks re-signed recently acquired center Brandon Sutter to a five-year, $21.875 million contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The deal is worth an average annual salary of $4.375 million. It’s a reasonable bump from the $3.3 million he’s making on his current contract, which has one season remaining. While some might quibble over the term of the deal, the dollars are sensible and won’t hurt the Canucks over the long term. Should Sutter play up to expectations as a second-line center, this contract will be a worthwhile one for the Canucks.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins GM Jim Rutherford is having a good offseason, first by acquiring sniper Phil Kessel to Toronto and by shipping center Brandon Sutter to Vancouver for center Nick Bonino, young defenseman Adam Clendening and a second-round pick.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford faced criticism for in-season moves like trading a first-round pick to Edmonton for inconsistent winger David Perron or dealing promising blueliner Simon Despres to Anaheim for Ben Lovejoy, His moves this summer have silenced his critics.
NEW JERSEY DEVILS.COM: The Devils yesterday announced the hiring of Andre Savard and Claude Noel as pro scouts.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Good move by the Devils. Savard and Noel are experienced hockey men and their hockey knowledge should be beneficial to the Devils’ scouting department.
CBS SPORTS: Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche alumni from their “rivalry years era”, including Joe Sakic, Nicklas Lidstrom, Patrick Roy, Brendan Shanahan, Peter Forsberg, Chris Chelios and Rob Blake, will take part in the alumni game leading up to the Wings-Avs Stadium Series at Coors Field in Denver.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The alumni games are always an enjoyable experience for the players and fans, but anyone expecting to see a rekindling of their old animosities will be disappointed. They play for fun now.
ESPN.COM: Does Curtis Joseph belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m torn on this one. In his prime, “CuJo” was among the NHL’s top netminders and carried an underdog Edmonton Oilers team to successive opening-round playoff series victories against Dallas and Colorado. However, even when playing on very good teams in St. Louis, Toronto and Detroit, he couldn’t carry them to championships. Joseph’s stats certainly merit HOF consideration, but I’d rather see Rogie Vachon in the Hall before “CuJo”.