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NHL Franchise Notes: Canadiens' power dynamic questioned

In N.Y., Larry Brooks wondered of the Canadiens hiring Jeff Gorton as Exec VP/Hockey Operations, "Don’t you want him to have, you know, the final management call on personnel?" But that "apparently is not going to be the case." It appears as if the Canadiens GM will "operate in a traditional manner," as he will "have the final call on trades." Diversity in the front office is "important," and it is "noble for Gorton to embrace the concept." Brooks: "But regardless of background, I’d think the top hockey ops guy would want a GM who sees the game in a somewhat similar manner and whose philosophy mirrors his [own]" (N.Y. POST, 12/5).

UGLY SWEATER SEASON: In Nashville, Paul Skrbina wrote the response on social media to the Predators' Stadium Series sweater reveal late last week was "reaction packed." More than 6,000 people "liked" the team's post on Instagram. Then came the comments, which "suggested not many liked the design at all." Adjectives such as "abysmal" and "trash" were used. So were other, "not-fit-for-print words and emojis." However, that is not "necessarily a bad thing." Skrbina: "For one, new sweaters are part of the fun of these outdoor games. And who doesn't like an ugly sweater? ... I have a feeling it will grow on its haters" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 12/4).

HOCKEY IN HOUSTON? In Boston, Matt Porter wrote the relocation of the Coyotes is "a topic that won’t go away" despite the team adamantly spiking sale rumors. The Coyotes will be "wandering the desert next season if they don’t find a new rink," since the City of Glendale is "no longer interested in hosting them at Gila River Arena." But the Rockets' Toyota Center is "NHL-ready now." When Tilman Fertitta bought the Rockets in '17, he said that he would "have hockey in Houston 'tomorrow' if he could" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/4).

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