Ground breaking on new home arena for Detroit Red Wings still in limbo


DETROIT — In December, the Ilitch family said they intended to build a downtown arena for the Detroit Red Wings, the team the family has owned since 1982.

More than four months after the Ilitches stated their original intentions, Chris Ilitch told the Associated Press on Wednesday that a new arena for the Red Wings will come in the future. However, he would not be more specific about when ground would be broken.

The Red Wings play in the 34-year-old Joe Louis Arena. It’s the fourth-oldest NHL arena behind Madison Square Garden (1968), home ice for the Rangers; Veterans Memorial Coliseum (1972), home to the Islanders, and Rexall Place in Edmonton (1974), the Oilers’ home.

“'I'd prefer not to make any predictions and just keep working away and continue to do our due diligence and see what we can put together,” Ilitch, the president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc., told the Associated Press.

Four months ago, Michigan lawmakers OK’d a measure that allows tax dollars collected by the Downtown Development Authority to be used for a $650 million development that will include a Wings arena.

"From the time we bought the Fox Theatre, I could envision a downtown where the streets were bustling and people were energized," Mike Ilitch, the team's co-owner and chairman of Ilitch Holdings Inc., told Crain’s Detroit Business in December.

"It's been a slow process at times, but we're getting there now, and a lot of great people are coming together to make it happen. It's going to happen, and I want to keep us moving toward that vision."

NO CAPTAIN: The Kings played without captain Dustin Brown, whom the NHL suspended Wednesday for two games. Brown elbowed Wild right wing Jason Pominville in the head during the Kings’ 2-1 loss Tuesday at Minnesota while playing the puck off the boards.

“As Pominville arrives, Brown proactively tries to counter-hit him,” NHL director of player safety Brendan Shanahan said on a video on that explained the infraction and the suspension.

“As Brown attempts this counter-hit, he extends his elbow directly into Pominville’s face, causing an injury.”

Brown will miss Los Angeles’ final two games of the regular season, and will lose $34,324.32, under terms of the collective bargaining agreement and based on his average annual salary.

ATOP THE CHARTS: The NHL released its final Central Scouting draft rankings on Wednesday and ranks Seth Jones — son of former NBA player Popeye Jones — as the top prospect for this year’s draft.

Jones is a 6-foot-3, 205-pound defenseman with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League and is represented by Creative Artists Agency.

The New York Post reported on Wednesday that Roc Nation, an entertainment firm created by rapper and entertainment mogul Jay-Z — and a CAA partner — wants to represent Jones in marketing and branding.

The NHL will hold its draft lottery on Monday, and Jones is expected to be the top pick in June 30 draft in Newark, N.J.