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Bettman to challenge Coyotes bankruptcy

Associated Press

NHL commissioner says he isn't sure BlackBerry boss could gain approval of league owners ...Read the full article

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  1. bob miller from Canada writes: THey were the Winnipeg Jets in Ontario??????????????????????????????/
  2. Boom Boom from Canada writes: Bettman's gotta go.
  3. Cactus Puck from Canada writes: The best thing that could happen is that Bettman gets canned over this.
  4. The Backpacker from Canada writes: Bettman does not like Canada. Plain and simple.

    And I really do want to know why potential owners have to be approved by current ones? That's ridiculous. There are teams leeching money from the NHL and here is an extremely wealthy man with a passion for hockey wanting a team and wanting it in Canada. And all bettman does is sit there and say 'No. Not happening'.

    Bettman, being the genius he is, wants teams in Kansas City and Las Vegas. Cities where hockey doesn't matter. Bettman can't truly have a grasp on how to run a business if he continually wants to put teams in markets that aren't viable.

    But we all know Bettmans motto. 1,000 'new' fans and it's worth the millions and millions of dollars.
  5. Allan Wexler from Canada writes: There is no 'solution' in Phoenix other than to move the franchise. Bettman is being a foolish and irresponsible commissioner by failing to realize that the future of the league is not in the U.S where hockey is an afterthought. The owners would by crazy to ignore a new franchise within a short drive of the GTA, because it would mean one less franchise to support.
  6. Bill Belichick from Boston, United States writes: 'That's what we did when the perception was that five out of the six Canadian franchises around the turn of the century were in trouble. We fixed the problems. We don't run out on cities.'

    Where does Bettman get this crap that he likes to spew?

    WTF is he talking about?
  7. Hockey Fan from Canada writes: It seems ridiclous that Bettman would compare this to Ottawa. The fact is in Ottawa there were fans but they couldn't afford $400 tickets that would have been necessary to offset the 60 cent dollar.

    60 cent dollars won't happen again for a good long time, and even so, hockey is stronger in Canada now and with the cap it wouldn't hurt as much.

    Wake up Gary! Better yet, resign.
  8. Mc Steve from Canada writes: 'we don't run out on our cities...'

    Unless those cities are named Winnepeg or Quebec City.

    Here's a novel idea - why not put hockey teams in places where there are hockey fans?
  9. Steve Church from Canada writes: The best thing that could happen is for Jim Balsillie to get sued by the owners for attempted sabotage. He's trying to sherman his way around the franchise process. The Hamilton Razz wouldn't draw a crowd anywhere outside the Golden Horseshoe. Because of the small market next door (Buffalo), it'll unfold as either an Islander/Ranger parallel, or a Florida pair of boat anchors. Bals doesn't care about that - he's more than ready to rake in the popular free advertising. Very unlikely it's a co-incidence:- the crazy deke move with the courts was timed with his tuxedo-look award dinner.
  10. Bones Monseki from Canada writes: Cactus Puck from Canada writes: The best thing that could happen is that Bettman gets canned over this.

    Agreed

    The Backpacker from Canada writes: ...And I really do want to know why potential owners have to be approved by current ones?

    Ol' Boys club.

    I'm sure there's more to explain, but I'm not up for it. I just want to be a Canadian hockey fan today.

    Go Silly Balls!
  11. Tim N from Canada writes: 'We generally try to avoid relocating franchises unless you absolutely have to,' he said. 'We think when a franchise is in trouble, you try and fix the problems. That's what we did in Pittsburgh and Ottawa and Buffalo prior to our work stoppage. That's what we did when the perception was that five out of the six Canadian franchises around the turn of the century were in trouble. We fixed the problems. We don't run out on cities.'

    ------

    Except for Winnipeg, Quebec, Hartford.....
  12. Russell Koehler from Calgary, Canada writes: Well done Balsillie! You just beat Bettman at his own game.
  13. Edward Brooks from Milton, Canada writes: Wow! Profefssional hockey may be coming to southern Ontario. We haven't had that since 1967! This great news.
  14. Gary Dare from Portland, Oregon, Canada, writes: Bettman makes a good point at the end of this piece ... he's against relocation. Note that billionaire (still) Paul Allen attempted a buy and move deal for a NHL team to his Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon three times ... Penguins 1999, Coyotes 2003 and Ducks 2003-05. All failed and Allen has since lost interest due to other problems.
  15. Slats432 B from Edmonton, Canada writes: Odd that the fan really doesn't know the whole story. Bettman is and always has been an advocate of Canadian teams.

    I suspect that he isn't a fan of Ballsillie, and that he isn't a fan of pulling out of a city without trying every avenue.

    Ask Pittsburgh or Buffalo or even Edmonton what steps have been taken to ensure franchise strength in those cities.

    As a writer for a hockey website I had occassion to discuss Bettman with Darryl Sutter during the lockout, and his view was particularly good (Which flies in the face of what people here are talking about.)

