Skip navigation

Canadiens on the auction block

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

Gillett retains investment bank to seek investors and possibly a new owner for NHL franchise ...Read the full article

This conversation is closed

  1. Paul I from United States writes: Move it to Hamilton or K-W. Happy Anniversary!!! Did I mention that Gainey is doing a hell of a job?
  2. Pat Billings from Canada writes: 'Paul I from United States writes: Move it to Hamilton or K-W.' Paul, other investors have tried...the mighty leafs put the stops to it every single time. Word is that it would dilute the blue and white kool-aid. Happy 42nd!
  3. D McAnn from Canada writes: Paul I, you can't move it to Hamilton: if Hamilton gets a professional hockey team then Toronto will want one too.
  4. Richard Keho from Canada writes: I guess there was fire where there was smoke. Gillette refuted that statement about a month ago. As fars as the Habs they've been doing the old Smoke and Mirrors the last couple of seasons. Now the mirror kracked. Another GM bites the dust at the hands of the undermaned Leafs....Next.....
  5. Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: @ Richard Keho, yes in December Gillette initially denied it. If you believe the Habs, last year they lost money. They'll make this year surely but the real gem is the actual Bell Centre and not the team, for Gillette anyhow.

    There may be a new owner but the team will never move.
  6. C. W. Summerhill from Toronto, Canada writes: Could this not have waited until the end of the season? As if the team needed another distraction.
  7. bob jones from Vancouver, Canada writes: We all know who is very happy to hear this. RIM
  8. on the contrary you need to think my way from Canada writes: hope Basille buys the team! He will never be allowed to move it though!
  9. wayne powers from saskatoon, writes: Are those sounds I hear in the distance Captian Canada AKA RimJim, riding to the rescue, I hope so. Let Nashville, Atlanta, Tampa, Florida, and Phoenix sink in Gary's mess, RimJim can take an original six and make more money with it and restore it's traditions (maybe).
  10. Pat Billings from Canada writes: The team, like all the other 29 teams, has always been up for sale. It's was just a question of how much somebody would be willing to overpay.

    Now, Uncle Georges has hired financial professionals to find the real value of the franchise.
  11. george abraham from Canada writes: WOT - the Canadiens in American hands? Sacribleu... even the last bastien of Canadianism is owned by foreigners.
  12. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    One way or the other, Gillett will make a lot of money.

    In 2001 he bought the team AND the building for $190 US million which gave him an 80% stake.

    In October 2008, Forbes had the Habs valued at $334 million. I may be wrong and please correct if so, but I believe that figure did not include the building or Gillett Entertainment.

    Even in these recession times, the Habs are an icon! I can imagine a certain fella in Kitchener/Waterloo quite excited this AM..
    .
  13. Metro Man from Toronto, Canada writes: Why does anyone believe that Balisillie or anyone for that matter who is interested in buying the team would even consider for one second moving the team from Montreal????

    The Habs are not moving - They are the number one or two team in the league in attendance, and while everyone swoons over the list-less blue and white, the Bleu, blanc et Rouge are making money - The Montreal Canadiens WILL still be in Montreal no matter who buys the team.
  14. M.J. B from Canada writes: kitchener/waterloo will never get a team.
  15. sam themacman from waterloo, Canada writes: It looks like there the sky is falling on my beloved Habs! Yikes! Oh well. Time to hunker down. No one knows what is happening anymore! Just added more confusion and speculation to the mix now!
    Sad Hab fan. I liked Gillette.
  16. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Perhaps a prophetic G&M story last December:

    December 3, 2008 MONTREAL-- Montreal Canadiens owner and Colorado-based debt-financing king George Gillett is engaged in another financial high-wire act that could have an impact on Canada's most storied hockey franchise.

    According to a lien filed in Delaware, Gillett has taken out a high-interest, $75-million (all currency U.S.) personal loan from a U.S.-based private investment fund, putting up his heavily-leveraged share of British soccer giant Liverpool Football Club as collateral.

    ..... it's clear that the global credit crunch is having an impact on his other businesses, and could well splash onto the NHL team, which continues to carry an estimated $240-million in arena debt.

    If Gillett's other interests begin to collapse, it will heap added financial pressure on the Canadiens and concert revenues.

    As someone who also counts dozens of car dealerships and several up-market ski resorts to his name, Gillett may be in the wrong businesses at the wrong time....

    http://sports.theglobeandmail.com
    .
  17. bagoverhead guy from Canada writes: R. Carriere nailed it....George G. is a bit 'short' these days...cash call and all that. I'm sure he has Jim Balsillie's number on his speed dial, but the Habs won't move, ever.

