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Balsillie's hunt for Coyotes sets up NHL faceoff

From Thursday's Globe and Mail

Bettman challenges Phoenix team's right to file bankruptcy petition as RIM founder tries to shore up support ...Read the full article

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  1. Joseph Pileggi from toronto, Canada writes: Get rid of Bettman, the most anti-canadian person in North America. P.S. get rid of Stachan- antiquated ideas.... long live 'riim'
  2. D K from Calgary, Canada writes: As a Canadian not living in Southern Ontario, I'd kind of like the Yotes to stay where they are. That way I might get to see them.
  3. Joseph Pileggi from toronto, Canada writes: Not only that I am going to put my money where my mouth is. I am going to sell my us stocks and get rid of the Leaf season tickets until the KW coyotes come to the area. Long live 'rim'
  4. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: My Leaf season tickets have been fully sold for this year and last year... I go to one game but retain rights to the playoff tickets.

    Now cut out the Balsillie fantasy articles and give us a write up on the Boston/Carolina game.

  5. R Miller from Halifax, Canada writes: Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes :

    'I...retain rights to playoff tickets...'

    Rev... I got some bad news for you...

    Slainte Mhath
  6. Steve Church from Canada writes: If Ballsilie wants a franchise in Suntario, tell him it's 400 hard. The new franchise will be available just minutes after the Coyotes are thrown to the wolves. The major benny for Jim is he doesn't have to inherit the Yotes' roster. The minor benny is the other owners will think he's a good guy - as they cash their 10mil cheque with his sig on it.
  7. Dave S from GTA, Canada writes: So Jim has offered $212M to plunk down a team in between the Leafs, who are worth $450M, and the Sabres, who are worth $170M. Jim is no dummy and Bettman doesn't stand a chance. Go Jim go!
  8. Matt B from Canada writes: This is better than a soap opera!
  9. Rob M from Canada writes: I agree, Im really enjoying this haha.

    I hope it doesnt get shut down tomorrow and will at least provide a couple weeks of drama.

    Better than all the other doom and gloom in the media these days.
  10. Jordan W from Montreal, Canada writes: Bettman's got to learn to stop saying no to determined money. If Balsillie fails this time, there'll always be an Atlanta, Tampa Bay, or Florida situation just around the corner. I would bet there are quite a few owners who would take $212.5 million or less and run if they could.
  11. R Miller from Halifax, Canada writes: This is going to be, at least, as entertaining as the Ovie - Sid super series is turning out to be...

    Go Balsillie GO !!

    Free the people !!

    Slainte Mhath
  12. J. Herbert MuffinFluffer from Moosehorn, Mb, Canada writes: a perfect world Bettman would end up in jail for trying to meddle in the bankruptcy. He is the lowest of the low. A weasel. A lawyer!
  13. George Dubya from Canada writes: OK, here goes: Go Balsillie, go. Let's start our own league! After all: 1. The Stanley Cup belongs to the people of Canada - not the NHL. They only have it in trust. Much of the NHL revenues are generated here in Canada, not in the land of palm trees an 80 degree March weather. 2. Why not divide the league into two (or possibly three) components: Canadian, US and (perhaps) European. 3. Each league would play only within its league during regular season. (i.e. Canadian teams play only Canadian teams, US only US and Euro only Euro). 4. Each league pays its expenses in its local currency (Canadian $, US $, or Euros). 5. Revenues generated by teams (from all sources - including broadcast and franchise) stay within that league i. Canadian teams get all revenues generated by Canadian sources. 6. Each team antes $1 Million for the Final Play-Offs (I don't care if you call them the Stanley Cup or the Jock-Cup, the Hockey World cup or whatever - this could become wthe world premier events and frankly, I'm fed up with Bettman taking MY game and its heritage from me and pissing it away.) 7. So what? In the end you will end up with real hockey markets ( Toronto, Winnipeg, Minneapolis, New York (?), etc. and discard a bunch of quick buck parasites (Phoenix, Memphis, Tampa etc.) Canadian teams will yield better profits (no revenue sharing, less travel, expenses and, less hype). Gary will get what he wants: an so-called 'national league' that has teams in major US centers, so they can sell and flip them for mega-bucks. The only problem here is Gary, no audiences in those markets, So, I don't mean to pee on your parade, Gary, but the NHL has shrunk drastically in my esteem over the past 20 to 30-odd years. Time for it to go bye-bye. Nice try.
  14. Link Hogbrow from Canada writes:
    OK so the NHL wants to sell Jim an expansion franchise for $400 mil, and split the proceeds. This is instead of moving the team to a place where people care about hockey, and collect nothing. I guess they would rather keep throwing money into a giant hole in the Sonoran Desert.

    The lockout taught them nothing. They still think $hort term.

    Simple greed.


    Why does Bettman's head bobble when he speaks ?
  15. George Dubya from Canada writes: Link Hogbrow from Canada writes:
    OK so the NHL wants to sell Jim an expansion franchise for $400 mil, and split the proceeds. This is instead of moving the team to a place where people care about hockey, and collect nothing. I guess they would rather keep throwing money into a giant hole in the Sonoran Desert.

    The lockout taught them nothing. They still think $hort term.

    Simple greed.


    Why does Bettman's head bobble when he speaks ?

    Because he's a lawyer. That's secret lawyer-code for 'watch out, here comes another doozie - especially if I'm on TV'.

    Little f*ck.
  16. Craig Cooper from writes: It appears Bettman is so stupid that he doesn't know he's stupid.

    Phoenix, for chrissakes!
  17. Link Hogbrow from Canada writes:
    Dubya (@ 12:10):


    Or maybe he IS a bobblehead made in China and the lead has fried his brain.
  18. robert harris from Canada writes: It`s not about the money with Bettman - it`s about being in complete control of everything at all times. Balsillie tried an end run the last time but Bettman outsmarted him with the fine print. The only way Balsillie wins is with Bettman`s resignation which might be better for everyone anyways. An owners revolt over falling asset values makes Bettman vulnerable. Are NHL owners ready for a brave new world.
  19. Some Guy from Canada writes: 'To say nothing of the fight Mr. Balsillie is likely to have with the owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Buffalo Sabres, who claim territorial rights to Southern Ontario.'
    Look, here is a sentence fragment trying to be a paragraph.
  20. Witty Name from Canada writes: Why does Balsillie even bother anymore? Bettman clearly doesn't want him owning a team. NHL would be lucky to have Balsillie, if they're too stupid to realize it then it's their loss. Bettman tried to slip in that no movement clause into Balsillie's purchase of the Pens at the 11th hour that no one would have accepted. Then they accepted a lower bid from a con artist to purchase the Preds and it was partly financed by the outgoing owner who turned around and bought Minnesota. It all just screams Mickey Mouse.

    This is why the NHL is worst run league in professional sports. They are unwilling to admit mistakes. They have consistently shown themselves to be willing to undercut franchise values by accepting lower bids and devalued their product through over expansion. They can't get real TV contract in the US. What a joke!
  21. Steve Church from Canada writes: Robert Harris - It isn't about the money with Bettman - but it sure is about the money with the other owners. They're not coming out of a franchise in Suntario with nothing. And if you think Buffalo and Toronto are going to hand over parts of the territory and revenue for the pleasure of Ballsilie's company - get a prescription and counseling. Dave S (11:29) thinks this is a slam dunk for Balls, but it's the other way around - if it turns into what Jim Kelly on 590 a 'deathmatch' then you'll see a franchise in the Golden Horseshoe with someone else's name on Owner's Parking Spot.
  22. robert harris from Canada writes: Steve; if it`s about the money than Bettman loses - something most if not all canadian hockey fans want. But don`t underestimate little Gary the guy has an inside uppercut that gives Chara nightmares.
  23. Jeffrey 93 from Canada writes: Joseph Pileggi from toronto, Canada writes: Not only that I am going to put my money where my mouth is. I am going to sell my us stocks and get rid of the Leaf season tickets until the KW coyotes come to the area. Long live 'rim'

    Hate to break it to you man....but Copps Coliseum in Hamilton would be the home....for good.