    I personally am not a big fan of Bettman, but the statements of what his allegiances and motivations are, are mostly erroneous.
  16. bruce dix from north bay, Canada writes: ..judging by past NHL prospective owners being approved by the league who then ended up to be pretty slimy I think Jim B. may be too squeaky clean for Gary et al....
  17. Night On Earth from Canada writes: 'We fixed the problems. We don't run out on cities.'

    Sure, except bailing on Winnipeg and Quebec City. I think it's fairly simple: economics will prevail, with or without Bettman.
  18. Gary Jidd from Mississauga, Canada writes: Time to make the National Hockey League Canadian again!
  19. Nick Simmons from Canada writes: There is a glimmer of hope. Towards the end of the article, Bettman says 'We generally try to avoid relocating franchises unless you absolutely have to'. This is a softer line than the cr@p he has spouted in the past about not moving franchises. Maybe, just maybe, the economic turmoil is catching up with the NHL owners and management.

    What savvy business owner would want to invest in a club that is basically being bankrolled by the NHL (read, other team owners) and playing in front of a half empty stadium unless they had the ability to relocate to a more profitable location? Other than Gary Bettman's imaginary friends, errr, none. Due diligence will show that cities where ice is for drinks, not for skating on, is a poor business decision.
  20. Tim Cares from Canada writes: What if he buys the franchise and the franchise gets booted out of the league?
  21. Harvey Mushman from cambridge, Canada writes: Bettman will argue like crazy in court that the owner had no right to put the Coyotes into bankruptcy. If he loses that battle...he's screwed because the decisions on what happens next will be made by a judge not Bettman.
  22. s c from Canada writes: Bettman should just come out and admit that he doesn't want another successful team in Canada.
  23. Jake ---- from Canada writes: Bettman thought Boots was a good owner, I think he is serving jail time for Fraud. Bettman has no moral authority on who should or shouldn't be an owner.

    The only real legitimate concern the Bettman has is that relocating a team Central Ontario would most definetly raise the cap pushing more teams into financial trouble.
  24. tommy marks from glendale az, United States writes: The Coyotes will stay in Glendale! Bettman is a very smart man he won't cut and run! He already has a buyer lined up to buy the team and keep in AZ. Sorry, You had your chance with the Jets...gone forever!
  25. Martin Fedgrass from Canada writes: Everyone...Butt-man is the arch-enemy of hockey. Everything he wants is so anti-canadian. He knows very well all the money is here and he wants to bleed us for every loonie we have so he can underwrite these stupid franchises in places where ice has never known to exist naturally>

    Balsillie is a Canaidian hero for what he is trying to do. We should do everything we can to support him and ensure Butt-man is removed from office for good
  26. M T from Ottawa, Canada writes: Sorry tommy, but your team is losing 17 million a year... no future for ice hockey in the desert
  27. Pat Gannon from Canada writes: Well done Jim. It looks like in this pissing contest you may just have a bigger one! Not that Bettmans ego could stand in the same room as other alfa males. I have looked at hockey as a boys club for so long and most owners are millionaires but they are not gazillionairs like JB, and in the end most are stupid as a stone and bullied by a pint size Liwyer. The courts will decide this one and JB looks like a good bet at this time.

    I for one think that TO should have 3 teams; central, west and north. That way when the Teachers Pension Plan keeps icing that BS they think will keep the cash registers clicking, they will have to return to reality when their arena is half empty and the others are going gonzo. Hats off to you Jim, fight the good fight and bring this cartel to its knees and then maybe you will see the Stanley cup anywhere near the GTA. Competition is healthy!!!
  28. Al C from Canada writes: How can Bettman keep his job? Why would any professional league want to add a franchise in the most lucrative market for its sport?

    There are tens of thousands of fans in SW Ontario that are tired of the crap MLSE feeds them, we give you a lousy product, but each year we will charge you more for it. A team on the outskirts of the GTA, along the 401 corridor with an arena that has ample parking would do incredibly well. I am sure Balsillie knows what it will take, and I applaud him for forcing Bettmans hand. I can hear the judge now ' and exactly why am I not supposed to rule in favour of the offer that pays all creditors 100%?
  29. bob tillman from The Hammer, Canada writes: Way to go Jim!!! Keep up the good fight!! Your the only man standing (except the Honorable Don Cherry) fighting for the Canadian Hockey Fan!! I'm using my Blackberry today to tell all my friends to sign up on makeitseven.ca! You've taken the shot...we're just waiting for the 'He Scores!'
  30. Jude Hannaford from Canada writes: Tommy

    Who is this mysterious owner you speak of? Will he offer up an extra 5 mil?

    I wonder if Jimbo has taken that into account. Is his first offer the final one? Or has he hedged his initial offer to be able to trump other suitors? Is he even able to do so?

    He was willing to pay 240 for the Thrash, my bet is that hs is willing to upward up that number.
  31. Harvey Mushman from cambridge, Canada writes: Tim Cares from Canada writes: 'What if he buys the franchise and the franchise gets booted out of the league?'

    Simple...see you in court Gary.
  32. JJ L from Canada writes: Bettman is a asinine goon, he will let teams fail and hemorrhage money in the US but won't bring a team to an area that can succeed in Canada. He is ruining hockey, fire him and hire Don Cherry.
  33. Guess Who from Canada writes: What would be the name of this team in the ugly town / dump of Hamilton?