    Isn't it ironic that the real cash cow is still the blue and white...what the hell does that say about the 'fans' who have filled the wonderful old 'Gardens' and ACC for decades??
  18. Montgomery C. Burns from Springfield, Canada writes: Another piece of bad news for the Canadiens. A centennial that most Hab fans will want to forget. Wonder if we will see a consortium of provincial businessmen (read Quebecois) purchase the team? I look forward to the bidding on eBay.
  19. Mike Quinlan from Canada writes: R Carriere as usual brings light to the matter. My question is this a brilliant ploy to take attention away from the players and hopefully some of the pressure, or is it bad timing. Is the team worth less or more if they dont make the playoffs? Why would they add to all of the questions and turmoil surrounding the team at this point in time? As someone said, couldnt this wait for a couple of weeks?
  20. garlick toast from Canada writes: Too bad, I like Gillett. He's kept ticket prices affordable for families.
  21. RU Serious from Canada writes: I think the Habs should be owned by the community a la Green Bay Packers
  22. ray artsifartsy from Canada writes: Now that M. Sabia has his new job, perhaps the Caisse de depot can purchase the Habs. He'll re-a-quaint himself with BELL (Centre) and ensure that les Canadiennes will stay in Montreal.
  23. Paul I from United States writes: Perhaps this could be the first sepratist team in NHL history. Quebecois ownership, French-speaking coach and GM, and a majority of Quebecois players. That would be a dream come true for the Habinista. We would even give you a 'do-over' on the 100th gig seeing how you 'effed this one up so much. You could use those tres chic striped jerseys and socks again.

    Did I mention that I would like to thank the Habinista for being the first star(s) on Saturday night? Giving up on your team early and often made the beat-down even more enjoyable. merci!!!
  24. Pat Billings from Canada writes: R. Carriere, this is pretty common these days in corporate America. Look at the Wall Street Journal, all kinds of business are looking at restructuring debt.

    Gillett has quite the portfolio of assets.

    The Habs and the Liverpool soccer club are both recession-proof, highly profitable, cash-flow generating entities. No problem here.

    His NASCAR and concert businesses are more recession-sensitive but still remain profitable, esp. the concert business (they still sell out). NASCAR is starting to run into problems with sponsors. Besides, anything associated with cars is doing terribly.

    His other assets include meat processing plants, an auto dealership chain and a development group active in ski resorts and golf courses. Not sure about meat processing but real estate financing is dried up, just ask the owners of the Lightning. Same with auto financing. It will be difficult to do any refinaning for theses businesses in the current environment.

    Other than Balsillie....potential QC-based investors that have shown interest in the past incl. Guy Laliberte (Cirque du Soleil), Rene Angelil (hope not) and numerous Quebec pension funds (really hope not).
  25. M Poland from Canada writes: Quebec Inc. will step in to save the 'cultural' or 'national' icon of Quebec. [using equalization money of course; why would they ever pay for it themselves?]
  26. Paul I from United States writes: Billings- Rene Angelil!!! Brilliant!!!! Celine Dion getting all teary eyed on O Canada every night. Yet another reason to dislike Les Gloriuex.Please let it happen.

    I hope a big, fat American guy buys the Habs and moves them to Oklahoma City. Yahoo!!!!!!!!!
  27. Paul I from United States writes: Billings- No way. Laliberte already owns a circus.
  28. Louis Elias from Canada writes: See what losing to the Laughs does?? Now the Habs are for sale!!!
  29. Pat Billings from Canada writes: Paul I from United States writes: Billings- Rene Angelil!!! Brilliant!!!! Celine Dion getting all teary eyed on O Canada every night. Yet another reason to dislike Les Gloriuex.Please let it happen.

    It would be terrible, no doubt. He spends too much time at the poker tables...the Habs would eventually become part of his 'all-in' wagers. Worse, they would probably give the 'stick boy' spot to their long-haired kid.
  30. Howard Young from Canada writes: Why are there so many comments about moving the team? I will assume they are intended to be humourous.

    The Habs are one of the more profitable franchises, it would only make sense to move them out of Montreal if there was a more profitable market to relocate them to. Whoever buys this team will most definitely keep them in Montreal, part of the team's value comes from it being in Montreal.
  31. Steve Mayo from nova scotia, Canada writes: I, like many in Leafs Nation, am hoping that the Buds tank the rest of the season to improve their chances in the draft - not that they'll do anything exciting. But Saturday night was a dream come true! To have my beloved Buds spank the Habs like the petulant, misbehaving children they truly are and then to hear the Habs get booed so 'merci'-lessly in their own building during a season when they were supposed to compete for the big prize was like winning the lottery! (Well maybe not THAT good!) Now to hear that Gillette is thinking about dumping them too? WOW I've gone to hockey heaven! The flip side may be that this could be the best thing to happen to the Habs all season - did anyone watch Liverpool's dominance of Aston Villa on Saturday? Gillette threatens to dump them and now they are legitimate contenders for the EPL title! Perhaps the Habs could take a page from their notebook! Of course that would mean that they (the Habs) would have to buy as much talent as possible at ridiculously exaggerated prices(Torres, Alonso), name a Captain that the fans could relate to (see Steven Gerrard) and find the best possible available coach regardless of whether or not he speaks French, English or Portuguese (Benitez for example). Too late perhaps for this season but 'there's always next year' - imagine a Leafs Fan saying THAT! Looks good on them!
  32. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    New owners? I'd pick the Guy from Boston or the Kid from Brooklyn. Have a look at the guy from Boston and tell me how much the media would like him-he's a classic.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7o9p0fP6cQ
    .
  33. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    ray artsifartsy from Canada writes: Now that M. Sabia has his new job, perhaps the Caisse de depot can purchase the Habs. He'll re-a-quaint himself with BELL (Centre) and ensure that les Canadiennes will stay in Montreal.
    ------
    Funny you should mention that. It was the first name that came to mind.

