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Old 02-01-2007, 01:28 AM   #831
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Default Re: Pens Tidbits

OK, now I'm confused...I found this story on the Pens' website that says the deal is all but done. Please God, let it be true!!!


Pens may have deal Uptown, official says

By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, February 1, 2007

HARRISBURG - The Penguins apparently have cut a deal with public officials to finance an Uptown arena that would keep the team in Pittsburgh, a state senator said Wednesday.

"I'm hearing that a deal could be made any day, which makes me suspect it's all about crossing the t's and dotting the i's," said Sen. Wayne Fontana, a Brookline Democrat who serves on the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority, which would own the arena. "I don't know that there are any major hurdles left. It's all just little things."

Fontana said he expects officials to announce a deal today or Friday.

The Penguins had no comment. Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato would not comment, his spokesman Kevin Evanto said.


"People involved directly in the negotiations are not discussing anything publicly," said Dick Skrinjar, spokesman for Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

Fontana said Gov. Ed Rendell and Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle, a California billionaire, have held "a lot of phone conversations." The two worked together on the Democratic National Committee, and that connection helped ease tension from a Jan. 18 meeting over how to divide arena revenue, Fontana said.

The Penguins balked at sharing money from parking and the developmental rights for the Mellon Arena site with Majestic Star Casino owner Don Barden, who won the state license to build a Pittsburgh slots casino and will contribute money toward an arena. Fontana said the two sides have found "a middle ground" over the parking revenues and development rights.

Late last year, Rendell said he would work to keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh after state gambling regulators dismissed a casino proposal that would have built an arena entirely with slots money, state Gaming Control Board Chairman Tad Decker disclosed yesterday.

Decker told the Tribune-Review he talked with the governor after the board voted Dec. 20 to award Detroit-based Majestic Star the Pittsburgh slots license. The gambling board rejected a proposal by the Penguins' partner, St. Louis-based Isle of Capri Casinos, which had promised to pay $290 million for an arena if it became the licensee.

"Rendell guaranteed us they will not leave," Decker said. "He said, 'It might take a little more money. We're going to do whatever is necessary -- reasonably necessary -- to keep them in Pennsylvania.' "

Rendell's spokeswoman Kate Philips discounted Decker's remarks.

"The governor doesn't guarantee anything," she said. "It's just not his style."

Under an alternate financing plan headed by Rendell, Majestic Star has agreed to pay $7.5 million a year for 30 years toward an Uptown arena. The state would pay $7 million a year from a development fund backed by gambling money.

The Penguins would have paid $8.5 million up front and $2.9 million a year, while forgoing $1.16 million a year in naming rights. But Rendell has said the team's contribution was "significantly" reduced.

The arena would be built on property owned by the sports authority near Mellon Arena. The team's lease there ends in June.

Time has nearly run out on the Penguins' imposed 30-day deadline to complete an arena deal. They were expected to tell Kansas City officials by Feb. 4 whether they would relocate to play in the new Sprint Center starting next season.

The Penguins have not sought the National Hockey League's approval to relocate. The league repeatedly has stated its desire for the team to stay in Pittsburgh.

With the team at home through Saturday and Canadian news media in Pittsburgh for tonight's game against Montreal, officials might want to take advantage of the publicity and end the uncertainty, Fontana said.

"There is an opportunity to wrap this up nicely," Fontana said. "I could certainly see everybody wanting to get this settled while the parties are around."

Rendell was scheduled to be in Harrisburg today, Philips said.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_491255.html
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Old 02-01-2007, 05:45 AM   #832
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Default Re: Pens Tidbits

"One source says there's been major discussion over just who will pay a $10 million debt the Pens owe to their former gaming partner Isle of Capri."


The Pens made a business deal with IOC. If IOC didn't get the license, the Pens owed them $10MM. Simple as that.

I suppose if IOC did get the license the Pens were going to hand over $10MM to the government ?

I'm a huge Pens fan. But the taxpayers are already contributing enough to this project. The government should NOT give the Pens money to pay-off a private business debt. Unbelievable.

As for Tulsa, just as funny as the team being moved to Oklahoma City. It's not going to happen.

Eitherway, I remain confident that a deal will be agreed upon in the near future. It's all good SCM.
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Old 02-01-2007, 06:20 AM   #833
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Default Re: Pens Tidbits

Much like with the Tomlin hire, I think I'll wait for the official PC....

Sources: Pittsburgh arena deal not done

Bob McKenzie

1/31/2007 8:00:16 PM

Amid a report by a Pittsburgh radio station that said a new arena deal between the Penguins and the various levels of government (the state, the county and the city) has been reached, sources tell TSN "the deal is not yet done."