    The Donuts of Hamilton?
    The Timmies of Hamilton?
    Hamilton's Blades of Steel?

    Please tell me, is there a hockey player who would want to live in Hamilton? C'mon, this is a joke. I would prefer a team in Winnipeg or Quebec City.
  34. Dave Coyote from Scottsdale,AZ, United States writes: Ok, so i just registered and used the clever user name. But seriously I do live in Arizona and came to this site to understand some of your local views. I'm not here to pick a fight with anyone or debate whether Canada should get another team. I for one think Quebec should still have a team and any other city that makes sense. There are passionate fans here in Arizona and the problem with no support is no playoffs for last 7 seasons, an arena although awsome,all the way on the outskirts of town. People can leave work from the East Valley or Scottsdale for a weeknight game and sit in traffic and maybe miss drop of the puck. When the Coyotes where in downtown Phoenix at America West, it was a fun and loud atmosphere. Great pre-game parties. They put a live band in at the end ice that had obstructed views. I had season tickets 20 rows up on the blue line for about $50 a piece. We the voters in scottsdale passed a public vote to fund via sales tax a new arena. The owner at the time Steve Ellman decided after getting the arena to strongarm the politicians (do a search for the story) and wound up falling through and he took the out west deal. The year before they moved they had a 90 pt season with Roenick and company. Then having to leave so much earlier and sit in my season tickets now priced at the new arena at close to $100 (where was the windfall of revenue that would help us fans and contain costs?) I cxl'ed my season tix and watched games on TV but for a few visits a year. Besides the 100% increase- nightly I would sit next to people who had bought discounted tix or free thus completely degrading my season tix value. Anyway-sorry for the rant- I just want to point out the bad ownership and decisions both location, players, trades, coaches, pricing, marketing that really doomed things. With good ownership, it would thrive again as it did pre Ellman/Moyes. Hope I've communicated this well. Too bad RIM didn't have offices in Phoenix :) might be the owner we needed
  35. Frank Hanline from Garner, United States writes: I know I'll get flamed to a crisp but I think the Yotes need to stay where they're at.

    Hockey needs to increase its reach, not pull back.

    Otherwise it will remain more of a regional sport instead of a continent wide force.
  36. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: There is no saving the franchise in its current location. Look at the numbers when the team was downtown and then look at the numbers after they moved the team 50 miles outside the downtown core.

    Kinda like when the Expos moved to Olympic stadium.

    The infrastructure isn't there for public transportation. The prices almost doubled after the move.

    Bettman can say what he wants but the team can't survive with any owner in their current arena... even if it is one of the nicest in the league.

    Cheers
  37. can I vote again from around-Kingston, Canada writes: [ Martin Fedgrass from Canada ] writes: Everyone...Butt-man is the arch-enemy of hockey. Everything he wants is so anti-canadian.

    Best comment yet!

    Hey Martin, if they say no to Canada... maybe we all should say no to the NHL for a season?

    We can play hard-ball too
  38. Hugo Hall from Calgary, Canada writes: According to Bettman, 'We generally try to avoid relocating franchises unless you absolutely have to,' he said. 'We think when a franchise is in trouble, you try and fix the problems. That's what we did in Pittsburgh and Ottawa and Buffalo prior to our work stoppage. That's what we did when the perception was that five out of the six Canadian franchises around the turn of the century were in trouble. We fixed the problems. We don't run out on cities.'

    That's very noble in theory, but at some point you have to seriously question whether said franchise can ever be successful. The Senators have been a successful team in terms of attendance from the beginning, their original owners just had a lousy business plan and massive debt; the Penguins and Sabres have a long history in the NHL, in spite of recent financial troubles. Those were teams in solid markets with a history of proven support for the NHL. Comparatively the Predators and Coyotes (and others) have been on death's door for years, attendance has remained poor and those cities just aren't good hockey markets. I understand the league doesn't want to play a game of musical chairs, but these franchises simply don't have the demographics to succeed.
  39. Pat Gannon from Canada writes: Sorry Frank, whats the point of increasing reach to lose millions. It the bulk of the paying customers are in the north and northeast, then thats where the franchises will survive. Death to MLSE.
  40. Caper . from Canada writes: Dan Coyote,

    This is very intersting. If you know the history of the team you would know that the Jets had sold-out attendance all of the time and one of the highest attendance ratios in the league. Yet, Bettam et al moved the team south. Money talks. Teams walk.
  41. George Daszkowski from Port Credit, Canada writes: Gory Buttman has built his career at the NHL on building hockey on the Southern US.

    This is the repudiation of his whole strategy and he will fight as any other weasel would to save his job.

    The choice will be Buttman teaching people to like hockey while cutting out fighting or move hockey teams to closer proximity to hockey fans.