    Even though the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec lost 40 BILLION last year it is still worth $120 BILLION!

    So hardly a dent for quebec pensions.....
    .
  34. garlic bread from Canada writes: personally , I hope that the Quebec Teachers Pension Fund buys them !
  35. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Pat Billings from Canada writes: R. Carriere, this is pretty common these days in corporate America. Look at the Wall Street Journal, all kinds of business are looking at restructuring debt.
    ---------
    Pat, lotsa things could have happened to Gillett in the last 90 days! Things have happened really quick-bad things that is! Huge denial last December and now it is on the blocks. Logic would dictate if he didn't need the liquid, he would leave all and well alone. No? And why now when the franchise, while still worth a lot, has probably lost a good portion over the last Forbes valuation in October 2008.
    .
    .
  36. Montgomery C. Burns from Springfield, Canada writes: Paul I from United States writes: Perhaps this could be the first sepratist team in NHL history. Quebecois ownership, French-speaking coach and GM, and a majority of Quebecois players. That would be a dream come true for the Habinista. We would even give you a 'do-over' on the 100th gig seeing how you 'effed this one up so much. You could use those tres chic striped jerseys and socks again.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Perhaps we'll see the jersey change to the fleur-de-lis! No doubt, ticket prices will vary depending on your mother tongue- half price for francophones, full price for anglos. The fine print on the tickets will be half the size on the 'anglo' tickets as the 'francophone' ones.
    LOL
  37. Paul I from United States writes: Howard Young- just to clarify: some of us are trying to have some fun with this. I hope that is OK with you.
  38. Pat Billings from Canada writes: Congrats Steve.

    The leaf are part of the small group of 3 teams (also incl. the L.A. Kings and Phoenix Coyotes) to not have had a sniff of the playoffs since 2004.....and continue to be out of contention. It's quite the accomplishment. Proudly wear the blue and white.
  39. D W from Switzerland writes: anyways, in my dreams Gillett cashes out of 3-4 franchises and invests in MLB here again... go Expos

    re Liverpool: Steven Gerrard being called the best player in the world yesteday after bombing Aston 5-0, reminds me a lot of Gainey in his style; similar franchises, and do not forget the many Liverpool down years along the way ...
  40. Paul I from United States writes: Mr.Burns- In true Quebec fashion, I would expect a surcharge applied to anglophone fans plus a written test at all billet outlets to verify the worthiness of the potential ticket purchaser.

    Habs sont la
  41. Pat Billings from Canada writes: R. Carriere.

    It seems most of the problems involve the Liverpool purchase. While the team continues to increase in value, the purchase was heavily debt-financed and refinancing is difficult. Unlike the Habs, Gillett also has to answer to a partner who has his own business priorities.

    Plans for a new stadium have been put on hold due to financing issues. They're looking at bringing new investors (i.e. petrol dollars from Kuwait) but the process has stalled due to negotiating setbacks. They each have their own valuation number.

    I would imagine the valuation of NHL franchises is not going to increase drastically in the near future. They had a big jump with the implementation of the salary cap, now the only other major valuation driver would be a lucrative U.S. TV deal with ESPN. On the other hand, the value of English soccer clubs has been going through the roof in the last few years. Mostly, because petrol dollars have been active in purchases. In that sense, Liverpool seems like a better deal to hold on to.
  42. Paul I from United States writes: Billings- You might want to hold off until the end of the season to see who is sniffing and who is crying.

    Did I mention how impressive the fan support of the Tricolore was on Sat. night?
  43. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Pat Billings from Canada: TKS for the soccer/Liverpool info
    .
  44. Pat Billings from Canada writes: Paul. I'm sorry, I'll stop bringing up facts. My bad.
  45. Montgomery C. Burns from Springfield, Canada writes: Further to next year's changes:

    Ginette Reno and Celine Dion have been signed on to sing the Canadian National Anthem, en francais, bien sur!

    All Hab players will be required to be fluent in French. Failing such test will cause said player to be demoted or traded.

    Players who make political contributions to the Bloc Heads will curry favour with the Quebec government.
  46. Paul I from United States writes: Hi Pat- No problem. I'm still eagerly awaiting a relevant fact. I haven't read one from you yet this season. Just a few weeks left. I remain hopeful.
  47. Pat Billings from Canada writes: Montgomery C. Burns,

    Ginette Reno is the fat french lady that is currently warming up...to mark the end of the season.
  48. Steve Church from Canada writes: Takes Number 1 on the list of 'Bad Things Today'. Gillett is an excellent owner, one of the best in the League - overspent to the cap limit to push for centennial success; hustled and bustled to really bring this franchise back to the honour and respect it deserves. Now he has to sell when the market has no wheels. He has to announce it when the team is tooth-and-nail just to make the playoffs. It has to happen when the roster is unsettled and vulnerable to summer exits. The comment that the Habs are 'recession-proof' is outsane. This is one of those times when I'm hoping there's some theatrics in the mix, and a new buyer or funding is already in the pipes - because on face value this is terrible news.
  49. Montgomery C. Burns from Springfield, Canada writes: Pat Billings from Canada writes: Montgomery C. Burns,

