NHL Dogfight in the Arizona Desert Upstages Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Igloo

Martin AverySenior Writer IMay 12, 2009

MONTREAL - JANUARY 24:  Steve Stamkos #8 of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Drew Doughty #8 of the Los Angeles Kings, Mikkel Boedker #89 of the Phoenix Coyotes and Kris Letang #58 of the Pittsburgh Penguins warm up during the McDonalds/NHL All-Star Open Practice during the 2009 NHL All-Star weekend at the Bell Centre on January 24, 2009 in Montreal, Canada.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

The Pittsburgh Penguins fans had a white-out at The Igloo, but the home team lost in overtime to the Washington Capitals, and even though that was a very exciting game, it was upstaged by the dogfight in the desert.

Penguins fans wore white tee-shirts and waved white towels, so it looked like a snowstorm inside the arena known as The Igloo. In the end, the home team surrendered to the visitors, 5-4, in overtime.

David Steckel scored 6:22 into overtime to give Washington win over Pittsburgh and a 3-3 tie in their Eastern semifinals. Viktor Kozlov scored twice for the Capitals, Alexander Semin added a goal and an assist and Tomas Fleischmann also scored for the Caps. Alex Ovechkin had three assists and Simeon Varlamov had 38 saves.

Sidney Crosby got a goal and an assist for the Penguins. Bill Guerin, Mark Eaton, and Kris Letang also scored. Evgeni Malkin had three assists for Pittsburgh.

While the game was on, I surfed the net for news on the fight for the Phoenix Coyotes. The Fan 590 said the NHL had lied about who was in control of the team in Arizona.

"The outcome of Jim Balsillie’s effort to buy the Coyotes out of bankruptcy protection is the first legal test of a professional sports league’s right to determine who can buy a franchise," according to the Phoenix Business Journal. "It’s an issue that sports, legal and financial executives are watching closely."

Who will win? Some say bankruptcy laws favor the highest bidder, so Balsillie will get the franchise. Others say the NHL constitution will protect the league’s right to approve any potential new owner.

It's like cheering for Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins in their Quarterfinal series against Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. Crosby scores! Game Six is going into overtime!

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The Caps won that one, and now their seven game series is down to just one game, winner take all, with the Penguins on the road.

Research In Motion CEO Jim Balsillie offered to buy the Coyotes for $213 million and move the team to southern Ontario. The NHL and the city of Glendale wants to block the sale.

The NHL is working on a sale to Chicago Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says the NHL requires league approval of any team sale or movement.

Meanwhile, the Canadian city that hopes to get the Coyotes is prepping plans to revamp its stadium, according to another story in the Phoenix Businss Journal.

The upgrades needed to make Copps Coloseum in Hamilton NHL-ready could be done in five months, apparently.

The NHL is having a great year on the ice, if not in the desert.

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