    To fill in the time between now and the results of this battle go and rent Gory Buttman's biography, Good Cap Bon Cop!
  42. Arnold Fine from Vancouver, Canada writes: One of the largest cities in the US..and unfortunately they can't even fill their own building. Great, if you can find someone to buy it and keep it....fine..if not..Mr Bettman and NHL...let someone with the energy, drive, and obviously the means take the reins. Normally, franchisors love to have strong franchisees...what is your problem. Finally, we all know the Ontario market can easily absorb this team and all will thrive.
  43. t w from Canada writes: Bettman works for the NHL owners. Apparently they still are trying to crack into the US national TV marked where the big revenues abound. Balsillie has pissed off many of the Board of Governors in the past and probably is blackballed from ownership . This legal manoever on his part is probably his only way of succeeding. Good luck Jim, but I do not think it is going to happen. Maybe you should just start your own professional hockey league. Make it International. Put it on the Internet where you can access all games from your blackberry.
  44. Dave Coyote from Scottsdale,AZ, United States writes: its actually only about 20 miles northwest of downtown phoenix, but someone who had a 20 mile drive from the east valley now has a 40 mile drive. For weeknight games in rush hour thats a hike. They do fairly well on weekend nights- its during the week thats a real problem. Now I'm not as familiar with toronto or hamilton so I don't have all of your frames of reference.....but you really have to ask yourselves if good ownership would work. This ownership group has been awful. And as I said in my posts, ticket prices outragious and then for season ticket holders, the team continually was giving away discounted tickets and free tickets. Every game I went to last season on the weekends I saw ticket reps handing out free tix to games during weeknights and I'm talking about prime locations. But more importantly- quebec shouldn't have moved, the jets probably shouldn't have moved, the whalers shouldn't have moved, and so on and so forth. Most teams who aren't competative are gonna have problems. Aside from maybe the Rangers, Leafs and some others who's fan base still draws. Like the Cubs in major league baseball who despite losing for years still was able to draw. The coyotes and maybe other teams still are pricing themselves at pre-lock out prices. And that lock out killed so many markets interest. What the coyotes need is a run in the playoffs to garner the cities support and interest. As I said before, should canada have more teams? Yes. But constant franchise upheavel is bad. And I know we got the Jets so it sounds like I'm ok with that move but not this one and thats not the case. For fans it really stinks to lose a team. Its weird when they retired a jets players jersey in phoenix. Or the Stastneys in Colorado etc etc... I hope you all read my other post and welcome input and feedback
  45. Roger That from Canada writes: No one has pointed out the 'logic' by which the NHL operates. Why would Bettman support putting another team in Ontario, when he hasn't first tried other promising cities such as El Paso, Mobile Alabama and San Juan, Puerto Rico?!? Come on pepole, uze yor braynes!!
  46. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Dave Coyote...

    How many corporate head offices are close to the arena?

    Cheers
  47. Shades of Grey from Whitehorse, Canada writes: 'We generally try to avoid relocating franchises unless you absolutely have to,' he said. 'We think when a franchise is in trouble, you try and fix the problems. That's what we did in Pittsburgh and Ottawa and Buffalo prior to our work stoppage....We don't run out on cities.'

    Except for Quebec and Winnipeg, of course.

    I LOVE
  48. John Galt from Canada writes: Jude Hannaford from Canada writes: Tommy

    Who is this mysterious owner you speak of? Will he offer up an extra 5 mil?

    I believe it's Jerry Reinsdorf (sp?). He was apparently interested in buying the team prior to the bankruptcy filing, but not at $217 million!
  49. Melissa W. from Canada writes: Bettman is a goner. He has handled the American expansion poorly, with a few exceptions.

    My best guess is that the courts will give ownership of the team to Balsillie and not to the NHL.
  50. Shades of Grey from Whitehorse, Canada writes: Oops...meant to say, I LOVE Balsillie's hostile takeover attempt. This is far more entertaining than hockey in May. Go, Blackberries!
  51. Chris Michaels from Canada writes: 'Guess Who from Canada writes: What would be the name of this team in the ugly town / dump of Hamilton?'

    Ignorant post of the day. Venture beyond Kipling, pry your eyes open and discover the other half of the Golden Horseshoe.

