THAT’s AMAURY: Coyotes still working toward stability at gate

Pinch-hitting for Amaury Pi-Gonzalez
Sports Radio Service
Saturday, November 2, 2013

Stable ownership of the NHL Phoenix Coyotes was supposed to translate into success on the ice, and at the gate. So far, it’s been one out of two. The Coyotes, who beat the San Jose Sharks in an overtime shootout Saturday at the Shark Tank, are off to a great start with 24 points so far this season. However, attendance has slipped a little. The Coyotes are dead last in NHL attendance with an average of 11,717 for their first seven home games (68 percent capacity at a jewel of an arena).
Good news for desert hockey fans, though, is the shift of the radio package to the KTAR family of stations, and there’s even a 10-game over-the-air TV slate on KTVK, Channel 3 that’s been absent for four years. Those were promotional steps taken by the new owners in the right direction. We’ll see if it pays off.

Fox analyst Tim McCarver said during the World Series that he thought the Rules Committee might take a look at the obstruction rule that raised such a ruckus in Game 3 of the World Series, and added that maybe the aspect of intent needs to be addressed. I agree with McCarver that the rule will be looked at, but I also respectfully disagree that it’s necessary. The rule goes back to the earliest days of the game and is written the way it is for good reason – to eliminate any debate as to whether or not “intent” was deliberate. To remove the “no intent necessary” clause from the rule invites another can of worms that I don’t think the umpires want any part of. Hopefully, the committee will leave the rule as is.

Our condolences to the family and friends of Walt Bellamy, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame center who died Saturday at 74. Bellamy was an All-American at Indiana, the center of the fames 1960 Gold Medal-winning USA Olympic basketball squad, and a four-time NBA All-Star. He was Rookie of the Year in 1961 with the expansion Chicago Packers (later Zephyrs, eventually, Baltimore Bullets and now Washington Wizards) and was involved in one of the most famous trades in NBA history. Around Christmas of 1968, Bellamy was swapped by New York to the Detroit Pistons as part of a blockbuster deal that sent Dave DeBusschere to the Knickerbockers. The deal allowed New York to move forward Willis Reed back to his natural center position, and was a key factor in the Knicks winning NBA titles in 1970 and 1973. Bellamy averaged 31.6 points and 19.0 rebounds as a rookie and, over his 14 years in the NBA, averaged 20.1 points and 13.7 boards.

By the way, because of the timing of that Knicks-Pistons deal and a quirk in the schedule, Bellamy, who didn’t miss a game that season, set an NBA record for most games played in an 82-game schedule – 88.

You can look it up.

Daniel Dullum covers MLB, the NHL, Stanford, and more for Sports Radio

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