    $20M in initial renovations would bring it up to snuff...with $120M in 2010 to add an additional 70 luxury boxes and increase the capacity to around 20,000.

    Do you really think the City of Hamilton is dumb enough to get involved with Balsillie if he plans on only visiting Hamilton on his way to KW? It's in their agreement....the team must reside in Hamilton or Copps is not for sale or use.

    Don't's not too far away...I'm sure you can make it to lots of games.
  24. Jeffrey 93 from Canada writes: Steve you really think Balsillie is going to fire $212M at a franchise he plans on moving to Hamilton without talking with the Sabres and Leafs first? The Sabres would be hard pressed to demand compensation since they haven't required it for previous NHL games at Copps Coliseum, although MLSE did ask for it and got it. However, the compensation is to recoup losses that MLSE would suffer due to a franchise in that proximity to their own. I don't care how talented their lawyers can't tell me a team in Hamilton will impact the Leafs revenue one bit. MLSE is also battling a bad image. They are becoming hated even by their own fans. If ownership fought this too hard or demanded too much money you could end up with a mutiny. They are working their PR to appear like a more friendly organization that wants to please their customers...not just fleece them. Near the end of June we will hear from the Arizona court that Balsillie has been sold the team...shortly after that we will hear that the Board of Governors have approved the sale and relcoation with a relocation fee to give every Owner a little gift basket. In Montreal on draft day you will hear the words 'The Hamilton Steelhawks are pleased to select...' Count on it.
  25. Robert Dryburgh from Winnipeg, Canada writes: NHL Hockey is big business and nothing more. If Mr. Balsille has offered to pick up the tab and operate it as a profitable venture in Hamilton, I wish him every sucess.
  26. Steve Church from Canada writes: Robert Harris - sorry, don't understand your claim. If it's about money (and it is to the owners), then Ballsilie loses. They're not going to give him a discount franchise in Suntario - especially after he's done everything in the world to p. them off.
  27. R Miller from Halifax, Canada writes: Robert Dryburgh from Winnipeg, Canada writes :

    'If Mr. Balsillie has offered to pick up the tab and operate it as a profitable venture in Hamilton, I wish him every success.'

    I would like to echo your comments here...

    Slainte Mhath
  28. Steve Church from Canada writes: Jeffrey 93 - Yes, he did this outside any discussions with those owners or the League. He Pearl Harboured this as the League was on its way to Arizona with a plan and a prospector. And the news videos have already shown Buffalo stating straight up their objections - 20% of their base and their revenue comes from Suntario. Your claim that MLSE has no case is emotion-based nonsense - they're not going to surrender valuable revenue territory for zero. Try thinking business instead of popularity. Your scenario, frankly, is fiction. 'If' the courts decide to break the League under anti-trust legislation (a bizarre longshot at best), the whole deal will bog down in appeals courts up to the supreme courts for years. Just like the Nashville nonsense, Ballsilie didn't get his way, so he's ready to poop on the parade.
  29. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    MLSE is very quiet and saying nothing. Rest assured they are working VERY hard behind the scenes to BLOCK this-so is Buffalo. If MLSE had no problem, a team would be in Ontario next seson

    Of course if a reporter inquired,( is there one who has guts in Toronto?) Peddie would spout the standard answer of 'no comment on a league legal issue'

    Montreal Canadien ownership did the same back door stuff when the Nordiques tried to enter the league. When their shenanigans became public, the Molson Beer sales dropped to 15% in the Quebec city region and team sponsor O'Keeke became king.

    Re Gary Bett-American: His star might not be as shinny these days. The key to ownership was not necessarily small loses or profits, but the knowledge that their asset would double in value every 7-10 years. Now with no major TV contract, much larger losses than anticipated, and flat or lost franchise value along with a killer CBA for owners, he might be on the hot seat.

    Lastly, why doesn't Balsillie just wait a year? In that time at least 4-6 franchises will be begging him just to take the team off their hands for half the price he offers today.
  30. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    If this ever happened, has anyone figured out how the new Divisions would look like?

    Right now we have 6 divisions with 5 clubs each. Can't really change those numbers unless they dropped the divisions and just went with Conferences

    You can't put a Southern Ontario team in the Pacific Division with San Jose, LA, Anaheim, and Dallas!

    The only place would be the Northeast Division in the Eastern Conference. I had some fun with realignment....and the only thing that makes sense is bumping about 5 other teams from one division to another considering travel and natural rivalries.

    The combinations and permutations are endless......but at the end of the day it would be a huge MESS!
  31. R. M. from Regina, Canada writes: So it's ok for Bettman to zip around the United States on a private Leaer jet to deal with a bankrupt team but not corporate executives. Isn't life grand? Bettman is a control freak and believe it or not he will get his way as the American owners will ensure that!
  32. Scotty from Oakville from Canada writes: Much as I'd support having another team here I suspect that a combination of several factors will conspire against Mr. Balsillie:

    The short-sighted greed of the current owners - MLSE isn't exactly famous for showing its care and concern for sports fans, so in spite of them selling out their Leafs tickets regularly they will contest anything they see as potential competition
    * The stupid, self-centred intansigence of Bettman refusing to back down on attempting to develop the NHL in places that patently don't care about hockey - a policy which has demonstrably failed and should be abandoned forthwith. The owners ought to see this and fire his a$$
    The fact that bringing another team to Canada isn't going to help TV revenues one iota (see the first bullet above.......)

    Difficult to prove, but it certainly appears too that the NHL governors and the small but perfectly formed Bettman have some kind of a hate complex for Mr Balsillie, and that even if the other issues went away they'd spike his approaches out of sheer spite.

    I'm afraid it's a losing battle. Highly entertaining though!
  33. f c from Canada writes: Bettman hates Canada...of course he says he does not...he's a damn lawyer.......he keeps the league from furthering Canadian team interests at HIS behest. Why keep a team from don't like Balsille....what a joke of an excuse! I am sure there are many outspoken owners. Wont make a good owner....ya, who wants an owner with super deep pocketrs who is willing to do what it take, loves the game and oh ya, loves Canada......hay Gary, what;s that in your , no's a Blackberry.....hmmmmm!!!!!!
  34. Tony Seaward from Canada writes: What does the NHL have against Canada. You could move the Coyotes to half a dozen places in Canada and draw more fans then they do now. Isn't that the idea, put fans in the seats?
  35. Eileen Dover from Canada writes: Time to get rid of this anti-competitive hockey cartel and let the market decide where teams go.
  36. Bryan Getslaughs from Canada writes: fan growth versus fan diversion?

    moving back to Ontario does not mean new creating new fans it just means diverting some leaf fans away.

    the NHL is interested in growth - moving to Ontario is not a recipe for growth but it is good for Balsillie and a small percentage of Canadians.

    If I were an owner and this was a business case only I'd say no.
  37. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Bryan Getslaughs writes: fan growth versus fan diversion?
    moving back to Ontario does not mean new creating new fans it just means diverting some leaf fans away.
    If I were an owner and this was a business case only I'd say no.
    Perhaps another way to look at this from a business case perspective. You have a losing team in a losing market which forces other teams to revenue share with this losing proposition. It would be replaced by a rev. generator.

    Feb. 2009:'We still have a waiting list of 2,500 people,' said Richard Peddie, president of MLSE, in describing the demand for Leafs tickets. 'The problem is the waiting list only saw 24 seats come due last year.'

    Feb 2008: 'The Toronto Maple Leafs have over 4,000 fans on their season ticket waiting list. The wait time for season tickets is nearly 20 years because of little turnover from year to year.