    Alternatively, utter something like that, in person, within 25k of Hamilton city limits -- you'll develop a great appreciation for the innovation and care of Hamilton Health Sciences.
  52. R E from Toronto, Canada writes: Can't imagine why the owners wouldn't approve the sale. Balsillie is rich beyond imagination with a deep love for hockey. The Kitchener-Waterloo or Hamilton areas could easily support a team from a population and industry standpoint. The owners certainly wouldn't want to be flipping the bill for Phoenix during bankruptcy and ongoings operations, which is effectively what would happen should the league have to take over the team. Finally, there doesn't appear to be another surious bidder currently, and certainly not one with cash in place. Seems like a no-brainer.
  53. Captain Feathersword from Canada writes: Good posts from Dave Coyote from Scottsdale,AZ and Frank Hanline from Garner, United States....your perspectives are thoughtful and intelligent, so don't listen to any 'bashing' since there are a lot of emotionally charged people on this post....living in Waterloo, I would like nothing more than to see another franchise in Ontario (but please, NOT in Vaughan LOL)....forget about the Bettman hates Canada nonsense....I don't particularly like the guy, but do believe that he wants what will be ultimately most profitable for the league....a franchise in any city south of TO would be tremendously successful in terms of attendance, however how would it draw on the road, especially in the US? (how many americans have even heard of Waterloo (no Iowa LOL), Vaughan, or Burlington?)....and inserting another eastern city team into the western conference does not make sense.....these are the things that balsillie has to overcome, and emotional hyperbole will not count for much.
  54. Paul Landry from Chelsea, Canada writes: Hell, I'd love to 'Make it 7' or even 8 or 9 teams in Canada, but all you Bettman bashers are blinded by your rage at the little man with the weasel voice. Get past that! He is an astute businessman and HAS saved several of the existing canadian franchises from foldiing or moving in the last decade, when the low $$ obligerated balance sheets. Yes, Quebec City and Winnipeg left under his watch, but they were true basket cases at the time, with poor arenas and miniscule corporate support. It was either move them or let them fold. Colorado worked out rather well, Phoenix has not. Don't forget that Bettman works for the 30 team owners and not the other way around. They direct and support his stance for purely business reasons -- the NHL refuses to cede control over how franchises are secured or awarded, who owns them and where they are located. If you think clearly (without the knee jerk contempt for 'short people'), you will realise that the NHL is not against additional franchises in Canada, especially a lucrative one in Southern Ontario. They are already exploring the possibility of a 2nd Toronto franchise. They just want to control how & when that will happen -- ideally through expansion, where they can accept bids (Basilie included), work out compensation, if necessary, for the Leafs, & reap the fat expansion fees. If Basilie was smart, he'd wait and then outbid everyone else for the franchise when expansion is floated. Basilie is just impatient and uses his wealth like a bludgeon. Like any good business, the NHL does not want to sh!te on its customers, so they turn over every stone to avoid abandoning a market. I am doubtful Phoenix can support hockey long term, but my guess is that Bettman sees an up and coming team that, given a few more years in the desert, will go on some playoff runs and start energizing and growing the fan base. Would Carolina, Anaheim and Tampa have franchises today if they had not become Cup contenders and champions?
  55. Dave Hall from Toronto, Canada writes: Gary, just leave. The expedient decisions to move the Jets & the Nordiques was just the start of it. 'We don't run out on cities'? Please. The only reason Canadian franchises have had a tough go has been the result of the dollar / exchange rate.

    Ever sit in a half empty arena in Florida? Creepy.

    Gary, your plan has failed. Save your empire building for another venture. Leave the NHL to grow a business in markets that actually want the product.
  56. Bones Monseki from Ottawa, Canada writes: Dave Coyote - your input is welcomed. It's nice to hear from the Coyotes fans.

    Your right about winning - nothing garners more interest.
    See Colombus for proof.

    I've read about the tribulations of arena location in Phoenix. It's similar in Ottawa. getting to and from the rink - located on the city's western outskirts - is a nightmare. And when the team is losing, ticket sales drop. Still it's the nation's capital, a fan base has been built and maintained, with the assistance of winning.

    Here's the question Dave - when does enough become 'enough' for everyone involved?

    You hear the arguement - Another Canadian team will drive up revenues and the salary cap and more teams will fail. How stupid does that sound?

    Increased revenues are bad for the health of our teams in life support?
  57. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Everybody keeps bringing up Winnipeg and Quebec city... but there is a lot more to both those stories.

    I believe both cities were looking for new owners for quite some time.

    I believe both cities were in need of new arenas.

    I believe that both moved during the time of the 60 cent loonie.

    Bettman was the one that came up with the scheme for the rest of the NHL to prop up the other Canadian franchises during those times.

    The only team that wasn't receiving assistance was.... the Leafs, during those trying times. Edmonton and Calgary couldn't hold onto their stars.

    The NHL had to take over both Ottawa and Buffalo (almost Canadian) while Bettman found owners for both teams. Bettman is not anti Canadian.... he may well be anti Jim Balsillie though.

    I'm not a Bettman fan believe me (mainly because he reminds me of the Rat character in the Harry Potter movies.) But I don't think he is anti Canadian at all.

    Cheers
  58. m y from Canada writes: gary bettman is scum.

    i wouldn't mind another team around here because who the hell would want to go to downtown toronto for a hockey game.

    then again, i could care less about sports in general because look at all that money that you blind fools who very hard for spend it away on that ridiculousness.

    people there are better things to spend money on.
  59. Seasoned Warrior from Canada writes: The question for the other NHL team owners isn't WHY should Jim Balsillie get a team - the question is WHY NOT?
  60. Huey Freeman from Mississauga, Canada writes: You knew this would happen folks. Your not gullible enough to think that a team is coming to Canada with Bettman in charge do you? If you read between the lines Bettman has always shown he does not want another team in Canada and he know he can takes Canadian fans for granted as they will never ever punish the NHL . MLSE does not want the team here and I am sure they have Buffalo vote against this move and I am sure Bettman had poisoned the rest of the owners against this move. Time for Mr. Blackberry to sue the league like Al Davis if he really wants his dream to come true.
  61. Richard Merriman from Reunion writes: What a buy? Balsillie will do like all other billionaire corporate welfare queens: ' Build me a new arena! Waive all property and business taxes! Build public transit to the front doors of my new place!
    You should be happy that public money will be used to make me richer.'

