Rangers owner James Dolan made a statement today at Henrik Lundqvist’s press conference:
“I have some prepared comments here but as usual I like to go off the script a little bit at the start. The New York Rangers have had a long history of having great goaltenders and great goaltenders who have been with the team for a long time. Ed Giacomin, John Davidson, Mike Richter to just name the ones in my time. I just want to say how proud and pleased I am that Henrik is going to finish his career here with the New York Rangers and how appropriate that is because of the history.”
“He has proven himself to be a world class goaltender and I expect him to continue to play at a high level into the future…(To Lundqvist) Right?”
Dolan: “He is everything that you want on and off the ice. He is a leader a tireless worker, his focus on his game is basically unparalleled as a team owner he is the model for what you want in a player and in a leader for the team. In addition he does wonderful work with the Garden of Dreams foundation that we very much appreciate and again, I am pleased that he will be in the blue for the rest of your career…thank you.”
According to the NY Post, Rangers owner James Dolan stopped by the locker room at the MSG Training Facility in Westchester after practice yesterday.
Brett Cyrgalis says that Dolan shook hands and had a few words some of the players before moving on.
Dolan was reportedly very much against the lockout and pushed to have talks restart after they fell apart.
According to Larry Brooks in the NY Post, Rangers owner James Dolan was one of the people who called Gary Bettman and urged him to return to the negotiating table to save the season.
Brooks says that many big market owners places calls to Bettman urging him to make a deal.
According to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com, James Dolan, along with Penguins owner Ron Burkle, were two of the people pushing the owners and players to get back together following the disaster of last Thursday.
LeBrun writes that the moderate people on both sides were “pushing like crazy for both sides to resume talks, back-channelling between owners, agents and players stressing the need to get right back at it in an effort to once and for all end a lockout that should have never lasted this long. “
THIS SECTION is about the role and impact Dolan is having on the lockout.
Cox adds two more tweets, saying “Players nominate Dolan, owners can nominate Sean Avery” and “Dolan will, then, of course, nominate Isiah Thomas. And round and round we go.”
He then said, “Still, if its Dolan or whomever, if a new channel can be opened in this absurd standoff, that would be a good thing.”
Agent Allan Walsh goes on to add “Now that NYR+Knicks owner James Dolan (an enemy of Bettman) wants in on CBA talks, watch for certain pro-owner media to attack him. Dolan key in ending NBA lockout, presents grave threat to Bettman and “Gang of 4″ owners. Dolan character assassination by NHL imminent. “
9:17PM: John Shannon of Sportsnet is the latest to confirm that Dolan wants to get involved. He adds, “but shouldn’t every owner want to be involved”
5:59PM: Darren Dreger adds that the owners in Pittsburgh and Montreal will also want to get involved as will Carolina GM Jum Rutherford who is a part owner of the team.
4:42PM: Katie Strang tweets that she is hearing the same thing and that Dolan wants to get involved if that meeting between the players and owners happens.
3:48PM: According to Larry Brooks in the NY Post, Rangers owner James Dolan has indicated that he would like to become involved in CBA talks just as he was last year during the NBA lockout.
Dolan and Gary Bettman don’t get along and haven’t since the Rangers sued the league in 2007 and asked for Bettman to be fired.
Brooks writes that even with Dolan’s lack of involvement with league matter he still garners a lot of respect from the other owners.
He writes that it is not known if Bettman will allow Dolan to get involved with talks.
What is unequivocally known, however, is the CEO of Madison Square Garden believes he can be a constructive force toward settlement and wants into the discussions.
THIS SECTION is all about Dolan and the CBA
According to Larry Brooks in the NY Post, a few years ago James Dolan asked the NHL board of governors to dismiss commissioner Gary Bettman.
Brooks says that “no one listened” to Dolan’s suggestion.
Dolan is reportedly anti lockout and anti Gary Bettman.
At Sportsnet, Mark Spector breaks down some of the NHL owners and puts them into two groups, hawks and doves.
Spector spoke with someone who said that more than 20 teams are content to wait out the lockout and get the best deal they can.
The “hawks” are listed as Boston, Calgary, Anaheim, Carolina, Minnesota, LA, Columbus, Florida and Dallas.
In terms of Boston owner Jeremy Jacobs, who is the chairman of the Board of Governors, one person told Spector “He represents everything that’s wrong with the owners.”
The “doves” are listed as Toronto, Detroit, the Flyers, Senators and Rangers.
On James Dolan, Spector writes “In short, anything that Bettman wants, Dolan is said to wish for the opposite.” He cites the Rangers lawsuit against the league for control of their website as part of the reason he isn’t a fan of Bettman, but says that his feelings put him in the small minority and he can’t pose much of a threat to the commissioner.
CLICK HERE for a section on Dolan opposing the NHL lockout.
At CBC, Elliotte Friedman says that the NHL owners can be put into three different groups.
One group is the owners who want to play, another is a group in the middle who Friedman says “want a better collective bargaining agreement but recognize not playing is worse” and the third group is the hard line owners.
Friedman thinks that the final group, the hard line owners, are comprised of the Boston Bruins, the Islanders, the Panthers, Ducks, Blue Jackets, Coyotes, Blues, Capitals and Stars.
In terms of home attendance for those teams listed above, the Bruins ranked 9th, in a tie with the Rangers and six other teams at 100%.
The Islanders ranked 27th (81.3%), the Panthers ranked 23rd (86.6%), the Ducks ranked 24th (86.4%), Columbus ranked 28th (80.8%), Phoenix ranked 30th (72.5%), St. Louis ranked 19th (98.2%), the Capitals ranked 6th (101.3%) and Dallas ranked 29th (76.8%).
Andy Strickland writes at True Hockey that if the players could reach across the table and grab somebody, they would likely pick Jeremy Jacobs, owner of the Bruins, over Gary Bettman.
At Sportsnet, they have a quote from Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk that sums up the feelings of the people most impacted, the fans, by the lockout:
“we should be playing hockey by now.”
Melnyk adds “Everybody can finger point all they want but at the end of the day I don’t think anybody cares who’s at fault, all they know is we’re not playing hockey.”
Rangers owner James Dolan is reportedly anti-lockout.