    While there appears to be a decline, more specifics as to why this decline is happening would be needed for a better assessment.

    I believe at the end of the day, this franchise could prosper but the BIG losers would be Buffalo who get a lot of spill over fans from Hamilton through the Niagara region.
  38. Mike S. from London, Canada writes: I say whatever it takes to stick it to the Maple Laughs. Anyone who admits to holding seasons tickets should wear a bag on their head. They are a disgusting excuse for a sports franchise. Boycott the losers!
  39. L M from Canada writes: If Bettman thinks Jimmy B's going away soon, he's got another thing coming.
    I almost think Balsillie's toying with him. The offer is conditional on moving that team to Southern Ontario. That implies he needs the approval of the owners, plus the approval of the Leafs and Sabres, to make his offer stick. If either of these fails, he gets to walk.
    The owners would be stupid to turn him down, as his offer sets the bar for franchise values. The Leafs and Sabres would undoubtedly ask for some cash in exchange for the territorial rights. If they don't, Balsillie can move the team to KW - outside the 50 mile territorial boundary.
    Bettman is supposed to work for the owners. He doesn't seem to be looking out for their best interests in keeping a deep-pocketed owner out and promoting a money-losing dog.
  40. G Pot from Canada writes: Finally some excitement in NHL. The on-ice product is ho-hum, but the Bettman-Balsillie fight will be a great show.
  41. gilles monenemie from Canada writes: If i was a betting man I would think that we could find a betterman as NHL commissioner. Selling hockey in phoenix is going as well as selling beach towels in nunavut. Betteman should realize its the fans that are subsidizing hockey in phoenix through outrageous ticket prices. Betteman is an enemy of all hockey fans that think they are paying to much to see a game.
  42. Clark Kent from Canada writes: If Buffalo blocks this, Canadians who normals watch the games and cross the border for a match should boycott. Hell, then Ballsie can buy them. I'd say the same for the Leafs, but that's rather unrealistic. (And, part of the reason why they should have no problem with this relocation attempt.)

    How did the Islanders set up shop? How old is this 80 km nonsense?

    Urg. Why do people even bother with the NHL? It's management has made the league a farce.
  43. Tim Cares from Canada writes: What fight with the Maple Leafs and Sabres? Doesn't he just have to give an established amount to each team?
  44. Bill Hopkins from Canada writes: Matt B from Canada writes: This is better than a soap opera!

    You bet, and I can't wait for the next episode. With Balsillie wanting so bad to get in and Bettman wanting so bad to keep him out, this has got to be an Oscar-winning show. Actually, if Balsillie really wanted to help the NHL, he should offer the 212 million to Bettman to resign. But I'm in Balsillie's camp for sure.
  45. foreign blue from Canada writes: Four points.
    1) A NHL Team in southern Ontario would likey ruin the Sabres broadcasting revenue. I don't have the numbers, but I would surprised if the Canadian market did not contstitute at least 40%. Even if after the Coyote move the league were to leave them the Niagara city region their revenue could probably decline by 20% overall in the first year.
    2) I think Balsillie is aware of this. He may be trying to do initiate this move in the hopes that this will cause a run of NHL teams to northern markets. Buffalo would probably be forced to move to Winnipeg, or some mid-West US market.
    3) George Dubya, I like your idea. But I think Balsillie got there first. The Coyote move north may be a way to initiate this. Instead of a Stanley cup final between the various divisions, why not make the Stanley Cup the Canadian leagues trophy and then just run some sort of Champions league for the top 8 teams accross the board. Make it best of three series round-robin for each set of 4 teams, and then just have the remaining 2 best teams play a best of seven series for the championship.
    4) The league has been too large for far too long. It is time to contract this overzealous Buttman experiment.
  46. Carl Hansen from Canada writes: The politics of sport is sometimes more interesting than the sport.
  47. Frank Godfrey from Canada writes: Does anyone know how much it costs MLSE and other owners to sustain weak franchises ? If Balsillie pays a ransom to Buffalo and Toronto to get his team, it sounds like a win-win for them. But they're going to be in a very competetive market area. People who say southern Ontario can support 2 teams need to understand that Buffalo/Toronto already constitutes a cross- border market area that has it's 2 teams. Anyway, as long as Jimmy boy keeps giving it to NHL potentates, I'm lovin' it.
  48. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    From a Buffalo News columnist that probably summs up the city's feelings;

    ' Bettman's affinity Buffalo, one of the league’s more dynamic and rabid markets, comes in handy whenever there’s talk of relocating an existing team to southern Ontario. And there will always be talk so long s Canadian Black- Berry magnate Jim Balsillie hangs vulture- like over disabled franchises, waiting to execute the swoop-and-relocate maneuver.

    This is going to get REAL ugly fast!

    So unfortunate when we have an incredible series going on with the Caps and Pens!

  49. Art Vandelai from Burlington, Canada writes: One answer to the Sabres issues...put Hamilton in the Central division (with Detroit, Chicago, Columbus, Nashville), and move the Blues to the Southwest.

    This way, GTA fans get to see lots of great teams in the Wings and Hawks, and Buffalo still gets the Leafs games that bring fans over the border.
  50. Frank Godfrey from Canada writes: R. Carriere, how is it unfortunate ? It takes nothing away from the good series at all. In fact it expands the hockey universe a little, don't you agree.
  51. JEN FRASER from MTL, Canada writes: Gary Bettman is an arrogant fool. The US expansion is a complete joke. He should have been looking at Europe ( ie the place where all the players went to play during the lock out). He ruins Saturday night games with his stupid Saturday afternoon schedule ( oblivious to the fact that most future NHLers are playing in the local arenas on Saturday afternoons), Get rig of this clown. And since the LEAFS are perpetually sold out, why should they care if there's another team in Hamilton. McGuinty needs to make that clear to the Leafs.
  52. Karen in Canada from Belleville, Canada writes: “This is not about whether or not we want a franchise in Southern Ontario and whether or not Mr. Balsillie would make a suitable owner that the [NHL] owners would approve,” Mr. Bettman explained Wednesday at a conference with the commissioners of the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball.

    “This is about the league rules, and the enforceability of our rules – whether or not Mr. Moyes even had the authority to file a bankruptcy petition – is something we're going to get into.”

    Yeah right, do you suppose he might also have a parcel of swamp land for sale? Mr. Bettman has been a dismal failure and his 'sun-belt' experiment has done exactly what most of us figured it would, flopped like a pancake. Time someone put an end to this little pissing match and kicked Bettman and his little-man syndrome out of the big chair. He is clearly NOT making sound business decisions. Phoenix is just the first, time to stop the hemorrhaging and send the sun-belt teams to centres that actually understand and support hockey.
  53. Craig ! from Republic of Newfoundland, Canada writes: Bryan Getslaughs from Canada writes: fan growth versus fan diversion?

    moving back to Ontario does not mean new creating new fans it just means diverting some leaf fans away.

    the NHL is interested in growth - moving to Ontario is not a recipe for growth but it is good for Balsillie and a small percentage of Canadians.

    If I were an owner and this was a business case only I'd say no


    Bryan I some what agree with you however there is one small thing you forget to mention. You are right it doesn't created more fans as such but it will generate more revenues. It will put thousands of more fans in seats for this team at considerably higher prices. That means more money in the over all pot for the owners instead of having to give money to the Cyotes in Pheonix. It will also increase the value of that team which benefits all the teams.
  54. Hugh Andrew from Canada writes: The 'National' in the NHL is no longer Canadian. It is an American 'USA' league.

    Let's go back to forming a new league with European Divisions. Perhaps the time has come? We could even bring back the real musical tune that characterized the old NHL. Bring our Canadian players back. Block current NHL TV coverage in Canada in protest.

