Friday, May 25
No games scheduled. The Stanley Cup finals begins on Monday.

Nashville owner Craig Leipold confirmed Thursday that he has signed a letter of intent to sell the Predators to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie for $220 million after losing $70 million in 10 years of ownership. Leipold, who has owned the team since paying most of the $80 million for the franchise awarded in June 1997, the first team of the NHL's last expansion phase, has patiently worked to build Nashville into one of the league's best teams. The terms of the sale, which must be approved by the NHL's Board of Governors, call for the deal to be completed by June 30.

Tampa Bay fired associate coach Craig Ramsay on Thursday after seven years of service with the franchise. Ramsey, who played 14 seasons with Buffalo, joined the coaching staff midway through the 2000-01 season and helped the Lightning to a Stanley Cup victory in 2004. Besides Florida, Ramsey had previous coaching stints with Buffalo, Florida, Ottawa and Philadelphia.

Brian Leetch, one of the NHL's top defensemen who helped the New York Rangers win the Stanley Cup in 1994, retired Thursday after an 18-year career. Leetch, who sat out last season as an unrestricted free agent after spending 2005-2006 with Boston, was a 10-time NHL All-Star, a two-time Norris Trophy winner as the league's top defenseman, the Calder Trophy receipient for top rookie in 1988-89 and played on U.S. Olympic teams in 1988, 1998 and 2002.

``We show a tremendous amount of respect to our opposition. We know that they're a hockey club that people are describing as playing the most consistent brand of hockey at this point. And that's a challenge for us.'' - Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle on playing Ottawa in the Stanley Cup finals, which begin Monday.

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