    Ginette Reno is the fat french lady that is currently warming up...to mark the end of the season.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pat, it's not looking good for your Habs, but it ain't over yet. If the Habs can regain their confidence, there still is a chance for them to make the playoffs.
  50. Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: Pat Billings from Canada writes: Montgomery C. Burns,

    Ginette Reno is the fat french lady that is currently warming up...to mark the end of the season.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Habs should make the playoffs. The only team that is really a threat, unless the wheels truly fall off, is Florida. Florida has the harder schedule, on paper, than the Habs for the duration.

    The bad thing for the Habs is that every team they play from here out beat them in their last meeting...not necessarily indicative considering timing, etc but a stat nonetheless.
  51. Steve D from Canada writes: Hey Mr Gillett.... Will you take 1 million and you keep Gainey ?
  52. Sean Connery from Canada writes: MLSE should buy them.

    Leafs need a farm team.
  53. John LaBattaglia from Toronto, Canada writes: Has Gillet resolved the tax issues he was having with the province?
  54. richard sauve from MTL, Canada writes: Hey Sean stop sniffing glue you clown! The last fans that should be coky are the Maple Laugh fans. You still won't make playoffs for a fourth year and a row, and you have not won a cup in the last 400 years!!!
  55. Tom Maras from Toronto, writes: C'mon Habbies....you lose to the Leafs on the weekend and now you want to sell the team? Talk about sore losers!
  56. truth betold from Canada writes: Whatever professional sports teams were allegedly worth a year or two ago is surely not the case today.
    They have for a long time been highly leveraged money-laundering schemes.
    1. Buy team with no money down, huge loan.
    2. Jawbone city into building free arena.
    3. Sell team to next over-leveraged corporate d00cheb@g.

    It made GWB rich as fractional owner of the Texas Rangers. Worked for Larry Ellman with the Phoenix Coyotes. Chuck Wang is trying the same thing in Long Island.

    Sooner or later, there are no Greater Fools.

    Real estate is dead. Municipalities, provinces and central governments are buried in debt. Taxpayers are sick of paying for sports playpens.

    Gillette is just one of 30 NHL owners left holding the bag. Good luck in bankruptcy, Georgie.
  57. Paul I from United States writes: Toronto Maple Leafs- Franchise Killers!!!
  58. J M from Canada writes: Sean Connery from Canada writes: MLSE should buy them. Leafs need a farm team.

    Seems MLSE could use an NHL team first...!

    Seriously looks like Uncle George has a need to liquify assets
    Ski resorts during global warming - thankfully now that the sky is falling, there is a hole in the ozone to jump through to safety
  59. A B from calgary, Canada writes: Please, leave my beloved HABS alone, and in Montreal.

    RIM will buy it up, and leave it where it belongs in the hockey dynasty... Montreal
  60. Pat Billings from Canada writes: truth betold: All you said applies to most American-based professional sports teams.

    Things are a little different in Canada. Our govt aren't so keen on using public funds to subsidize millionnaire owners and their athletes.

    The last major sports infrastructures that were publicly funded in Canada and now used by privately owned profesional teams are the SkyDome and BMO Field.

    The Bell Centre, ACC, Scotiabank Centre, GM Place, Saputo stadium were all financed privately.
  61. Hee Hoo Sai from Canada writes: So long as they thump upon Edmonton occasionally, it's ok.
  62. Doktor David from Gwangyang-Si, Korea, Rep. of writes: Gee - whiz - calm down everybody - he is just being prudent, getting the pencil pushers to outline where he stands in terms of financial commitment. There is no 'For Sale' sign just yet, but if someone should come calling, he can present his numbers/asking price so the potential investor has something to compare against that investor's numbers/offer. Sound business move - it is all about the bargaining at this point - exactly what you have to do when things are as strange as they are now. Personally, I see 'over leveraged' in his future, while looking for a white knight/angel investor.

    And move the Habs? What in the heck for? They are exactly where they should be; moving them is like saying '...what? ...you don't want to make any money? ...ever?' Never happen.

    Cheers! (used under license)
  63. Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: Obama should buy them because if there was ever a team that needed to be 'bailed out'!
  64. Louis Elias from Canada writes: What's to stop MLSE from putting in an offer......now THAT would be interesting....HA.
  65. andrew james from Canada writes: I expect the Caisse to buy in .. after all it was their slavish need to match the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund that got them in their recent trouble..
  66. B.C. Expat from Ottawa-Hull, FCR, Canada writes: Howard Young from Canada writes: Why are there so many comments about moving the team? I will assume they are intended to be humourous.

    Yes, they are meant to be humorous. It's a wink to the fact that Canadian hockey fans are seemingly unable to view an ownership story for a U.S.-based team without calling for Balsillie to buy the team and move it to the middle of nowhere.