    Promote baseball playing countries to form and produce a real 'World Series' that produces real 'world champions', not just a tournament restricted to American teams.
  55. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Frank Godfrey from Canada writes: R. Carriere, how is it unfortunate ? It takes nothing away from the good series at all. In fact it expands the hockey universe a little, don't you agree.
    I see your point in terms of talking about the league, (talk good-talk bad-as long as they talk...) but it looks like it's overshadowing the game. That said, GO JIM GO!
  56. gilles monenemie from Canada writes: Hockey fans who hate high ticket prices can blame betteman as the fool who keeps using our money to subsidize empty arenas in the sunbelt. Betteman has to go.
  57. Don Komenda from Thunder Bay, Canada writes: Bettman has proven himself, in the past, to lack the astuteness required to run a business as large as the NHL. He appears to think that it all belongs to him and operates in a dictatorial manner that is detrimental to the league. This has taken on a very obvious personal tone which does not belong. Bettman has got to be the cotroller regardless of the consequences. A financially disasterous flaw. I feel that this time, the owners will see the light and remove all authoritative powers from him. He is narcistic, egotistical to a fault and just not capable. The league has floundered from the day he took over. If the owners do not get rid of him then they deserve what they get (or don't get). Hopefully it is good-bye to this snake in the grass for good. Now, let's drop the puck and get on with the game.
  58. Celine Brown from Canada writes: The bigger story is that it took six Glob hacks to craft this masterpiece.
  59. Frank Godfrey from Canada writes: Does anyone else wince when the TV blurts out it's ' Hockey Night in Canada '. Go, Jimmy, go !
  60. gilles monenemie from Montreal, Canada writes: Betteman is the biggest hockey ego since alan eagleson. Like Eagleson, Bettman must be taken down as the hockey king as he is destroying the game. Fans need to shred Bettman who is only fighting to protect his ego and not in the best interests of the game.
  61. Overtaxed and underlaid from Canada writes: I hope Bettman gets fired as part of this whole process.

    Worst. President. Ever.

    Go jim!
  62. Caper . from Canada writes: Smart move for Bailsillie. He now can go to the courts to by-pass this źmonopoly╗ and have the courts decide against the owners and Bettman. Two to one says that he will win the fight in the courts and Bettman will eat crow.
  63. C G from Canada, Canada writes: Steve Church..your analysis is dead on. There is no way the NHL owners and Bettman will allow a franchise to be installed in Southern Ontario without hefty expansion fees for all the old boys on the BoG. They will send the Coyotes into Chapter 7 ( shut it down - lock, stock and barrel) and start the the bidding for a new franchise in SWO/York region. $212M is going to look like a bargain in comparison and investors will be lined up deep and wide for a shot at a 2nd team in Ontario. It will also effectively block Jimmy Boy out for good. After a 2nd team is installed in SWO/York region, where else can the NHL go?

    That is how 'tiny commish' rolls - he loves these kinds of fights. You can see it in his beady little eyes.
  64. Nick Be from Toronto, Canada writes: The NHL SUCKS. Why put good money in this losing venture.
  65. Wally Grisold from Toronto, Canada writes: This sucker is going to be a juicy one, lets put it on Court TV and have Judge Judy presiding. She should have Gary Buttman squirming in his seat.
  66. Lance M from Canada writes: I suspect as time goes on that Jim could have his pick of a dozen franchises. I don't see the 30 team league surviving 3 years. I suspect once it all shakes out by 2014 there will only be 12 teams left in the NHL, and the players will be making considerably less. This economic situation (the recent rally aside) is considerably dire and many that would fill the seats are not about to part with their hard earned cash, particularly those that are still working, in non-traditional markets. Gary should see the writing on the wall and realize that the grand plan of expanding hockey into non traditional markets is an exercise in futility and seizing oppurtunities where the sport will sell is the best practice to adopt.
  67. Kent Henderson from Brockville, Canada writes: It is absolutely amazing that the combined ownership of the NHL with all that 'brain power' and they can't even get this right. Betteman is making a joke of the NHL and the owners in turn are letting it happen. Best thing that can happen is they will learn the hardway again.....
  68. Chris Michaels from Canada writes: Kudos to Jim Balsillie for trying to make a difference in Hamilton. It's a breath of fresh air -- and the 'good corporate citizen' isn't lost on people in Steeltown.

    The city (and province) need investment like this in our downtowns. And its now wonder that this sort of progressive thinking has led him to his previous sucesses.

    For the good of Hamilton, and the NHL, I really hope this happens.

    Why anyone would stand in the way of this is beyond me. However, perhaps that will make the victory even sweeter. Regardless, having two prospective owners kicking the Copps Coliseum tires is pretty encouraging for the revitalization/ post-steel-era of Hamilton.
  69. Ed Op from Canada writes:

    So Bettman's trying to dress this up as simply respecting and protecting league rules? BS! If this was a US owner who wanted to move the franchise to another southern US market Bettman would be bending over backwards (or forwards - whatever was required) to make it happen. Bettman has based his credibility on growing the NHL in the southern US and will not allow anything to happen which shows it as the dismal failure it has been. It's time the league get rid of Bettman and focus on rebuilding itself in markets where there's interest. Hamilton, Winnipeg, northern US cities that actually see snow (can't say which ones are best candidates - maybe Cleveland? try Kansas City again?) Given Saskatchewan's recent growth maybe a team could survive there in the near future.

    For Bettman to try and stand in the way of Balsillie like this and to prevent the current Coyotes' creditors from being made whole is unconscionable. What a weasel.
  70. AJA M from Canada writes: The puzzle in this situation is why do the NHL owners put up with Bettman and his ineffective management of the NHL. When we have the answer we will know why Bettman was not fired long time ago. Good luck Mr Ballsilie but I fear that you will not win with Bettman.
  71. Western Clods from Vancouver, Canada writes: You Want a BOTTOM LINE?


    Whether it's the direct financing of arenas, or roads built around new arenas, or tax credits to keep teams in towns, or tax breaks to athletes, or subsidies to the junior hockey teams that create NHL players, or the building of pee-wee hockey arenas that create NHL players, or special lotteries held for certain NHL teams, CANADA SUPPORTED HOCKEY TO THE TUNE OF BILLIONS OVER THE SPORT'S HISTORY.

    Now this isn't wrong. As a country, we've gotten a bigger bang for our buck from hockey than a lot of things the taxpayer has funded. It dwarfs anything the cultural sector can bring.

    I think 1972 & The Canada Cups, Salt Lake, all of the modern era Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton & Calgary Stanley Cups, the near misses in Vancouver, and the unnecessary heartbreak in Winnipeg and Quebec warrants one little piece of action by the Harper Government.

    Cancel one $1 billion bailout, and buy out the bankrupt teams that shouldn't exist and bring them home.

    A year from now, Chrysler & GM won't exist. But more NHL teams in Canada would if a fraction of those dollars went there. And their jobs, economic impact and national pride are just as valuable.

    If Harper's REALLY a hockey fan and historian, that's what he should do.

    So should any right-thinking Canadian.
  72. M D from GTA, Canada writes:

    NHL League offices: (212) 789-2000
  73. Ronnieblue Acacia from Edmonton, Canada writes: I listened to a respectable soprts journalist from Phoenix say this morning that it was nice having them there but the city and region has never taken to them. They rank about 10th behind basketball, baseball, football, college football, college basketball, college baseball, little league baseball, etc. Probably pro bowling too.

    Just like Florida, many who go to the games are snowbirds from Canada, wintering in Arizona. If they can't support their local team why shove it down their throats. Why take revenues away from the NHLPA and NHL hockey in general?

    Bettman saying that its the league owners decison is a cop out at the very least. If he had the nterest of the NHL at heart he would use his influence to have them moved, just as he has in making sure teams like Nashville stayed put, still a money sucking black hole.
  74. a angelsmoke from toronto, Canada writes:
    Bettman said in New York yesterday. 'This is about league rules.'
    Just goes to show how he thinks the NHL is above the law.

