Saturday, June 29, 2013

No moves Friday but there was that press conference in Helsinki. Here is what the main Helsinki newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, and YLE, the Finnish Broadcasting Company, are reporting . . .
Jokerit Helsinki will start playing in the KHL in 2014-15. The team is still owned by Harry Harkimo, who KHLalso became the president of the team (he's been the chairman of the board).
Hartwall Areena was sold by Harkimo to Russian Arena Events, which is owned by Gennadi Timtsenko and the Rotenberg family. Timtsenko is the chairman of the board of the KHL and the president of SKA St. Petersburg. Arkadi Rotenberg is the owner and chairman of Dynamo Moscow and his brother, Boris Rotenberg, is a part-owner with Timtsenko of SKA St. Petersburg.
Boris Rotenberg's son, Roman Rotenberg, is the vice-chairman of SKA.
The price of the arena deal wasn’t revealed.
SM-liigaHarkimo remains the principal owner of Jokerit but the Russian group has purchased an undisclosed interest in the club and has an option to buy a controlling interest.
Harkimo will provide consulting to Arena Events for the next five years.
Timtsenko commented that with Jokerit in the KHL, it'll become a true European league. Harkimo said that going into the KHL, Jokerit will get new sponsors and a bigger budget. According to Harkimo, Jokerit will not only want to be in the KHL, but also want to win it. He added that Jokerit will take their last season in SM-liiga seriously and try to win it.
Timtsenko and the Rotenbergs are all close friends with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Forbes magazine estimates Timtsenko’s worth at US$14.1 billion and Roman Rotenberg’s at $1.4 billion.
On the subject of ownership change, might there be one in the future of the Saskatoon Blades.
Kevin Mitchell of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix reports right here that Blades owner Jack Brodsky is exploring his options and “appears ready to test the market.” . . . This comes with the team having just begun a rebuilding project and with its lease with Credit Union Centre due to expire after the 2013-14 season.
The water mostly has vacated the Medicine Hat Arena and the job of cleaning up the mess has begun. Darren Steinke of the Medicine Hat News reports right here that a restoration crew was scheduled to arrive Saturday.
NAHLJohn Becanic is the new head coach of the NAHL’s Corpus Christi IceRays. Becanic has previous NAHL experience with the Wenatchee Wild, Pittsburgh Forge and Bismarck Bobcats. Becanic, 47, takes over from Justin Quenneville, who resigned in June. . . . In the WHL, Becanic has coaching experience with the Everett Silvertips, Seattle Thunderbirds and Vancouver Giants.

The Central league’s Arizona Sundogs have hired Kevin Colley as their new head coach. Colley joins the Sundogs after spending five seasons as head coach of the ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies. . . . Colley replaces Scott Muscutt, who chose not to return after taking over during last season.

BCHLGrant Kerr has resigned from his position as an assistant coach with the BCHL’s Coquitlam Express. A longtime coach in the B.C. hockey scene, Kerr is returning to the coach staff of the B.C. Major Midget League’s Vancouver Northwest Giants.

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