HNIC's senior online reporter Tim Wharnsby dishes out the latest news, buzz and inside information in the hockey world.
1. Gretzky could hold up Coyotes sale
After Jerry Moyes agreed to sell the Phoenix Coyotes to the NHL on Monday, the next step is for the two sides to prepare the details of the sale for review by U.S. bankruptcy judge Redfield T. Baum. If all goes well, the team could officially change hands later Monday. Former Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky, who claims he is a creditor and is owed $9.3 million US, could delay the sale if he doesn't sign off on the Moyes-NHL agreement. According to the Arizona Republic, under the NHL's $140-million offer, $11.5 million would go to contractors' claims at Jobing.com Arena and debt owed to the city of Glendale. Another $79.7 million would be paid to SOF Investment, the largest secured creditor, and $37 million would go back to the NHL for its temporary financing of the team over the past year. After legal fees, the newspaper predicts, there would be less than $10 million left to pay Moyes and Gretzky. Moyes claims he is due $104 million.
2. Gagne hurting
Executive director Steve Yzerman and the Canadian Olympic team brass will keep a close eye on Philadelphia forward Simon Gagne as he attempts to solve his chronic groin problems. Gagne has complained that tightness in his surgically repaired right groin has affected his "explosiveness." The 29-year-old is expected to undergo an ultrasound exam on Tuesday in hopes of mending the ailment. Gagne, a 34-goal scorer in 2008-09, has one goal in nine games this season.
3. Overtime not paying for Isles
Montreal has developed a flair for the dramatic, with five of its six wins this season coming in overtime or the shootout, including Monday's 3-2 OT win over the Islanders. New York has seen even more of its games (six of 10) go past regulation, but has only one victory — a shootout against Carolina — to show for it. Toronto and Tampa Bay had the most games go into overtime last season, 23 apiece.
4. Sparse crowds
The Brian Burke homecoming game in Anaheim didn't exactly produce a large audience at the Honda Center on Monday. Only 14,292 fans were in the stands to see the Leafs' first win of the season. The Ducks' average crowd size in their first six home games this season has dropped to 15,092, ranking them 26th in the 30-team NHL but ahead of Tampa Bay (14,987), Nashville (13,572), the Islanders (12,065) and Phoenix (10,699).
5. Samuelsson missed in Detroit
Vancouver goal-scoring leader Mikael Samuelsson, who has five goals in 11 games, meets up with the his old club, the Red Wings, on Tuesday night. Detroit could use Samuelsson's offence. The Wings led the league in scoring last season at 3.52 goals per game, but have slipped to 17th this year at 2.78.