    So the question is, ' why would the majority of the Governors
    want Phoenix to stay where they are and LOSE money?' That's very odd.
    If Balsillie gets shut out AGAIN...I think the only other answer
    is for the Senate to see what kind
    of shenanigans are going on behind the doors at the NHL Board of Governors.
    Is there corruption? Why is there no competition in the largest market
    in Canada, in the largest province with the most popular sport. This is NOT
    about NHL league rules, this is about 'antitrust law' plain and simple.
    The NHL is acting in a very un-American way.

    The Senate needs to look into the NHL and see if Sherman Antitrust Act is
    being violated.

    1. Is the MLSE and the NHL board prohibiting agreements or practices that restrict free trading and competition between business entities. Is the NHL a Cartel?


    Cartel members may agree on such matters as price fixing, total industry output, market shares, allocation of customers, allocation of territories, bid rigging, establishment of common sales agencies, and the division of profits or combination of these. The aim of such collusion is to increase individual members' profits by reducing competition. Competition laws forbid cartels.

    Open the books NOW!!!! fans are sick of the shenanigans.
  75. Panta Rei from Albania writes: Bettman is my hero.I belive that his next move will be to expand NHL to Africa , just to show that he cares.
  76. No Name Necessary from Canada writes: the NHL has turned into such a joke. It's not even about hockey anymore it's all about the money........

    I guess its ok to sell and move a team from Canada but not from the US.

    Bettman needs to go. The Leafs and Sabres need to get real....plenty of fans for everyone. Maybe if they stop being a farm team for the rest of the league and start winning something no one would care about a new team.
  77. bill d from sarnia, Canada writes: It makes little sense to have so many teams clustered around New York City (Devils, Islanders, Rangers) and Los Angeles (Anaheim, Kings) and deny Southern Ontario a second NHL franchise. The NHL could plunk a team anywhere from London to Oshawa to Orillia and be guaranteed sellouts and profitability. Balsillie knows this and I think Bettman knows it too but marketing NHL hockey to the US means more to Bettman than taking advantage of established support. Bettman has to go. He deserves a share of responsible with the owners of the Coyotes for the $300 million loss and the bankruptcy position they find themselves in today.
  78. Michael Mule from United States writes: Laughing uncontrollably here. Balsillie will never be approved for just the reason of him spouting off saying he's buying the Coyotes and moving them to Hellmilton without any league approval just like he did with the Predators. The guy's a pompous kook. I'm surprised he actually wants the Coyotes as they aren't a playoff ready team since apparently according to the Supreme Court old Jimmy doesn't actually want to put effort into anything, just steal it.
  79. ex pat from Cobourg from Memphis, United States writes: At the risk of repeating myself the last time Balsillie swept into Nashville . . .
    The NHL has no business in the sunbelt. It is failing in Atlanta which has a vibrant population of over 2MM and plenty of transplanted northerners. I can fly ValueJet (return) to Atlanta and watch the Leafs play for $225.00. Ice level Golds. That's right, including airfare. Its a joke. Fans across Canada are subsidizing all these empty seats.

    As for a Hamilton or greater K/W franchise, I would submit that it would have either no impact or a revenue increase for the franchises in Buffalo and Toronto. There are so many fans in S Ontario that have no hope of ever getting to a Leafs game. They've sold out every game since 1944 for Pete's sake. You could put a franchise in Oshawa as well for the eastern TO suburbs and all three would make money. Jr. A teams in Oshawa and Peterborough sell 5,000 seats.

    It's time for the owners to wake up and realize the NHL expansion into the South is an unmitigated disaster. Canada is starving for teams and the Canadian economy is going to survive the recent downturn better than the US. Bettman has got o be fired and a new management team needs to be put into place to face the realities of the hockey world - - Canada and northern Europe represent the best hope for expansion. We need a Canadian President of the NHL, someone with vision and humility in equal measures. Bettman is all talk and no listen.

  80. Michael Mule from United States writes: Oh yeah, I can't wait til the Canes win another Cup....Long live small market teams and their right to exist.......
  81. ex pat from Cobourg from Memphis, United States writes: Michael Mule:

    Love the 'Canes. Well supported too. But they are the exception. Let 'em stay in. However, a more appropriate battle-cry would be "Death to the small market franchise that lives off the goodwill of others . . . "
  82. Ed Op from Canada writes:

    Michael Mule:

    This is not a "small-market" vs "big market" issue. Hamilton has a population of around 500,000 and Phoenix around 3x that at 1.5 million. This is an issue of putting teams where there are fans. The Coyotes haven't been able to make money in Phoenix since they were moved there from Winnipeg (which they only did because the Canadian dollar was too low to allow a small market like Winnipeg to make enough to cover its US$-paid players). There is enormous demand for more hockey in the Golden Horseshoe (the urban areas stretching for a few hundred kilometers to either side of Toronto along the shore of Lake Ontario) so it doesn't make any sense to continue to try to force hockey into the US south when there's a profitable market dying to get their hands on a franchise. Don't get me wrong, I think it would be great if hockey flourished throughout the US but the fact is that it isn't.
  83. C Ration from Belgium writes: When it comes to a business declaring chapter 11, exactly what NHL rule overrides a state law regarding bankruptcy?

    The NHL cabal of Bettman is starting to creak.

    Who exactly was responsible for locating the arena in Glendale? The city wants $700M cancellation fee, but Moyes was saddled with this ill 'advised' money losing arena's location? In business, it IS about location, location, location, witnessed in this example.

    Seems the league's advancing Moyes money with no plan how to stem the bleeding, won't sit well in a court of law. A business bleeding money at some point says enough is enough and wants to recoup some losses and sell. Period. The fact that it was Bettman's 'plan' to drop an NHL team in AZ., what, if anything, was that 'plan' wrapped in? Was it just give me the money and thanks, good luck? Seems like it.

    I don't see Bettman getting dumped, unfortunately, it's an ingrained secret handshake club he has there. I suspect Moyes didn't get notice of a new handshake.

    GO JIM, it's just business, not some secret cabal, you're right.
  84. Steve Church from Canada writes: Angelsmoke - it's Ballsilie that thinks he's above the law. He's repeatedly try to land a $400mil Suntario franchise for a tad above $200mil. He's done it by selling tickets for a franchise he doesn't own, hiding behind a white-knight little-guy look killing the NHL dragon, making it look personal with Bettman, and organizing websites to make it a nationalism issue. Make no mistake about it - he's hurting the NHL big-time (just read the comments here), he's damaging the other franchises in the territory, and distracting from the enjoyment of the playoffs. He doesn't want a frachise (he could have had his pick of three) - he wants a franchise in Suntario where he doesn't have to pay market price.
  85. Hockeydad London from Canada writes: While I have posted similar comments on other sites, remember, Bettman works for the owners, not the other way around. He is doing their bidding. Why are they opposed to bankruptcy, 'cuz the trustee is obligated to maximize the return for the creditors. How, sell the team to the highest bidder. NHL says no to that bidder...I don't see Balsille backing down. The fight is on and the old boys club NHL rules ane now out in the open and subject to court orders. Not what the owners want. By the way, KW is outside the alleged territory of either the leafs or sabres.
  86. Robert Pryde from Calgary, writes: It is readily apparent that more than just one franchise is in peril in the US. The fact there are men willing to risk capital to bring these franchises back to Canada is a good thing, from a leauge revenue perspective.
    "Buttmans" response was that of a myopic little dictator who's vision for the leauge has not worked out as planned. Franchises on the West Coast of the US are doing relatively well, where as on the East Coast poorly by comparison (SE US). So for the good of the leauge, the sport, players, and fans. Park your ego "Bettman" and listen to what they have to say.
  87. Bill Belichick from Boston, United States writes: I can't stand Bettman but realize that his job is to represent the owners. Blame MLSE and the other owners when this latest attempt does not pan out for Mr. RIM.
  88. The Backpacker from Canada writes: Feb. 2009:'We still have a waiting list of 2,500 people,' said Richard Peddie, president of MLSE, in describing the demand for Leafs tickets. 'The problem is the waiting list only saw 24 seats come due last year.'

