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Arena Deal Done? Les Habitants de Montreal Invade the Igloo...

February 1, 2007, 4:23 PM ET [ Comments]

There has been an awful lot of talk during the past couple days regarding the arena deal and whether the Penguins and local officials have agreed to a deal that will keep the team in Pittsburgh. One minute the news is very positive, and the next we are delivered a hazier outlook. What is the real story?

Governor Rendell has said that negotiations are ongoing, but a deal is not imminent, the Penguins have not commented. Most people not named Rendell, Burkle, or Lemieux are under the impression that a deal is all but signed, sealed and delivered, I am among that group. A source has told me that there is a very good possibility that there would be a press conference held tomorrow to announce an agreement. Could something happen to change that? I am sure that it could.

It is believed that the team and local officials have agreed on most everything that was being negotiated and that the last piece of the puzzle is the $10 million payment to the Isle of Capri. There are several ideas being floated about how to alleviate that situation, but nothing concrete has been announced. I still say that the point shouldn't even be on the table, though it stinks that the IOC did not win the slots license, the deal and all parts of it were agreed upon by the Penguins...not local government.

It definitely looks a lot like a situation that is close to a positive resolution, but we are all still awaiting a definitive answer. I will have it for you as news breaks.


The Montreal Canadiens come into tonight's game against the Penguins having lost 10 of their last 17 games. They are also seemingly dealing with some internal turmoil. All Star defenseman Sheldon Souray and head coach Guy Carbonneau have openly criticized the teams play as of late. There are also rumors swirling that certain "Habs" could be on the trading block, namely Sergei Samsonov.

The Penguins conversely, have been on fire lately, having posted 8 wins in their last 12 games. The team has played Coach Michel Therrien’s system almost flawlessly and has gotten strong goaltending. They have also taken a very workmanlike approach to each game and are getting contributions from everyone in the line-up.

The Penguins will have to pay special attention to Alex Kovalev, who is having a bit of an off year, but seems to play very well against he former team.

Probable goaltenders for tonight's match-up: Marc Andre Fleury for Pittsburgh and David Aebischer for Montreal.


Evgeni Malkin and the Penguins have won the lawsuit brought by Malkin's former RSL team, Metallurg Magnitagorsk.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed two complaints that were brought against Malkin by his former team.


Mark Recchi will be honored prior to tonight's game for recent statistical milestones, namely his 500th career goal. The goal was scored Friday evening against the Dallas Stars.

More after the game...
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