    Or any story about the Predators or Coyotes or another team who offends them so deeply by being in a non-traditional market will incur lots of shouting "Muve teh team tu Winnnipegg!" TSN.ca cannot have a story like "Predators prepare for upcoming road trip" without a litany of these stupid comments. It's like reading the Globe comments on a non-political story about Israel like rainfall or archaeology -- they get filled up with hateful bile no matter what.
  67. Frank Godfrey from Canada writes: Too bad my Leafs weren't up for sale. Whatever happens, the Habs stay in cheesy Montreal. Period. Moving this team is the silliest notion in a long while. But indeed, there's something quite over-ripe about all this in La Belle Province.
  68. North Star from Canada writes: Quebec will never separate while the religion of the Canadiens holds sway however, moving the team could certainly change that.
  69. Trilly B from Canada writes: I thought losing to the Leafs just got your coach fired.

    Too bad this has to happen. I envy any team whose owner is genuinely interested in the game, the team, and the city. Tough times though.

    The team will never, ever move. Because this Leaf fan would hop on the train to Montreal to join the riot procession to Bettman's office in NYC.
  70. Yves Champoux from Trois-Rivieres, Canada writes: The Habs will move to Kitchener-Waterloo when the CN tower moves to Wawa. In the meantime, Bob Gainey's post-lockout career as a GM is a total failure. Claude Julien and Guy Carbonneau are too classy to publically smirk, but what fun must they have in private. BTW, the Leafs have had much success with 'English' coaches in the last 42 years. Why is it that Jacques Lemaire was never asked to coach Team Canada? Must be the accent.
  71. Pat Billings from Canada writes: No other franchise in the NHL generates as much interest from both the fans and the media, than the Habs.

    Uncle George has got a gold mine on his hands.
  72. Sean Connery from Canada writes: Gillette tried to spin himself as this great sports figure with a true love for hockey.

    Blah.

    Just another American in it for some money and now wants to leave it.
  73. Paul I from United States writes: I'd like to suggest the NHL move Nashville, Atlanta and both Florida based teams to Mont-Royal.
  74. L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes: wayne powers from saskatoon, writes: Are those sounds I hear in the distance Captian Canada AKA RimJim, riding to the rescue, I hope so. Let Nashville, Atlanta, Tampa, Florida, and Phoenix sink in Gary's mess, RimJim can take an original six and make more money with it and restore it's traditions (maybe).
    _____________________________________________

    Wayne powers, I agree with you, but would like 8 teams in all:

    Four hockey teams in Canada and four in the USA.

    In the USA, I would take Boston, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.
    No Detroit, since it is so close to Toronto...

    In Canada, there would be Toronto and Montreal and 2 others...

    ....
  75. Dave LeBlanc from Canada writes: Why should an NHL team have to be privately owned anyways? Why not sell shares on the stock market?
  76. David R from Canada writes: "on the contrary you need to think my way from Canada writes: hope Basille buys the team! He will never be allowed to move it though!"

    That's right The NHL will only it to be moved if they move south. The NHL broad seems to think the only market that counts is the US.
  77. Ian m from New York (via Vancouver), United States writes: Good Point Yves,

    The English Canada bias just doesn't get much press in the English papers.

    George is following the old maxim "buy low, sell high". The Habs franchise is probably at its peak value right now (while not playing at their peak at all).
  78. Chris G in Waterloo from Waterloo, Canada writes: Whahoo! Comon Balsillie.. this is your big chance!
    I know you won't move the team... that would be sacrilege. But it would be nice if they had their training camp in Waterloo!!
  79. Hunkered down in the land of never ending promises from Canada writes: Balsillie's ship has come in. There's no question that should a Canadian group buy the Canadians that the team will stay in Montreal. Even suggesting to move it to Hamilton is simply wishful thinking and I don't think that supporters of a Hamilton franchise are getting the picture here. If Balsillie were to buy the team, it would put a Hamilton NHL team closer to reality because then you'd have a team owner really pushing for another team to be put in Hamilton. If the RIM co-owner were the new owner of the Canadians, a team in Hamilton would be a lot closer to reality than any idea of moving the Coyotes or the Predators from Phoenix or Nashville.
    Of course Balsillie is not as rich as he was prior to the meltdown so maybe buying the Canadiens will be too rich for his blood.
  80. John Hinkley from Canada writes: Great opportunity for MLSE to win a Stanley Cup - buy Les Canadiens.
  81. mainstation ... from Canada writes: If you think the team is going to move, you're crazy. George Gillett holds majority ownership in 2 of the greatest Sporting franchises in the World. If he has taken a financial hit, as we all have recently, he should RETAIN the Habs and Liverpool FC, and instead sell a ski resort or 3. The Bell Centre is sold out no matter what and across the pond, Scousers love their Reds--You'll Never Walk Alone!! It would be nice if a Canadian group/individual bought the team.

