Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The News Keeps Coming


It'd deadline day in the NHL, and the Kings just made their big splash getting Johann Fransson, Jaroslav Modry, a 2008 first round pick, and 2nd and 3rd round picks in 2007. In exchange, they send the captain, Mattias Norstrom, empty headed prospect Konstantin Pushkarev, and 3rd and 4th round picks to Dallas.

I have mixed emotions about this trade. I like the return, though I have to think that Slowdry is in there solely for salary considerations. On the one hand, I hate to see Matty go. He's been the very definition of a warrior for basically the last decade in Los Angeles. Not necessarily the face of the franchise, but an incredibly solid performer who always displayed the utmost in professionalism. On the other hand, he's exactly the type of guy who deserves a legitimate chance at a Stanley Cup, and now he's going to get one alongside Phillipe Boucher. Pushkarev was someone for whom I had high hopes, but Lombardi was never a fan, and whatever magic Hextall was trying to work, well apparently he didn't think he could get it done. The best thing about Pushkarev in this deal is that he's not O'Sullivan or Tukonen.


Rumor is getting out now that for a number of reasons, the deal between Major League Baseball and DirecTV may be slowly sliding off the table. In other words, there's a good chance that Extra Innings will still be available on cable this season.

The whole thing has essentially hinged on where the Baseball Network will be slated when it starts up in 2009. MLB wants in on the basic tier. Cable doesn't want it on the basic tier. DirecTV was willing to put it on the basic tier in exchange for exclusivity for Extra Innings. The combination of a better offer from cable, a promise to put the Baseball Network somewhere, and pressure from Congress (specifically Senator Kerry) seems to have put the whole thing on hold. Depending on who you listen to, either the deal will still get done, may not get done, or won't get done.
One source familiar with negotiations said he now believes that the Extra Innings package will remain available to all three services."I'd be surprised if the DirecTV deal goes through," he said.


"There will be a commitment to carry the Baseball Network (on cable)," said the industry official. "Where it will be placed, that still needs to be sorted out."

Another source with the league said he was not aware of any shift away from plans to go with an exclusive deal for DirecTV. But talks have lingered for months without an official announcement even as baseball's opening day draws near
Stay tuned.

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