In fact, sources added that while the Penguins are still hopeful of the deal being reached, perhaps this week, there may actually have been a "setback" in the negotiations that have been going on this week.

In any case, sources say it's "premature" to say the deal is done

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=194369&hubname=nhl
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Old 02-01-2007, 06:45 AM   #834
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Default Re: Pens Tidbits

Quote:
Originally Posted by X-Terminator View Post
I was kinda surprised that nobody posted that yet, so I took it upon myself to do so - it's a great accomplishment. He'll go down as one of the least-known 500 goal scorers in history, almost on the level of Ron Francis being the 5th leading scorer all-time. He says that he wants to play another year or two, and hey - the way he's playing right now and being such a well-conditioned athlete with few major injuries in his career, who says he couldn't?

Sadly, I missed all but the last 15 minutes of the 3rd period last night (so what else is new, huh? LOL), but I did remember to record it so I can watch it later. I did see the highlights, and it looked like everyone performed well, especially Fleury. The great thing about this current win streak is that they're getting contributions from their other lines so that Crosby and Malkin don't have to do it all. If they keep that up, they'll keep right on rolling and may end up in the playoffs after all!

Next up - Montreal. The key is to stay out of the penalty box, because their power play is excellent. But it should be a good one nonetheless!
Yes, most definitely Recchi will be one of the least-known 500 goal scorers, ala Ronnie Francis. Recchi has been playing very well over the last month or so - he's got his groove on. As a whole, the team has played some darned good hockey in that time span and has been the most exciting team on the ice since the All-Star break.

I'm really looking forward to the game tonight against the Habs. I'll be sporting my Ruutu jersey so I hope he not only scores, but goes into lil' pissant mode and makes me proud!

Thanks for posting the KDKA story on the ongoing saga with the new arena. I tend not to believe "sources" and prefer to hear the real deal out of the mouths of those directly involved. One story says one thing and another says yet another thing. The deadline is here and they need to get this deal together basically yesterday so that everyone can move ahead.

Did you hear the residents of the Hill screaming on the news a few days back, demanding that they have a say in the development of the arena and surrounding area? WTF??? I'll bet dollars to donuts if someone checked, those making all of the noise are behind in their property taxes - who the hell are they to demand anything? Seeing that on the news just frosted my behind.
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Old 02-01-2007, 07:59 AM   #835
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Default Re: Pens Tidbits

Good read on Ruutu.

Abrasive Ruutu plays big role in recent surge
Thursday, February 01, 2007

By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Could be that Jarkko Ruutu simply needed time to get acclimated, to become comfortable with his new teammates, city and conference.

That would be a pretty good explanation for why his play in the first half of the season ran the gamut from lackluster to uninspired much of the time.

But it's not one Ruutu has any interest in putting forth.

"I don't really look at it that way," he said yesterday. "I don't want to give myself an excuse."

Of course, if Ruutu continues to play the way he has the past few weeks, he probably won't need many excuses anytime soon.

While he is hardly the only reason the Penguins enter their game against Montreal at 7:38 tonight at Mellon Arena on a 6-0-1 roll, Ruutu is looking a lot like the guy the Penguins thought they were getting when they signed him as a free agent last summer.

"It's obvious that I've been playing better lately," he said.

Ruutu has been visible and effective all over the ice, playing the body, tormenting opponents -- he's the kind of player who would have a sizeable bounty on his head if such things were legal -- and even putting up points in three of the past four games.

"There's no doubt he's playing his best hockey since the beginning of the year," coach Michel Therrien said.

Ruutu is playing on a line with Dominic Moore and Ronald Petrovicky, a blue-collar group whose members have found ways to generate a little offense, too.

Like early in the second period of the Penguins' 3-0 victory against Florida Tuesday, when a Ruutu feed to Moore from behind the Panthers' goal line set up their second goal.

"Jarkko's deceiving," Moore said. "He has the ability to make plays."

That pass gave Ruutu assists in consecutive games for just the second time this season. Precedent suggests he isn't likely to, say, wipe out the 69-point lead Sidney Crosby has over him in the team scoring race, but Ruutu believes his offensive output -- and every other aspect of his game -- can be upgraded.

"I know I have the ability to be better than I've shown," he said. "By far."

He has given the Penguins precisely what they want the past few weeks. The goals and assists are nice, but it's his prickly style that convinced them to offer him a contract.

"He's a tough guy to play against," Therrien said. "We wanted to add character to our team over the summer, and he was part of it."

Ruutu has an obvious knack for agitating opponents. He can be the human equivalent of a pebble in the skate, yapping and poking and prodding and doing everything imaginable to distract opposing players.