    Then he will repeat the old lie that huge economic benefits will be reaped by the local population, when in fact the real money will only flow to him, some players, coaches, executives and managers. All the locals will get is a colossal tax bill and a handful of minimum wage jobs taking tickets and cleaning toilets.
  62. Steve Mitchell from Canada writes: of course he is. You dont want to bring a strong personality into the mix.
  63. AreWeHavingThisConversation? (again) from Toronto, Canada writes: Another team in Ontario and compete with the Leafs? Of course Bettman would not want that! The Leafs make enough money and do NOTHING in terms of providing a winning franchise! Why tamper with that success story? What other business sells garbage and yet still come out with a profit? Only in Leafs land.
    I would want another NHL team in Canada, but not in Toronto. How about trying to bring hockey back to the cities that lost them?
    If anyone has info on that, could you please share? Could cities that 'lost' an NHL team, could they get a second chance of getting a team?
    Thank you.
  64. j q from Canada writes: If the recent reports are true and Balsillie is willing to give Gretzky a 15% share of the franchise, have the new arena named after Walter, call the franchise the Brantford Coyotes and the Great One is onside, then his chances have increased.
  65. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Just thinking about Balsillie in court.

    He presses a button any all the Crackberries in the court room stop working. Most in the room immediately start getting the DT's.

    See how powerful I am... he smiles.

    Cheers
  66. Bones Monseki from Ottawa, Canada writes: Scot - while your facts are just that - facts, this is the 'NEW NHL,' with a salary cap tied to revenues.

    But forget all that - what make you this: Apparently Moyers asked Balsille to table an offer in bankruptcy court?

    To start the bidding process, at a high value?
    Media attention?
  67. Sir Aarfer from nowheres inpaticulah, Canada writes:
    So David Stern supports a move of the Sonics to Oklahoma while The Evil Gnome is doing all he can to stop the move of the Coyotes to S.Ontario. Hmmmm.

    I pahticularly like when Count Chocula says...
    'This is not about whether or not we want a franchise in southern Ontario. This is not about whether or not Mr. Balsillie would make a suitable owner that the owners would approve. This is about the league's rules and the enforceability of our rules.'

    So forget about what's good for hockey and its fans in Canada. Let's focus on the rules!

    ....'This is more about the tactic and I think a challenge to league rules than it is about economic condition of the club....'

    See, it's much better to have fans across the league pay for other franchises than it is to have a team that is supported by its hometown folks.

    How much do Canuck tix cost again? Maybe they can use some of the Coyote cash (they'd save if Baisillie bought and moved the team) to lower ticket prices!
  68. Bryan London Ontario from Canada writes: Only two comments:
    1) Daryl katz was the devil when he first started offering up deals for the Oilers. As he continually increased his price owners felt it was impossible to ignore. As will the board of governors if the other owners have to continually pay for the Coyote's losses!
    2) Alberta has close to 3 million people and two NHL teams. How is it that the GTA has over double that and Ontario as a province has over 10 million but only 1 and a half teams (Ottawa being on the Quebec/Ontario border only counts as a half)? The Sabres are terrified seeing that half their season ticketholders are Canadian!
  69. prose peruse from vancouver, calgary, toronto, Canada writes: DEFinitley HARD TO BELIEVE QUEBEC CITY, WINNIPEG AND HAMILTON COULD NOT SUPPORT FRANCHISES...costs should come down!! Fire bettman!~
  70. Bones Monseki from Ottawa, Canada writes: j q from Canada writes: If the recent reports are true and Balsillie is willing to give Gretzky a 15% share of the franchise, have the new arena named after Walter, call the franchise the Brantford Coyotes and the Great One is onside, then his chances have increased.

    I was just going to say - talk about power play. Didn't hear about the Brantford Coyotes part. That would be a mistake.
    ------------
    Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Just thinking about Balsillie in court.

    He presses a button any all the Crackberries in the court room stop working. Most in the room immediately start getting the DT's.

    See how powerful I am... he smiles.

    - hahaha. That would be gold. The man certainly has fire in his eyes
  71. Martin Fedgrass from Canada writes: As soon as everyone realizes that hockey will NEVER have widespread appeal across all of North America then the sooner people will pull their freaking heads out of the sand and start to pay attention to where it IS supported and allow REAL hockey fans the chance to see hockey...where it belongs! The arguments about small candian centres not being able to support teams is a lot of crap especially when you compare it to inane locations like Phoenix, Tampa , Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta (do they still have a team???).
    The focus of this drama is not Blasillie - he should be cheered and championed as a true Canadian and supporter of hockey. The enemy is BUTT-MAN - we need to do all we can to support his ouster and get someone like Balsillie to truly represent what is good forhockey
  72. Jon S. from Montreal, Canada writes: Bettman is making two fatal business errors in one instance:

    a) He seems to have something personal against Balsillie, even though he represents a committed, honest, stable owner who cares about his team and the game, and
    b) Rather than admit he was wrong about his push to expand the game into markets which don't give a rat's behind about the NHL, he seems determined to stick to his guns - at the expense of these teams, the players, and most importantly, the fans of the game.