    As long as a rich Russian doesn't buy the Habs and bring in more Russian players---that is the last thing we need now in Montreal!!
  82. Paul I from United States writes: David LeBlanc- There used to be a team you could buy shares in- The Toronto Maple Leafs.
  83. R. M. from REgina, Canada writes: Everything else is being socialized so let the province of Quebec buy it.
  84. Lyn Alg from Canada writes: Now, here is a team for Jim Balsillie. As a true blue Canadian, he would be the ideal owner of Canada's most fabled hockey team. Any bets that he will become the next owner de Les Grande Canadienne? RIM's Blackberry and Les Canadiennes would produce great synergy.
  85. J M from Canada writes: This could be quite a bonus for "Uncle George"
    Imagine having Guy Laliberte (Cirque du Solei), Rene/Celine (air sickness bags), Paul Desmarias (Power Corp. & La Presse) and Jim Balsillie (RIM) all as potential buyers?

    In GG's perfect world, two or three get into a bidding war and artificially drive the price up - apparently he stands at present to sell for some $193MM more than the purchase price.
  86. J M from Canada writes: should read

    apparently he stands at present to sell for some $93MM more than the purchase price.
  87. Red Ruffensore from Port Coquitlam, Canada writes: Yes, Balsillie may get the chance to buy the Canadiens, but not before Gary Bettman is finished peering at police blotters all over the U.S. looking for another Boots Del Biaggio or Samuelson of Anaheim as a potential owner.
  88. Oil Patch Guy from Canada writes: I heard Brett Wilson is looking at buying them and moving the franchise to Red Deer.....
  89. David H from Toronto, Canada writes: Pat Billings from Canada writes: No other franchise in the NHL generates as much interest from both the fans and the media, than the Habs.

    Uncle George has got a gold mine on his hands.

    ==================

    Billings, for like 1 day there you were so well behaved. The humility instilled by your struggling Habs made your posts intelligent and relevant. Now your inferiority complex is shining through again. That post is obviously incorrect and designed to provoke. Very petty for you to see the need to push that.
  90. John Santos from Canada writes: This is all great fodder for the media but the team will not be sold.

    You heard it here first.
  91. M T from Canada writes: The Habs made 109 million last season. All the owner is doing is testing to waters to see if he can create some liquidity for himself in a depressed market. I don't believe for a second he wants to sell a majority stake, but for some richies looks for a good return, this opportunity may interest them.

    http://www.forbes.com/lists/2007/31/biz07nhlNHL-Team-Valuations_Revenue.html
  92. J M from Canada writes: David H from Toronto:

    I see no garrulous, petty provocation in Billings opinions noted:

    "No other franchise in the NHL generates as much interest from both the fans and the media" and "Uncle George has got a gold mine on his hands"

    Maybe the exclusionary "no other" isn't necessary but otherwise there is nothing I see to complain about in the comment.
  93. J M from Canada writes: Santos, you may be right, hwo knows for sure.

    Apparently GG has until June 24th to come up with half of the $630MM he owes for the Liverpool loan shared by himself and Hicks.
  94. Pat Billings from Canada writes: David H. The only inferiority complex re-surfacing is yours. You need to get out of the GTA...there is a world east of Pickering, north of Brampton, west of Mississauga...etc.

    There is simply is no match to the amount of media interest for the Habs. The amount of stories/scandals/rumours/innuendos that have have come out of this team this year is mind-boggling. The Habs for good or bad reasons (personal opinion is mostly for bad) are a soap opera. It makes sense, unlike Toronto, they are the only game in town throughout long boring cold winters. Think of "Lance et Compte" or that lame CBC series MVP...and the Habs have covered all the bases. It would take the leaf about 5 seasons to generate as much ink.
  95. Paul Landry from Chelsea, Canada writes: Gillette owns 80% of the Canadiens and the Bell Centre, both of which have been very profitable and have appreciated significantly in value. All he is doing is paying some banking/investment consultants to tell him what that value is (as well all his other sports & entertainment holdings) in today's market. He can then sell some 29% of that to another investor (hopefully Canadian) for the cash he needs and still retain control over the team. Gillette loves owning the Habs and all of the players to a man love having him as owner ... too bad they aren't showing that love on the ice.
  96. M T from Canada writes: Pat Billings from Canada writes: David H. The only inferiority complex re-surfacing is yours. You need to get out of the GTA...there is a world east of Pickering, north of Brampton, west of Mississauga...etc.
    _______________________

    No offense, but Pickering and Mississauga are not part of the GTA. (Pickering is in the Durham region and Mississauga is part of the Peel region)

    Maybe a visit to the GTA could refresh your memory. :)
  97. Paul I from United States writes: Lyn Alg- I kind of see the synergy you refer to between the Habs and RIM. The Habs and the Blackberry are all thumbs, and when you push a few buttons everybody goes crazy.
  98. J M from Canada writes: Paul, it will be known as the NoirBerry's
  99. Pat Billings from Canada writes: M T from Canada writes: No offense, but Pickering and Mississauga are not part of the GTA. (Pickering is in the Durham region and Mississauga is part of the Peel region).

