Kings owner critical of Sacramento city government


Kings owner critical of Sacramento city government


ANAHEIM (AP) -- Kings owner Joe Maloof made his first public comment about his franchise's possible relocation to Anaheim on Monday night, criticizing a letter sent between the cities' governments.

Maloof spoke briefly to the Orange County Register after a Sacramento city official wrote to Anaheim's city manager asking Anaheim to stop negotiations with the Kings.

The letter from Sacramento Assistant City Manager John Dangberg claims a move could cause "irreparable harm to the City of Sacramento" if the Kings default on a 73 million loan from the city. Dangberg called Anaheim's negotiations with the Kings "bad public policy at a minimum," asking for contractual assurance the Kings will pay their debt before they get more bonds from Anaheim.

"That letter is completely wrong, and it was uncalled for -- below the belt -- and it's a shame it had to come out of his office," Maloof told the Register. "We tried to be classy and not get in arguments in the media, but I (have to) make this comment. We will continue on with our business and do what is best for the viability of the franchise what's best for the franchise and what's best for the league."

The letter also asks Anaheim not to authorize 75 million in bonds to aid the move. The Anaheim city council is expected to vote on a financial plan to entice an NBA team to move to the city-owned Honda Center in a special meeting Tuesday night.

NEWS: City of Anaheim reveals plans to pursue Kings

"It's not for the mayor or anybody to interfere with our business," Maloof told the Register. "That's what I think they're doing, and it's not right. We would appreciate that they not interfere with our business."

Maloof didn't return phone and text messages from The Associated Press late Monday night.

The Maloofs have been in private discussions for several months on a move out of their aging Sacramento building formerly known as Arco Arena. They must file for relocation with the NBA by April 18 to start the process, which would include a vote among the league's other owners.

Sacramento issued the bonds for a loan to the Kings in July 1997, two years before the Maloofs bought the franchise. The Kings will owe Sacramento roughly 77 million if they leave this summer.

"We've always satisfied our obligations to the City of Sacramento," Maloof said. "We're honest businesspeople, and we have never missed a payment. In fact, we're way ahead of schedule. A couple of years ago, we paid somewhere between 9 million and 11 million ahead because we wanted to lower the debt.

"We've always paid our financial obligations in the past, we're going to do it in the present, and we're going to do it in the future. They have nothing to worry about. They will be paid in full, whatever it takes."

Cubs' Epstein: 'History doesn't really weigh on this club'


Cubs' Epstein: 'History doesn't really weigh on this club'

The Cubs are going to the World Series.

Yes, you read that right.

The Cubs are going to the World Series.

The Curse of the Billy Goat is broken. 

The 71-year drought is over. 

The truly once-in-a-lifetime moment has finally come to Chicago.

Holy cow.

The Cubs punched their ticket to the promised land with a 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Best Pitcher on the Planet in front of 42,386 fans in the most euphoric moment in Wrigley Field's history.

Theo Epstein's vision is one step closer to coming to fruition.

"History doesn't really weigh on this club," Epstein said before Saturday's Game 6. "Just trying to win tonight's game. 

"These guys - a lot of them are in their early 20s and they're not burdened by that stuff. The organization isn't. It's just about trying to win and keeping it simple."


Rewind: Sharks slow, sloppy and undisciplined in loss to Wings

Rewind: Sharks slow, sloppy and undisciplined in loss to Wings

DETROIT – The Sharks had just one scheduled practice on their 10-day road trip, set to take place on Friday in Detroit prior to the fifth and final game against the Red Wings. It was canceled, though, as the coaching staff opted for rest rather than work.

The result was a 3-0 loss to the Red Wings in which the Sharks were sloppy in their own zone, were smoked in the faceoff circle, surrendered a plethora of odd-man rushes, and took eight minor penalties. They just couldn’t keep pace with a Detroit team that was playing its second game in as many nights. 

San Jose looked like a club that has held just a single solitary practice since the season began on Oct. 12.

“Some breakdowns, guys not being above [the puck], some giveaways in our own end, we’re kind of leaving [the defensive zone] early,” Logan Couture said. “We just don’t seem like we’re dedicated to defense like we were at the end [of] last year.”

[KURZ: Instant Replay: Sharks blanked by Wings, end road trip with thud]

“It wasn’t very good tonight,” added Martin Jones, who lost his third in a row in goal. “Too many penalties, too many turnovers. Just wasn’t very good tonight.”

The start was actually a decent one, as the Sharks were attempting to put Thursday’s third period collapse in Pittsburgh behind them, but Detroit eventually took over. Gustav Nyquist broke the scoreless tie four minutes into the second period, and added to the Red Wings’ lead with a second marker about 11 minutes later.

On the first, Paul Martin was caught flat-footed in the offensive zone, leading to a two-on-one rush by Detroit. Nyquist abruptly stopped on the faceoff dot in front of Justin Braun, and rifled a shot though. On the second, Matt Nieto had control of the puck and was headed up the ice before he stumbled and turned it over to Ryan Sproul, who found Nyquist in the slot. 

A bad line change resulted in Andreas Athanasiou powering a slap shot to Jones’ far side six minutes into the third period, giving Detroit a commanding three-goal lead. 

“We were late everywhere tonight,” Pete DeBoer said. “When you’re a step behind a good team they expose you, and I think that was the story. We’ll have to go back and figure out why, and get our game back in a better place.”

“We played into their hands. They’re a transition team, a speed team, and if you’re going to play east-west and turn the puck over they’re going to make you pay for it. We talked about it, but we still fell into that trap. Obviously the penalties didn’t help, and we’re playing catch up all night.”

Among those penalties was a double minor to Joe Pavelski for spearing Steve Ott, just a few seconds after Athanasiou’s goal. The captain seemed agitated for much of the night.

Pavelski said he didn’t think he got a whole lot of Ott with his stick, but “it’s a play you don’t want to make.”

DeBoer didn’t take issue with the play which nullified what would have been a Sharks power play after a Drew Miller interference.

“Pav is a competitor. He was probably our best player tonight. He’s competing right until the final buzzer,” DeBoer said. “I don’t have a problem with that. It doesn’t bother me.”

The power play, though, is one area that the coach may need to focus on when the Sharks finally get a practice in on Monday at home. Despite being together for so many years, the top unit seems tentative with the puck and is misfiring on passes that are typically routine.

On one power play in the second period when the game was still scoreless, Pavelski was open in front of the net, but Patrick Marleau missed him on what would have been a tap-in goal. The Sharks finished 0-for-4 with a man advantage and have just one goal in a manned net this season during five-on-four play.

What has to change?

“Quite a few things,” Couture said. “We’re breaking in fine, [but] we’re too stationary, I think. I don’t know if we’re moving the puck well enough. Not attacking holes, not shooting the puck and getting it back.”

The Sharks will open up a three-game homestand on Tuesday with the Ducks. There is work to do before that.

“We’re 3-3. That’s the good news,” DeBoer said. “I think we’ve played some good hockey, but we have a lot of things we’ve got to clean up, too.”

Jones said: “Obviously it wasn’t the way we wanted to end the road trip. We’ll bounce back, and we’ve got a lot of games left.”