    David Stern would never act like this. Then again, he never made this many bone-headed decisions.
  73. The Backpacker from Canada writes: If Bettman is not opposed to putting another team in Canada, why not explore the options of putting teams back in Winnipeg and Quebec City? I mean, Kansas City once had a team (he wants to put another one there). They became the Colorado Rockies. And they became the New Jersey Devils. And now Colorado has the Avalanche, which used to be the Nordiques. Minnesota had the North Stars which became the Dallas Stars and now Minnesota has the Wild. So for all of you saying that Bettman doesn't hate Canada, explain why there are US cities getting multiple tries and Canada is being told that we can't have more teams? Bettman's only goal is to get 'new' fans, not move existing ones. He figures that because Canadians (and other northern teams) already like hockey, that they already have their teams. He believes that there will never be any new hockey fans in those markets, completely neglecting immigration and children who will grow up to be hockey fans. In Southern Ontario, there are many people who love hockey and are waiting for their own team because they don't like the Leafs. I'm sure you'll find tons of people eager to become Quebec and Winnipeg fans again. I think after 16 years, Bettman has done enough. Maybe he can go on to annoy the NFL, MLB or MLS since he's tackled the NBA and NHL.
  74. David P from Canada writes: Slats432 B from Edmonton, Canada writes: Odd that the fan really doesn't know the whole story. Bettman is and always has been an advocate of Canadian teams. ----------------------------- Slats - I'm sure that the people in Winnipeg who worked tirelessly to raise the funds and got 2/3 of the levels of govt to bring funds for a new arena appreciate your comment...unfortunately, in Winnipeg, Bettman made it clear in press conferences and in conversations with the team that they were not viable in Winnipeg. He and Barry Shenkarow did everything they could to make sure that Izzy Asper and the other funding would not have a chance. Bettman couldn't put the lock on the Winnipeg Arena fast enough. I know - I was there. Sure Daryl Sutter would like Bettman, he's got nothing to do with the thug. Bettman had to keep Edmonton there - easy to rip teams like Hartford, Winnipeg and Quebec out - they hadn't won anything...The Oil had Stanley Cup banners...how much does your 'research' show that if the Oil didn't have banners, they'd still be in Edmonton? They'd have moved to Houston in a heartbeat and been wiped out by whatever hurricance hit the region. Gary Bettman has proved that he needed to dumb the game down to sell it in the US, which is why he's tried to remoev as much history out of the game as he can... So I find it odd that your comment says that Bettman is an advocate of Canadian teams...history shows that he is not...
  75. P Logan from Calgary, Canada writes: How did this reprehensible little weasel ever gain control of the NHL anyway?
  76. R OBryan from Canada writes: Bettman is full of crap. In his words you can feel his anger. Phoenix can support a franchise no more than Iqualuit can support a baseball team. I forsee the NHL contracting before Bettman allows another NHL franchise in Canada or allow Balsillie to be owner.
  77. Rabidsenses > from Good gawd, a latte-swilling Westerner, Canada writes:

    If Canada and its culture were a comic strip then Bettman is our arch villain.
  78. Frank Hanline from Garner, United States writes: It takes time, good management and a winning team to get fans.

    Phoenix seems to have had only one of those, time.

    Hockey can make it in the non-traditional markets, given time AND ONLY IF you have a good product and management works to market the team.

    As to other teams moving, back and around, Hockey doesn't need to be concentrated only in the NE and Canada. That's foolish. Yay, I know that many want 'a team of my own' in their city, but at what cost for the future?

    Many complain that they've 'had years' to get a fanbase in these non-traditional markets. The problem is there are no lakes, ponds or backyard ice rinks to skate in and every trip to the ice rink costs $.

    But to attract people to the rink, you need a team that is going somewhere and making something of itself. Without a winning team and their star players to emulate, the locals will not be all that interested in 'an imported sport'.

    True, there will be a few like myself who learned to love hockey way past trying to even think about playing it as a kid but even then it wasn't until I moved near Sault Ste. Marie, MI, that I got a real taste of hockey.

    You can't hope that having superstars like the NBA does will promote hockey in non-traditional markets. Like now with the NHL having its 'Hockey Superstars' trying to promote the game means nothing if you don't have people following the game. Just because there's the 'dream match-up', Crosby vs Ovechkin, it doesn't mean squat to those who don't play and have no team to follow.

    So you have to 'spread the wealth' of hockey around to promote it. Otherwise, it will go back to being a regional sport and little else.
  79. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Bones;

    Doktor David posted a link on one of the Balsillie threads to an article out of an Arizona paper.

    It gives a pretty good analysis of the whys and wherefores.

    A couple things out of the article.

    The lease for the arena is for 30 years with a 700 million dollar buy out clause. Only bankruptcy can void that clause.

    Balsillies offer was about 100 million more than the franchise is worth.