    I know who two of those seats used to belong to =(
  89. Ricky Julian Bubbles from Canada writes: I wonder what Gary Betman's carbon footprint looks like? Maybe he should just let a franchise come to where it should be and whree a market exists....really!
  90. I, Alafrate from Canada writes: Want a good laugh? Go to No mention of this.
    Then go to

    Aside from the gallingly ugly website, you'll see that GB (as he likes to call himself) is taking up the top two stories on the site, and that he will be live on the radio at 13:00 (which I assume is 16:00 EDT?).

    You can also buy season's tickets month-by-month. Seems apropos.
    I wonder if the Coyotes' cafeteria even has green bananas?
  91. AJA M from Canada writes: Steve Church from Canada writes: Angelsmoke - it's Ballsilie that thinks he's above the law. He's repeatedly try to land a $400mil Suntario franchise for a tad above $200mil. He's done it by selling tickets for a franchise he doesn't own,

    - - are you saying that he sold tickets for an non existing franchise and not returned the money?
  92. B D from Saskatoon, Canada writes: It is pathetic of the NHL to locate franchises where people don't really like hockey, but they don't have to brave the cold winters of Canada.

    I am convinced that there is a sizable group (players and owners and GM's and Coaches) that want to play in a sunny perfect climate. That is why you see temas in San Jose, Pheonix, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Nashville, Flordia, Tampa Bay, Carolina.

    It is really selfish of the league's owners and I shall say some players, that they would rather be in a hot climate with quasi hockey fans to play hockey, as opposed to playing in a place where people have actually strapped on a pair of skates, and know what the f@ck is going on.

    Real Hockey Towns:
    Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Detroit, Toronto, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Philly, New York, Montreal, Ottawa, Minnesota, New Jersey, Boston, Washington, Buffalo, Colorado.

    On the Fence:
    St. Louis, Columbus, Dallas, NY Islanders.
  93. little bear from Canada writes: Been in the Glendale facility on several occassions to watch the Yotes and have to say it is something special but sterile.

    Great food and the few people try but it is lacking.

    Winterpeg says that they are now ready for another go at a franchise.

    I also wonder about Seattle as there is lots of money there and it is big enough but does the interest exist?

    Betty is trying his damnist to change the game into American figure skating with a hockey stick. Doing not a bad job of it so far.

    Sooner watch the juniors. Memorial Cup and Royal Bank Cup great entertainment.

    Tell Betty to get out of the way and let business decide if and where.
  94. J. Herbert MuffinFluffer from Moosehorn, Mb., Canada writes:
    Bettman's scared that owners might find a way to dump their franchaises without his / league approval. He's worried that this will be the first of the domino's to fall.
  95. Another Opinion from Canada writes: For Steve Church: "He's repeatedly try to land a $400mil Suntario franchise for a tad above $200mil."

    That's by far the most ridiculous argument I've heard yet. Balsillie should pay $400 million for an EXPANSION franchise when there are several clubs in the US in danger of folding?

    By what rationale is a Hamilton team worth $400 million when half the teams in the US aren't worth half that? $200 mill for the Coyotes is a GIFT, and a generous one at that!

    All this argument about playing "fair" is freaking laughable. The NHL will be lucky if they're not facing contraction in the next 3-5 years and a bunch of half-wits insist that Balsiillie should pay EXPANSION fees? What a joke.

    Balsillie's efforts may very well help to revitalize the NHL, while Bettman continues to press a dying agenda.
  96. Steve Church from Canada writes: AJM - no, you said he sold them and returned them. I said he was a wahoo cowbow for selling tickets to a show he didn't own. That's someone that thinks he's above the law. He did it to rub dirt on the NHL, and it succeeded. So how about you not trying and strawman something different out of the post, okay?
  97. Steve Church from Canada writes: BD - re your list of 'real hockey towns' - Edmonton (would have declared bankruptcy without a new level CBA), Chicago (a generation of bottom-feeding attendance records and results), Pittsburgh (Chapter 11 twice), Buffalo (Chapter 11 once), Montreal (bailed out of near bankruptcy by Gillett), Minnesota (left for Dallas the first time), New Jersey (don't even sell out post-season games). Just a thought on what makes a 'real hockey' town.
  98. Steve Church from Canada writes: Another Opinion - it's not ridiculous at all, that's what's on the table. Your attempt at a rebuttal or alternative is nothing more than a question. The answer is straight-forward - if a dead, ruined Phoenix franchise can go for $200mil, than that gem of a second franchise around the GTA is worth twice that. And the NHL is more than within its rights and responsibilities to get market value to protect their own market value. No one but you said anything about playing fair. It's about rules and laws. If you feel the notion is dumb n numb, then you get right on the phone and call Bob McGown at Fan590 and tell him how you feel about his angle on it all.
  99. B D from Saskatoon, Canada writes: Steve: I am talking in the present tense, not in the past. And I was referring to where hockey fans are located primarily as opposed to finnancials.
  100. I, Alafrate from Canada writes: In response to above posters, the 'Canes aren't well-supported at all, unless you count outside money pouring in:

    I'm SO glad to be subsidizing this.
  101. B D from Saskatoon, Canada writes: Steve: and More to the point: I think Edmonton and Montreal have sold out every game for the past I don't know how long... it is usually outside factors that screw Canadian teams ... not the fans or the revenue generated from tickets sales.

    Pheonix can't make it from Tickets sales revenue sharing, so I think they ought to move. They haven't made money in their 13 years in existence. I AM CONFIDENT THAT IF THE TEAM WOULD HAVE REMAINED IN WINNIPEG IT WOULD BE WORTH MORE TODAY AND WE WOULDN'T BE HAVING THIS CONVERSATION
  102. nostradamoose from Winnipeg from Winnipeg, Canada writes: If KW or Hamilton gets a professional hockey team, then Toronto would want one also.
  103. Captain Feathersword from Canada writes: my understanding is that territorial rights extend 80km....that likely eliminates buffalo from being a problem, but it is well within MLSE jurisdiction, kw, however, is well beyond the territorial rights of both Balsillie can go for hamilton initially and use kw as a 2nd option if the leafs put up too much hassle.....i smell another reason for hamilton to hate toronto!
  104. Another Opinion from Canada writes: For Steve Church: "if a dead, ruined Phoenix franchise can go for $200mil, than that gem of a second franchise around the GTA is worth twice that."

    Yeah, ummm, about that. I already told you that Balsillie's offer was a GIFT but you assumed otherwise.

    Forbes valued the Coyotes last year at $117 million, and that was before they lost $21 million this season. Balsillie is offering twice what the franchise is worth.

    All this crap about the value of a Southern Ontario expansion franchise is just that: crap. There is NO WAY people are going to line up to buy an expansion franchise for a League with half a dozen near bankrupt teams and a woeful excuse for a US TV contract.

    Do any of you people have ANY clue how business works? Here's a hint: you don't pay $400 mill for something you can get for $200 mill. It's an idiotic suggestion by bitter, jealous people.

    The NHL would be lucky to get Balsillie, and they should be on their KNEES thanking him for offering that much money for the POS that is the Coyotes.
  105. PANIC! At The Ice Floe from Canada writes: Bettman works for the league owners, correct? MLSE doesn't want anyone else in their space, so they are blocking him through Bettman. Bettman is just doing his job. MLSE is the one to be upset with, not the little guy.