    Doesnt' the GTA include Toronto and the 4 regions (Peel, Durham, Halton and York,) which would encapsulate Pickering, Mississaugua and Brampton?
  100. L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes: Paul I from United States writes: Lyn Alg- I kind of see the synergy you refer to between the Habs and RIM. The Habs and the Blackberry are all thumbs, and when you push a few buttons everybody goes crazy.
    ______________________________________________

    We've had enough Canada bashing from Fox Nooze and enough Quebec bashing from our Canadian subscribers to Fox Nooze and assorted disciples of Fox Nooze to last us a lifetime up here in North of the border.

    All thumbs...Blackberry you say?? Are you jealous of Research in Motion??

    All thumbs... Are you jealous of our hockey players and our love of hockey up here North of the Border.

    Enough bashers. We've had enough bashing of Canada and Quebec to last us a lifetime ad nauseam and even ad vitam aeternam.

    Good bye.

    -We've also had enough bashing of Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto and all other places. No more bashing. No more bashing of fellow Canadians by other Canadians. Enough. Quite enough.

    Thank you very much.

    -
  101. Paul I from United States writes: L.B. Wow! Regarding "pushing buttons"- I rest my case.
  102. J M from Canada writes: MT, Billings, and anyone else
    According to wikipedia... (and this is what I thought, but who knows)

    The following regional municipalities are included in describing the Greater Toronto Area:[4]

    Regional Municipality of Durham
    * Regional Municipality of Halton
    * Regional Municipality of Peel
    Regional Municipality of York
  103. Paul I from United States writes: J M- I prefer The D'ingleberrys.
  104. M T from Canada writes: Pat, my bad must still be thinking in terms of single-tier municipality and jurisdiction of governance, as opposed to a label on a geographical area.
  105. David H from Toronto, Canada writes: J M: Billings always (almost always) has a thinly-veiled ulterior motive to his posts - each containing a kernel of truth surrounded by a thick and highly debatable shell. That post was certainly no exception. You're free to disagree with me, as I respect your discourse unlike Billings.

    Billings: You are a more refined version of Justin Stamross... Stamross 2.0, if you will. Stamross wears his petty motives on his sleeve, while you implant them in presuppositions and the like. The slight difference is entirely aesthetic.

    All in good fun.
  106. EJ Ravensbud from Canada writes: J M and Doc should buy the team. The Doc could appoint his Uncle Al as the new coach making up for a prior injustice. J M being the stats man could be the GM.
  107. J M from Canada writes: David H,

    Everyone has an opinion, I know what you mean though. I seem to have generated a couple of posters who, for one reason or another have a desire to refute anything and everything simply because, for reasons unknown they dont like a stranger who says things as I do. I get called childish, needing to always be right, troll, its "always" you and you "never" this or that, etc etc.

    Nothing more than online experiments to me now. Stamross doesn't rate even amongst those types, but I will still try and enlighten/dispose of his crazy talk too!

    One thing I do find funny and giving my opinion on your reply to Billings original post - is this team fan bonding and recruitment things that goes on. (ie: I've never felt a need or want to support say Billings or Miller simply because we are fans of the same team, not that I have not possibly supported one or the other, but on each comments merit, nothing else)

    Many times I've been presented with "so and so leaf fan was right, you are always this and never that about the leafs"

    Truly cracks me up, I love being brought back to the apple throwing wars behind the old school house!
  108. J M from Canada writes: EJ,
    I'm trying to buy the team

    My first move as Owner is to keep the status quo except for one change.

    Eddy Palchak, long time habs trainer will have to hire you as assistant.
    Nothing I want to see more than you having to wallow in 23 sweaty hab jock straps (or is that jacques straps?) every other night.
  109. Pat Billings from Canada writes: David H from Toronto, Canada writes: You are a more refined version of Justin Stamross... Stamross 2.0, if you will. Stamross wears his petty motives on his sleeve, while you implant them in presuppositions and the like. The slight difference is entirely aesthetic.

    A little bit harsh (I would prefer Stamross 8.0....) but "constructive" criticism nonetheless.
  110. J M from Canada writes: Billings, its not like David called you Stamross-Vista !
  111. Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: Habs valuation

    http://www.forbes.com/sports/lists/2008/31/nhl08Montreal-Canadiens314528.html
  112. J M from Canada writes: Auroran Bear, there is a missing underscore between nhl08 and Montreal in your link:

    http://www.forbes.com/sports/lists/2008/31/nhl08Montreal-Canadiens314528.html
  113. Paul I from United States writes: E J- Can I be goalie coach? I got my son from Initiation to Squirt Travel in two years. I'm sure I can do the same for Carey Price.
  114. J D from Canada writes: The Mayor of Montreal has entered the fray and stated that "the Habs can no more leave Montreal than a man can have a baby!"
  115. EJ Ravensbud from Canada writes: How much will it pay? I did not know the Habs wore jocks as I have noticed they have not played with any kind of balls lately.
  116. J M from Canada writes: Jacques strap to save your noir-berrys, Balls-Silly
  117. J M from Canada writes: Jacques Strap to protect the noir-berrys, Ba||s-Silly
  118. J M from Canada writes: J D - good one
    Of course the Canadiens would, could, should never move.
    Any talk of such a thing actually occurring is strictly for the uninitiated

    ie: would they move to, hmm Toronto, nope. New York, nope.
    Name any larger market for hockey.... none?
    That's right, because of course it doesn't exist.
  119. J M from Canada writes: Looking at the Forbes numbers, I was surprised just how much the leafs spent in those pre-cap years, $59 million dollars over the 6 year period compared with Montreal - wow.