But as adept as Ruutu can be at filling that role, even he can't execute it well from the bench, which is where he spent an inordinate amount of time during the early months of this season. He's never going to log Crosby-type minutes, but Ruutu rarely has gotten into double-figures.

Therrien's decision to limit his workload was an understandable reaction to Ruutu's play. Even a guy who isn't counted on to score goals shouldn't go 43 games without one, as Ruutu did. But trapped him in a cycle of reduced playing time that led to reduced effectiveness, which led to further cuts in ice time.

It is no coincidence, Ruutu said, that he has done a better job of getting under opponents' skin since he began to be on the ice a little more often.

"If you don't have a regular shift every now and then, you can't do that, because you sit in the [penalty] box," Ruutu said. "The refs are looking for you. When you get a regular shift, you can get a lot more emotion going, a lot more rivalry [with other players]."

His performance of late has put Ruutu on the other side of the ice-time cycle. Now that he is playing more, he is accomplishing more, and that gives Therrien incentive to try to get him on the ice more.

"It's always been my philosophy, when a guy's doing his role, when a guy's playing well, he's going to have ice time," Therrien said. "When I see a guy who's on top of his game, I'm going to play him."

That means Ruutu probably should expect to spend 10 or 12 minutes on the ice tonight. Especially if he continues to give the Penguins the grit and solid two-way game they've gotten from him so often lately.

"We were excited over the summer when we signed him," Therrien said. "And he's starting to pay off now."
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Old 02-01-2007, 09:54 AM   #836
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Official: City, Pens could announce deal by Friday
ESPN.com news services


A state senator on the board that would oversee a new arena in Pittsburgh says a deal to keep the Penguins in the Steel City could be announced by Friday.

"I'm hearing that a deal could be made any day, which makes me suspect it's all about crossing the t's and dotting the i's," state Sen. Wayne Fontana told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "I don't know that there are any major hurdles left. It's all just little things."

Fontana, who sits on the Allegheny County Sports & Exposition Authority, told the newspaper that Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell has been in continuing conversations with Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle about the deal.

Earlier this week, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said he expected a deal would be announced soon. But he had no comment Wednesday on Fontana's statement, the Tribune-Review said. Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato and the Penguins also declined to comment, the newspaper reported.

"People involved directly in the negotiations are not discussing anything publicly," Dick Skrinjar, Ravenstahl's spokesman, told the Tribune-Review.

The Penguins were expected to tell officials in Kansas City, Mo., by Feb. 4 whether they would move into new Sprint Center starting next season. The Sprint Center has offered the Penguins free rent and revenue-sharing if they move to Kansas City, which briefly was home to an NHL expansion franchise in the mid-1970s. The Penguins have long sought a replacement for Mellon Arena, the oldest building in the NHL.

Talks between local and state government and the Penguins hit a snag when the team balked at sharing parking revenue and redevelopment rights for the Mellon Arena site with Casino developer Don Barden, who was awarded a state slot machine license and has pledged to help build a new arena. The Penguins had backed another casino developer, Isle of Capri, which had pledged to entirely fund a new arena.

Fontana told the Tribune-Review the two sides have found "a middle ground" over the parking revenues and development rights.

Barden has agreed to pay $7.5 million a year for 30 years toward a new arena, with the state adding $7 million a year. And Rendell has said the Penguins' contribution to the project -- originally pegged at $8.5 million in up-front funds, $2.9 million a year and forgoing $1.16 million a year in naming rights -- has been 'significantly" reduced.

The Penguins have not yet sought permission from the National Hockey League to move, the Tribune-Review reported.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=2750628
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Old 02-01-2007, 10:37 AM   #837
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Default Re: Pens Tidbits

Hey XT - wanna go? Sounds like a wonderful event for a great cause!


PENGUINS SERVE AS WAITERS FOR CHARITY ON FEBRUARY 12
01/29/2007

Pittsburgh Penguins? players will be passing plates instead of pucks on Monday, February 12 at the Omni William Penn Hotel as theyelebrate the 20th anniversary of the ?Penguins At Your Service? dinner presented by Pitt-Ohio Express.

Proceeds benefit the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Since 1986, the dinner has raised over $3.8 million for research into finding a cure for cystic fibrosis.

The entire Penguins team is featured at the event as they serve as waiters for the evening, greeting guests, serving meals and collecting tips for the Foundation. The event also includes silent and live auctions.