    Just another reason to hate the Leafs.
  106. Titus Cheeks from London, Canada writes: Bettman is the most hard headed, egotistical person I've ever heard of. He's just plain bad for the league. Imho, the deal will go through and the weasel will lose his job. I'm counting on the other 29 team govenors to be smarter than him, and not go along with the inevitable brainwashing he'll try to feed them. Bettman just doesn't like Balsillie because he won't kiss his lilly white a$$. If we're lucky, Bettman will go to jail.
  107. Darren X3 from Canada writes: Steve Church: "I said he was a wahoo cowbow for selling tickets to a show he didn't own. "

    Your comment is nonsense. Ballsilie sold refundable OPTIONS to purchase seasons tickets to the Hamilton Panthers, if and only if that franchise came into being. There is nothing 'cowboy' about this at all.... they sell options by the trillions in financial markets around the world every day, they are a widely recognized and legitimate investment.
  108. B D from Saskatoon, Canada writes: I, Alafrate:

    AGREED* I am *SO* happy I can pay outragous ticket prices in Canadian cities to subsidize those Southern US Teams to exist.

    You know they ought to have hockey teams, though. The NHL is committed to keeping teams where they are. Even though it is a routine excercise in *BURNING CANADIAN MONEY* Even though nobody there has a pair of skates, or know's who Bobby Orr or Gordie Howe is. Even though there is a bigger market elsewhere. Even though there is enough sports to go around that get more fans than hockey, *Like Bowling, Darts, and Nascar
  109. billy weathers from Canada writes: the owners and bettman
    should have put teams back into winnipeg
    and quebec shame on them
    my hope is that bettman is fired over this and brett hull takes over
    where is great one on this
    time will tell the hamilton steelers
    this fall
  110. Darren X3 from Canada writes: Steve Church: " if a dead, ruined Phoenix franchise can go for $200mil"

    This is faulty economic reasoning.. you are implying that Balsillie's offer has set the market price for a franchise IN PHOENIX. It hasn't, because Ballsillie's offer is conditional on being allowed to move the franchise. Nobody in their right mind (including Balsillie) would buy the right to operate the Coyotes IN PHOENIX (with the current arena lease) for 200 million, or 200 dollars for that matter.
  111. D K from Canada writes: Bettman... the next CEO of GM
  112. Gary Dare from Portland, Oregon, Canada, writes: little bear writes, "I also wonder about Seattle as there is lots of money there and it is big enough but does the interest exist?" In the four years that I've been in Portland, Oregon, I have not heard of ANY interested ownership candidates in the Seattle area. Even if there were, an even bigger problem is that the Key Arena was purposefully built to NOT house a NHL team.

    Also scotch any rumours about Portland, Oregon ... Paul Allen was interested 5-10 years ago and tried three times for buy and move deals a la Balsillie. Allen controls access to his Rose Garden arena and won't host a competing tenant for tickets against his Blazers.

    Otherwise, both would be fantastic NHL markets and make a lot more sense than some of the southern ones. Both cities also host major junior teams, old minor league franchises, and a century ago, the PCHA.
  113. Steve Church from Canada writes: Darren X3 - Nashville went for $193 with smaller but similar problems two years ago. I did not imply that Ballsilie's offer set the price. His offer was in that ballpark, and he would buy the franchise (and cover some of it's debts) inside that range. Your statement about no one at any price is nonsense - Gary Bettman was working with Jerry Reinsdorf (again). Forbes put the next value of the franchise at $148mil last October. Add $35mil debt repay to the NHL, and another $30mil for other debt payouts (Ballsie has already assumed $17mil in DIP). $200mil is a perfectly valid SWAG - certainly has a lot more to it than your $200 froth.
  114. Steve Church from Canada writes: Darren, your comment on the tickets is even worse. Those were sold as rights to seasons tickets with an expectation that he was about to land a franchise in Hamilton (including the City's rah rah about the building). He did it to take his free franchise out of the hands of the NHL process - where he'd already been burned in the Pittsburgh gambit. Using the technical jargon now that was never used then, and comparing to to financial instrument options, is ... bizarre.
  115. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Both the options on the Hamilton tickets and the current website are meant to fill a requisite in the NHL charter in terms of new team locations.

    The suitor (Balsillie) must prove demand for the product.

  116. L. W. from Greener Pastures, Canada writes: Will the team be called "The Waterloo Conestoga Wagons"?
  117. I, Alafrate from Canada writes: Not once have I seen anything like the "Save The Preds" drive that sprung up in Nashville. Honestly, I wonder if enough people down there care to even try to mount a defense for keeping the team.

    Let's assume Bettman manages to convince courts to keep the team in Phoenix, and finds people willing to own the team locally, and the continue to operate in Glendale.

    If the team was a lame duck before all this news burst, what's it going to do next season? If you lived in Phoenix, would you spend your time/energy/dollars on the Coyotes next season, after this kerfuffle?
  118. B D from Saskatoon, Canada writes: You can buy season tickets in pheonix for $600.

    But it's the Airline Tickets that kill ya.
  119. all canadian all american from Bust some heads, Canada writes:
    The coyotes are not bankrupt, capitalism is. Just throw a few more hundred million their way should solve the problem or send them back to Winnipeg where they belong.
  120. little bear from Canada writes: Gary I would love to see something happen in Portland or Seattle as that would make a great rivalry with Vancouver.

    When I go to the hockey games I like to have an atmosphere where there is some excitement generated and sitting in a huge arena with a few thousand people just does not do it.

    Should let all kids under 18 in for free in Phoenix. The old man would have to buy dogs, shirts etc. and it would generate some action.
  121. Hockeydad London from Canada writes: Steve Church, what bee is in your bonnet about how Balsillie approached the Hamilton deal? It certainly wasn't illegal or fraudulent. Either he has Bal-s or he was sillie.
  122. Blair Ericson from Canada writes: This is what is going to be the kicker =====
    The team will move to Hamilton, or Kitchener, but as a final act of revenge Bettman will keep the team in the Western Conference as the Coyotes had been. Given that no matter where the team locates in southern Ontario that it will be west of Toronto (and every other team in the east) the new team will be in the Western Conference and only play Toronto as often as they play the Canucks, Flames, and Oilers - or about three times every two years.
  123. John Parisien from Regina, Canada writes: From a business standpoint, Balsillie is an idiot. You don't agitate the very people that are in the hot-seat with regards to making the decision as to whether or not they will allow you to own a team. Also, I hate Bettman more than anyone, but in the business world you have to be professional about your affairs and not let personal differences get in the way of making a deal.

    By that same token, Bettman has no business meddling in the financial affairs of an owner. Considering that the Coyotes have lost nearly $300 Million since they set-up shop in Arizona, I am wondering why this didn't happen sooner. Make no mistake about it, a judge will determine that the bankruptcy filing is legitimate, and Bettman can retreat (once again looking like the a* that he is).

    PS - Do you think that Bettman told Crosby to grow his little cheese-stache, so that it would t
    ckle his taint during their "meetings"?
  124. Michael Mule from United States writes: I am not opposed to a team in Hellminton or Moosejaw and I don't think the NHL is either. They just don't want Balsillie to own it. A man who lost an intellectual property fight in the Supreme Court to the tune of over 500 million dollars when he could have settled to pay 10 would make anyone a little uneasy. The fact that he has now three times spouted off about buying a team and moving them to Hamilton, once even going as far to sell tickets, without even being approved by the NHL is another red flag for the league. The guy is unstable. The NHL doesn't need another black eye from another bad owner.
    can you imagine Gretzky in Hamilton ? He'd be out of their quicker than you can say Chris Pronger.
  125. B D from Saskatoon, Canada writes: Michael Mule:

    Balsille obviously wants to be a franchise owner. I think the Great One might even come out of retirement for one last skate around the pond in the first game.