    Another surprise (of course Forbes doesn't have '09s numbers in there)
    Leafs have spent on average $3 million a year more than the Habs since the lockout.
  120. Roman Spears from Canada writes:

    John Hinkley from Canada writes: Great opportunity for MLSE to win a Stanley Cup - buy Les Canadiens.

    ****

    Laugh while you can, there is a distinct possibility that that Toronto will finish ahead of Montreal this season. Ok its a long shot but a shot never-the-less. Sad thing is that even with beating the Habs, the Leafs won't have much to brag about.
  121. EJ Ravensbud from Canada writes: Paul I, Price is a project you can take on. The first thing you do is make him wear a scarf to prevent red light burn.
  122. EJ Ravensbud from Canada writes: J D, if the mayor of Montreal is any relative of Johnny Flag, then a move is imminent.
  123. Bones Moneski from Canada writes: "Uncle George" is a little weird and creepy, like a drooling step dad...

    Anyways - we talking 'bout practice...practice...not the games, not the games where I score 50 points, and pour my heart out for my team, we talking 'bout practice...'bout practice....we talking 'bout practice...we talking 'bout practice...'bout practice

    We're not talking about the Game anymore
  124. EJ Ravensbud from Canada writes: Boys, if they are giving billions in stimulous cash to dead and dying businesses I believe we can talk the government into giving half a billion to group of us hockey pucks. A consortium of Hab lovers and haters would make for lively meetings and a team all Canada would love. The beer at the meetings would have to be much better quality than "Ex" for me to participate plus we would have to move the team to Cornwall so that J M and I could attend the games and avoid the onerous Quebec taxes.
  125. Paul I from United States writes: E J- I have sunblock (soleilbloc?) we use with the newbie goalies. SPF 55. It might work with Price if we re-apply it between periods.
  126. Jah Nee Kah Sun from Canada writes: Montreal Canadiens stand with Manchester United, New York Yankee's, Joe Louis, Boston Celtics....franchises that tower above the rest in their prospective sport or discipline. The only one to own.... any other is so much less.
  127. J M from Canada writes: I use SPF Butter, for that golden tan
  128. Paul I from United States writes: J M- I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!!!!!
  129. J M from Canada writes: Paul
    You may think it's butter, but its not...
    It's Chiffon!
  130. EJ Ravensbud from Canada writes: So J M, look in your statpak and tell us if the Hab's winning streak starts tonight against the ECHL Thrashers. Any team with a name like Thrashers must be in the ECHL.
  131. Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: This provides the most recent valuations for the NHL

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/article/125155
  132. EJ Ravensbud from Canada writes: Latest from Phoenix - buy a bottle of Vodka, get a free Coyotes ticket. I guess you need the booze to be able to tolerate the game.
    Hab fans still pay full price for a ticket, but like Coyote's fans need booze to get though a game.
  133. Scot Loucks from Pickering, Canada writes: Pat Billings from Canada writes: M T from Canada writes: No offense, but Pickering and Mississauga are not part of the GTA. (Pickering is in the Durham region and Mississauga is part of the Peel region).

    Doesnt' the GTA include Toronto and the 4 regions (Peel, Durham, Halton and York,) which would encapsulate Pickering, Mississaugua and Brampton?

    -------------------

    Yes it does Billings. Actually extends past Oshawa in the East.

    The GTA is the 416, 905 and 647 area codes.

    Cheers
  134. Scot Loucks from Pickering, Canada writes: Auroran Bear and JM...

    You can't post a link on the Globe threads that have underscores. (They just italicize the following characters). You need to use TinyUrl.com

    Cheers
  135. Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: Scot Loucks from Pickering, Canada writes: Auroran Bear and JM...

    You can't post a link on the Globe threads that have underscores. (They just italicize the following characters). You need to use TinyUrl.com

    Cheers
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thanks
  136. Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: You (Auroran Bear, from Montreal, Canada) wrote: This provides the most recent valuations for the NHL

    http://tinyurl.com/d5j377
  137. L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes: J D from Canada writes: The Mayor of Montreal has entered the fray and stated that "the Habs can no more leave Montreal than a man can have a baby!"
    Posted 24/03/09 at 3:49 PM EDT |
    _______________________________________________

    Period. End of story.

    Good night all!

    -

Comments are closed

Thanks for your interest in commenting on this article, however we are no longer accepting submissions. If you would like, you may send a letter to the editor.

Report an abusive comment to our editorial staff

close

Alert us about this comment

Please let us know if this reader’s comment breaks the editor's rules and is obscene, abusive, threatening, unlawful, harassing, defamatory, profane or racially offensive by selecting the appropriate option to describe the problem.

Do not use this to complain about comments that don’t break the rules, for example those comments that you disagree with or contain spelling errors or multiple postings.

Back to top