Sponsors of Penguins At Your Service presented by Pitt-Ohio Express include Allegheny Design Management Inc., McKamish Inc., Mylan Laboratories Inc., Pittsburgh Tower Erectors, The Ridenour?s, Trebuchet Consulting, Trib Total Media, A-1 Mortgage, Game Day Haircuts, Aramark Corporation, The Darling Family, Deloitte & Touche, PJ Dick Inc. & Trumbull Corporation, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and Mellon Financial Corporation.

Tickets are still available by contacting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation office at 412-321-4422.
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Old 02-01-2007, 10:46 AM   #838
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Sure, sounds great! Find out how much the tickets costs, and we'll go from there. It would be awesome to meet all the players as they're serving us dinner - right up there with the Steelers' Kickoff Luncheon we went to last summer!
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Old 02-01-2007, 10:52 AM   #839
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HometownGal View Post
Yes, most definitely Recchi will be one of the least-known 500 goal scorers, ala Ronnie Francis. Recchi has been playing very well over the last month or so - he's got his groove on. As a whole, the team has played some darned good hockey in that time span and has been the most exciting team on the ice since the All-Star break.

I'm really looking forward to the game tonight against the Habs. I'll be sporting my Ruutu jersey so I hope he not only scores, but goes into lil' pissant mode and makes me proud!

Thanks for posting the KDKA story on the ongoing saga with the new arena. I tend not to believe "sources" and prefer to hear the real deal out of the mouths of those directly involved. One story says one thing and another says yet another thing. The deadline is here and they need to get this deal together basically yesterday so that everyone can move ahead.

Did you hear the residents of the Hill screaming on the news a few days back, demanding that they have a say in the development of the arena and surrounding area? WTF??? I'll bet dollars to donuts if someone checked, those making all of the noise are behind in their property taxes - who the hell are they to demand anything? Seeing that on the news just frosted my behind.
I did hear about the people on the Hill District getting their panties in a bunch - as if they REALLY were going to be left out of the loop. Hey, how about we get an arena deal done first, THEN talk about developing the Mellon Arena site. After all, there's no new development if there's no new arena

Well, given now that the Trib story has some legs, it looks as if things really are finalized, but I'm with you - I won't believe it until Mario Lemieux gets in front of the cameras and announces that the deal is done and the Pens are staying. I figured that the negotiations would go to or almost to the wire before something was announced one way or the other - they usually do. The fact that the team thus far hasn't asked the NHL for permission to move is a good sign in itself.

Nice read on the Ruutu story as well. It seems as if he's finally getting comfortable playing in the East - it may not seem so, but it's a big adjustment for players to go to a new conference, even if they have a full training camp to get ready. Some players can't make the transition smoothly (i.e. Nils Ekman) while others can (i.e. Brendan Shanahan or Joe Thornton last year). I just hope that Therrien is finally taking the shackles off him - he is at his best when he is mucking and grinding and being a real pain in the ass to his opponents. And now that the games are getting more important, you'll probably see more intensity come out of him as well. If the Pens are going to make it to the playoffs, they're going to need all the grit they can get.
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:23 AM   #840
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Default Re: Pens Tidbits

Looks like the Trib and ESPN were premature...

Rendell: Arena offer revised, but deal not close yet

Thursday, February 01, 2007
By Mark Belko, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Gov. Ed Rendell said today that state and local officials have revised their offer to the Penguins on a new arena but are not close to a deal to keep the team in Pittsburgh.

Mr. Rendell disputed a published report saying that a new arena deal could be announced today or tomorrow.

"The statements that this is close to a done deal -- that is not correct," he said. "We have given the Penguins a revised offer but in no way shape or form have they indicated it's over."

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review quoted state Sen. Wayne Fontana, a board member of the city-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority, which is involved in the negotiations, as saying an announcement could be made today or tomorrow.

The Penguins have declined comment on the talks.

At a press conference this morning, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said he believes the parties "are close" but would not put a time frame on completion of an agreement.

"This is something that, when we get the opportunity to speak once again, could happen at any time," he said. "Or it could also take a few more weeks. I don't want to put some kind of artificial time table or time frame on the deal, or the agreement. We're still, internally through the SEA, preparing documentation, and lease agreements, and everything associated with the deal, and will continue to do so. And when we get the chance to get back together, we'll be able to talk more specifically about the details of the deal."

Mr. Ravenstahl said state and local officials were "eagerly anticipating" another meeting with the team and said one could occur before the end of the week, although nothing has been scheduled so far.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07032/758616-100.stm

BTW, Mr. Ravenstahl...you do NOT have a few weeks to come up with a deal. The 30-day deadline to have it done ends on SUNDAY, which the last time I checked was just 3 short days away. So I would suggest to you guys that you get cracking here - time's a wasting.
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