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#1 2018-08-08 10:17:31

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ers. The results havent. The Hurricanes ext

SEATTLE -- The investment group trying to bring mens professional basketball back to Seattle is remaining focused on the NBA, even if landing a hockey franchise could happen sooner. "No one in our ownership group is interested in being a majority owner in an NHL franchise. Thats been the case since the start," said Chris Hansen, who led the unsuccessful effort last year to purchase the Sacramento Kings and move them to Seattle. "Ive certainly queried our ownership group about this. I think if someone really wanted to it would be easier than bringing in an outside party. "But the most important thing is the passion is just not there for the NHL among our ownership group that is there for basketball. Getting involved in hockey solely because basketball hasnt worked out right now, when its not something your heart is in, would be a disservice to the fans here." Even as rumours continue to circulate about the NHL having interest in Seattle as a market sooner rather than later, Hansen said his job would be to find someone willing to partner with his group and their proposed arena in Seattle. The arena has been approved by both the Seattle City Council and King County Council pending environmental reviews. Hansen said the focus right now is getting those environmental reviews completed -- possibly by the end of the summer -- so that if an NBA franchise becomes available via sale or expansion, Seattle can be at the front of the line ready to go. He has no interest in re-writing the memorandum of understanding reached between all parties so that an NHL franchise could possibly be a primary tenant in a new arena. Hansen has kept a relatively low profile since last spring, when his groups attempts to buy the Kings from the Maloof family and move the team were blocked by the NBA Board of Governors. NBA owners rejected Hansens record $625 million bid and eventually approved the sale to a group of investors led by technology executive Vivek Ranadive for $535 million with plans to keep the franchise in Sacramento. Hansen said there are far fewer conversations with the NBA now than there were at this time a year ago, though he remains confident the NBA will eventually return to Seattle. His investment group has not changed, including former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, and neither has his original timeline of trying to land a team within five years of when the process began. "By the end of that, the NBA will have its new TV contract. Theyll have a few years of the revenue sharing and collective bargaining agreements being in place to understand the profitability of some of the teams that might have been a concern and there are a few franchises that are up for sale and that will probably have been worked out one way or another," Hansen said. 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Wheeler scored at 4:58 of overtime, with Scheifele getting an assist, and the Jets beat the slumping Colorado Avalanche 2-1 on Sunday night.RALEIGH, N.C. -- The divisions changed for the Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers. The results havent. The Hurricanes extended their home-ice dominance of their former Southeast Division rivals, beating them 5-1 on Friday night. Riley Nash and Alexander Semin scored 87 seconds apart in the first period. Brett Bellemore, Jiri Tlusty and Andrej Sekera also scored, and Jeff Skinner had two assists to help the Hurricanes win their seventh in 10 games. "Its a little bit more fun when youre playing with the lead," Nash said. "In this league, especially, its tough to come from behind every night, so getting that lead is especially important." Carolina improved to 30-7-4 at PNC Arena against the Panthers, winning both meetings this season. Realignment sent the former division rivals in different directions, with the Hurricanes in the Metropolitan and Florida in the Atlantic. Carolina pulled even with fifth-place Washington with 61 points in its crowded division, while Florida remains firmly in seventh place in the Atlantic. "Its really disappointing to see where our expectations are, and my expectations and everybodys expectations have to be on the same page, and I think we have to raise them," Panthers coach Peter Horachek said. "We have to expect more from each other, and I expect more from them because its certainly not desperate hockey, and its certainly not where it needs to be." Eric Staal set the Hurricanes career record for shots on goal, passing Hall of Famer Ron Francis late in the second period. Staal finished with four shots, giving him 2,542. Anton Khudobin stopped 34 shots in his 16th straight appearance for Carolina. Nick Bjugstad scored for Florida, which enters the Olympic break having lost five of six. "We put ourselves in this situation," captain Ed Jovanovski said. Tim Thomaas stopped just 10 of the 14 shots he faced.dddddddddddd He was pulled with 15:24 left in the second after Tlusty tapped in a rebound to make it 4-1. Scott Clemmensen replaced him and stopped 16 shots. Ten Hurricanes appeared on the score sheet and Skinner was the only one with multiple points. "To be successful in the NHL, you cant rely on one line," Nash said. "You see the teams that had success in the past, win Stanley Cups, they have four lines that chip in and they have their big guns going like we do. Its been nice to see." Carolina pounced on the Panthers early in this one, with Nash and Semin striking in bang-bang fashion. Nash scored at 9:17 of the first when Tuomo Ruutu dug the puck out near the boards and slipped it toward the slot to Nash, who beat Thomas high. Semin then made it a two-goal game at 10:44 with a spinning wrist shot -- his third goal in two games this season against Thomas and the Panthers. "That was actually the game plan -- come out, just stay on them, get pucks behind them," Bellemore said. "Get shots to the net, keep getting chances and wear them out." After Bjugstad pulled Florida to 2-1 with a wrist shot that trickled past Khudobin, Bellemore restored Carolinas two-goal lead with a slap shot with 1:39 left in the first. "Once we got the lead, we kind of backed off and started to play a little more pond hockey," Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said. "Game got a little bit too open for us and it was an up-and-down kind of game, so we just had to tighten it up at times." NOTES: Staal, who assisted on Tlustys goal, has 36 points in 35 games. ... Ruutu skated in his 600th career game. ... Carolina improved to 16-1-4 when scoring first. ... Bellemore and Florida D Erik Gudbranson slugged it out with 5:29 left in the second. 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