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Dater’s Daily Links: A.J. Greer assault case update, plus my thoughts on Rantanen



The New York Post, a paper I’ve always liked, has essentially written everything there is to know about the A.J. Greer-Sonny Milano incident in New York City on July 7 that resulted in assault charges against the Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets players.

I’ve tried to get my own original material on this story, but have gotten completely shut out by agents, lawyers, teams, etc. etc. when I’ve inquired about it. “No comment”, is all I’ve gotten.

So the best I can do is copy and paste what The Post reported today on the story:

A pair of hotheaded hockey players who allegedly pummeled a pal inside a Greenwich Village apartment in a melee over an inflated club tab were arraigned in Manhattan court.

Frank “Sonny” Milano, a forward with the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Anthony “A.J.” Greer, a forward with the Colorado Avalanche, were arrested July 7 after allegedly beating up an acquaintance after a night of partying at 1OAK.

During the brief hearing, Milano’s defense lawyer Daniel Ollen asked the judge not to issue orders of protection, arguing that it would make it difficult for the men to travel with their respective teams.

He also asked that their next court appearance be excused due to their travel schedule.

Judge Jay Weiner agreed and declined to issue protective orders. He also permitted Milano, 23, and Greer, 22, to skip their next court date over the objection of prosecutors.

Assistant DA Mark Monaco said, “If not for their jobs, no other defendants would get this type of treatment.”

The brawl erupted after the acquittance promised the group that he could arrange table service for $200 each at the celebrity nightspot.

But once back at Milano’s West Village pad, the pal insisted that the men owed him more.

This demand allegedly prompted Milano and Greer to “strike him about the face and body with a closed fist and with a shod foot,” according to court papers. The victim suffered bruises and redness and pain to his face, neck and upper body, the complaint alleges.

When cops responded to the apartment, Greer insisted the altercation was nothing more than a pushing match. “He got in my face asking for money. I pushed him to get him out of the way,” said Greer. “I’m a hockey player, I’m a fighter. The injuries on me are from hockey,” he added, referring to numerous scars on his face.

After the brief court hearing, Ollen said the alleged victim was acting like a crybaby.

“My mommy spanked me harder than this guy got hit,” the attorney said.

Greer’s attorney, Kevin Keating, said, “My client acted lawfully and frankly exercised tremendous restraint.”

Well, that’s quite a quote from Daniel Ollen, eh? Not sure if that will soothe the accuser at all, but hey.

The next date to remember in regards to this story, according to Brian Hedger of the Columbus Dispatch, is Oct. 16:

I have no idea what did or didn’t happen in that New York apartment that night. We’ll see how this plays out. Innocent until proven guilty.

Greer should be at Avs training camp next Thursday for physicals. No doubt he’ll have “no comment” on the situation then too. I hope, for his sake, this ends soon.

So, we’re now officially one week away from players have to report for physicals and there still isn’t any signature from Mikko Rantanen on a new contract.

But, wow, I bet Joe Sakic was really ticked off today when he saw this: “Arizona Coyotes sign Clayton Keller to eight-year contract extension with a $7.15 million AAV.”

Clayton Keller had 47 points in 82 games last season. He had 14 goals and a minus-21. He had a pretty nice 56.2 in Corsi in all situations, though. Still, $7.15 million a year for a guy who had only a little more than half the number of points Rantanen had last year. Plus, Mikko played eight fewer games.

If Clayton Keller now is a $7.15 million player, then Mikko Rantanen sure as hell now is something like a $9.5 million player on a new deal. Well, except, Rantanen still has a couple of unfavorable “comparables.” Sebastian Aho was close in points to Mikko, but has a long-term deal at $8.4 million AAV. Leon Draisaitl of the Oilers put up 105 points last year – 18 more than Mikko – but his AAV is $8.5 million.

But that Keller contract no doubt caught the attention of Mikko’s agent, Mike Liut. There has been something of a cone of silence from him and a couple other sources of mine the last couple days on this. But, boy, I don’t know now. If Keller gets that much, Mikko probably has to make at least $9 million now. I think the Avs only want to pay 8.5 or so.

A deal will get done, but I have a hunch it’ll be a short-term deal now. The market keeps going up. That Keller contract is exhibit A.

If you were hoping for hopeful news on the ongoing Altitude TV/cable company stalemate, I have none for you. I asked a plugged-in source today whether there was any to report, and the answer came swiftly: “No.”

I’m starting to get a bit worried about this, on behalf of Altitude employees and viewers. I don’t want to start making accusations one way or the other, but it sure seems like the cable companies want no part of an independent regional sports network that they don’t control. Thing is, this is happening in other cities as well. There are now cable fights in places like Minnesota and Nashville. New people are now in the sports regional network game, people like Disney and Sinclair. They have a lot of financial muscle, and it appears they are trying to flex it against “mom-and-pop” outfits like Altitude.

I have no predictions how this will end. But right now, it’s not good.

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