    I think that Balsille has proved his point that un-profitable franchises should be moved to places where they can be. He has proven that. Bettman should consider a move next for Tampa, Atlanta, and Nashville. To Winnipeg, Quebec City and SASKATOON!

    keep that elbow up Gordie:
  126. John Parisien from Regina, Canada writes: Gretzky has gone on the record to say that if the team moves to Hamilton, he is packing it in. By all rights the guy should, his image is being tarnished because he's a SH*TTY coach!!!!!!!
  127. Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: Bettman can get all hot under the collar if he wants.

    However the reality is that he works for the owners. Owners who are currently keeping the Coyotes afloat with money out of their pockets.

    My guess is they aren't too happy about that.

    There might have been issues with Balsillie's ego or approach when Bettman was telling everyone Boots Del Biaggio and Jerry Bruckheimer were potential buyers.

    They aren't anymore. Balsillie is the only person that actually wants to buy an NHL franchise right now.

    My guess is the owners will tell Bettman to get over his small man syndrome pretty quick.
  128. Steve Church from Canada writes: Hockeydad, no idea what you're talking about. Nothing special about Ballsilie. It'd be the same reaction to anyone that said they could write their own rules, do what they want, disrespect the League, and have more news about themselves than the playoffs.
  129. Steve Church from Canada writes: MikeMule - I don't think the NHL wants to trade a broken franchise in Phoenix for a broken franchise in Buffalo. The smart guys in this game were the guys who understood that and forwarded the Vaughn idea. Rick C - agreed with some of what you say, it's turning into a league of boats and anchors. The new CBA got shredded by the rapid cap rise, and the upheaval in the exchange markets. The smart move for the NHL right now is triage.
  130. Hockeydad London from Canada writes: Steve, that perhaps is the problem, no one is more disrespectful, of their fans, than the NHL. By comparison, Balsillie is a sweatheart. As to rules, since several of the NHL owners have committed fraud, seems that they as a group are not to concerned, not only about rules, but about the law. Actually, I take it all back, you are right, Balsillie is a fool to even want to join that crowd.
  131. Steve Church from Canada writes: Hockeydad - your statement about the NHLs treatment of its fans is incorrect. If any sport really disconnected with its fans, it was MLB. JB is no sweetheart - he's trying to promote a confrontation from the boardroom right out into the street. Your statement about other legal problems with the owners is silly and irrelevant distraction.
  132. Does The Work from Canada writes: Lets agree that Bettman isn't stupid. If we agree on that then Ballisle is toast, for now.
    Bettman dosen't like (more like despise) Ballisle cause Ballisle has cash. Cash is king, allways has been, allways will be. Bettman likes cash, but Bettmann is a shrewd little SOB. He learned from every offer / takeover / purchase agreement he ever read or was involved in. He's insulated the NHL to protect the cash. Bettman does know that Ballisle will eventually get a team, it's all about the cash.
    However the currency Bettman wants is pride, Ballisle's pride.

    Then and ONLY then and IF Ballisle publicly puckers up to Bettman's tush.

    Can't see Ballisle wanting a new toy that much but. CASH IS KING, and power corrupts.

    Buffalo..... your %#@ Saabraes are safe.....................for now.
  133. Hockeydad London from Canada writes: Really, I guess MLB and the NHL may be on the same level, after all, NHL managment locked the doors on its doors. Sounds like you actually respect the NHL! If you are attacking JB on the grounds he is a "rule breaker", then those on the other side of the ledger you seem to support are now open to the same question. You raised the issue, I provided a response. It didn't know that securites fraud was silly and irrelevant.
  134. Steve Church from Canada writes: Does That Work - Replace 'Bettman' with 'The Owners', and your post is on a fast track to the real layout. The grovelling you're suggesting Gary needs is fiction - Bettman's propped up more punks than a stage manager. And said thanks for the opportunity. Bettman's biggest problem from Day 1, imo, is that there's no decent exit strategy when Plan A hits the rocks. To meet the national network needs, he could have relocated some of the 24, but instead went 28 and then 30 (Quebec, Hartford, and Winnipeg were shuffled for other reasons). Okay, nice try - but it flopped. Bettman's answer is to keep on trying.
  135. Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: Does The Work from Canada writes:

    "However the currency Bettman wants is pride, Ballisle's pride."

    I agree that is what Bettman wants; but it is irrelevant what Bettman wants.

    Gary works for the owners. He's not the boss; they are.

    Right now they are paying billions to keep the 'Yotes afloat.

    If Balsillie is the only option that leads to the owners not paying billions of their own money to prop up Phoenix Gary's personal agenda won't mean squat.
  136. matt s from Canada writes: Put the team here in Kitchener. Gives buffalo some breathing room. but really, were the NY Mets a detriment to the NY Yankees? Do the Cubs crowd the Sox? Do the Nets detract from the Knicks? How is it a bad idea to put a hockey team in place with such heavy demand for it? How is it a good idea to put a hockey team in a place with no organic demand--Pheonix is in the middle of a desert, ice never even forms there!!

    There are about a million in Pheonix and about 700 000 in Winnipeg. The Canadian prairies are an unserviced region for hockey just as Pheonix was. If the Jets were moved because of lack of demand then how is a city with no ice, let alone hockey fans a good alternative? Why wouldn't you leave the team in Winnipeg and sell a new franchise to Pheonix? If it's about t.v. revenues, why would you move the team from a 1.2 million population and leave it without representation? All the rhetoric coming out of Bettman's mouth is irrational. It seems more about Bettman's plan failing and the resultant shot to his ego than it is about what's good for the game.

    Bettman hates Canada. He's hijacked our game. And quickly Canada is getting its hate on for Bettman.

    Located in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix has the most extreme climate of any major city in the United States. The average high temperatures are over 100 ┬░F (38 ┬░C) for almost five months out of the year, and have spiked over 120 ┬░F (49 ┬░C) on occasion.

    Hockey doesn't belong in Phoenix
  137. A G from Canada writes: Anaheim and Los Angeles are 39 km away from each other. So this 80 km rule is completely bogus. I suppose the Kings never had a problem with sharing the market with the Ducks (not to mention Devils, Rangers and Islanders), so what's the problem with southern Ontario. I don't think the Maple Leafs would lose any business. In fact, there might be potential for another loser close by that they might actually be able to beat! Also, adding another competitor might even increase interest and business for them.
    One more point, since Bettman took over hockey has only lost popularity. He had no problem moving two franchises from Canada, why is he so worried about moving one from the U.S.?
  138. ne pacific from Victoria, Canada writes: 1. The "national" in National Hockey League always did mean the US. Remember that 2/3 of the original six were in the US.

    2. Bettman's attempts to spread hockey across the US make perfect sense, even if his rejection of ESPN2 in favor of other lesser networks didn't. I mean, there are two fairly successful teams in LA. But Phoenix looks like a bust, despite its size. I don't see Bettman as anti-Canadian, just pro-money and pro-owner -- the majority of owners being in the US. But he may find that the time has come when a team or two will have to move to Canada, and a team or two just fold. Not much disposable income around right now.

    3. The person who finds these playoffs boring must live in Toronto. He should watch Sundin and the Canucks. And not to worry: Burkie will whip the Leafs into shape. I look forward to seeing what tricks he pulls at the draft.
  139. Gary Dare from Portland, Oregon, Canada, writes: A G writes, "Anaheim and Los Angeles are 39 km away from each other. So this 80 km rule is completely bogus." A significant chunk of the expansion fee paid by Disney went to Bruce McNall.
  140. Gary Dare from Portland, Oregon, Canada, writes: NE Pacific, 1. The NHL is descended from the NHA, which is where the 'National' came from. 2. No problem with expanding in the US but not at such a breakneck pace. And also assumptions that a 60 cent US loonie and crippling Canada national debt would be forever. (Note that the US exceeded the Canadian peak in 1995, relatively speaking, over a year ago.)

    The viability of southern franchises, and of moving teams (back) to Canada, should be assessed under current conditions not those of 10-15 years ago.

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