    The largest creditors to the team are the NHL (40 plus million) a minority owner (60 plus million) and the majority owner Moyers (103 million).

    I think Moyers saw the only opportunity he had to recoup almost all.

    Cheers
  80. Cactus Puck from Canada writes: If Basillie names the team the Bettmans, maybe he can pull this off.

    He should call Al Davis. Davis put the boots to the NFL on moving his team and I'm sure Al would be happy to provide some advice.
  81. Jon S. from Montreal, Canada writes: Bettman seems to NOT give a hoot about Canadian fans - his most loyal and masochistic customers.

    Is he REALLY more important to the owners than their customers? Why not organize a Canada-wide boycott of the NHL for ONE day/night? If we're a season ticket holder, we swallow the cost of the tickets for that game, and NOT show up, if we're not, we don't buy tickets for that game. We don't tune into HNIC or any NHL broadcast, we don't buy merchandise, etc. for that one day.

    The owners need to realize that this guy is bad news and that his self-absorbed, Napoleanic actions are leading the owners down a slippery slope.

    Who's with me? Someone create a URL!!!
  82. The Observer from Stratford, PE, Canada writes: Moving the team to Ontario might be good for Canadians but it would be bad for the league. Except for Toronto and Montreal the league already has enough trouble selling second-level Canadian cities in the states. Any team located in Southern Ontario would be close to third-level from an American standpoint. It just wouldn't sell any tickets or generate any interest. Whether we like it or not up here the NHL has become an American business. Canada is just an after-thought to the owners. It is not Canadian. Without American interest the league would fold up and die.

    As for the city itself there would no doubt be a period of euphoria during which the arena would be sold out nightly. That period would eventually end as Quebec and Winnipeg unfortunately have already learned.
  83. C B from Port Coquitlam, Canada writes: Bettman is simply anti-Canadian. He will never allow another NHL team into Canada, because he seems to think that we can't financially support a team.

    Let me see... both Vancouver and Toronto have sold out every NHL game for years. When was the last time the Phoenix Coyotes or Carolina Hurricanes or Tampa Bay Lightning sold out a game that wasn't a playoff game?

    However, Bettmen seems content to simply mine Canada's prodigious hockey talent pool for players to feed his American hockey teams. Hypocrisy at the highest level.

    Bettman should take off his imperial crown and drop his personal vendetta against Balsillie, and pave the way for the Coyotes to come to Canada, where fans will faithfully support the team. Either that, or get the hell out of the NHL.
  84. Paul D from Cannington, Canada writes: Is everone as sick of this Weasel as I am. He thinks that the U.S. TV deal will one day materialize. He is a dreamer whose time has outlived his usefulness. If he was ever useful to begin with.

    Canadians need to flood the NHL email system to the point where it crashes until Bettman is removed.
  85. C B from Port Coquitlam, Canada writes: One more thing... Battman states in the article that:

    'We generally try to avoid relocating franchises unless you absolutely have to. We think when a franchise is in trouble, you try and fix the problems.'

    Yeah... like they did in Winnipeg, and Quebec City. This giu doesn't know when to stop lying.
  86. J Martin from Canada writes: How long do you think the NHL owners are going to want to pay the Coyotes bills until an owner comes along. If Bettman drags out this with Basillie, I'm sure more then a few owners will ask him to leave. Money talks....
  87. Calgary Gary from Calgary, Canada writes: Bring Gretzky home ...
  88. slapdash dapoint from harper is not a conservative, Canada writes: the real question here is, why are canadians still watching NHL hockey? it blows almost as hard as the 40y/o guys who carry the league in most cities.

    i would much rather see balsilie take that $215mil and start another league in canada, a league that has hockey as it's primary focus and business as it's secondary - completely unheard of in the nhl in either the dressing or board rooms.

    start the league as 'amateur', sue the nhl to get the cup back to canada (it WAS intended to be awarded to the best amateur team in canada), and get to work on building a real HOCKEY league that draws crowds and profits - NOT a sports entertainment business that currently offers hockey as it's main product.
  89. The Observer from Stratford, PE, Canada writes: CB your examples are a perfect example of what I just said. Both were quite good on the ice but neither could operate sucessfully financially. Putting another team into Southern Ontario could easily stretch the market to point that the three existing teams could find their franchises in trouble.
  90. K C from Canada writes: Guess Who from Canada writes: What would be the name of this team in the ugly town / dump of Hamilton?

    Hamilton Blackberries? =D
  91. jimmy juju from Canada writes: hockey is the same as wrestling

    entertainment

    who cares. keep it in the states we have enough teams here.
  92. jimmy juju from Canada writes: i know - bring it to Toronto area - that way the leafs could see what it takes to win something.

    You Toronto fans have been suckered for generations yet you still buy tickets.

    WHY?
  93. Paul Landry from Chelsea, Canada writes: Knock off the anti-Bettman crap. Canadians who love the NHL should realise that the league has always been dominated by US owners and always will. The highwater mark for Canada was during the original six era when 2/3 of the teams were yankee owned. Face it, without US franchises, the sport would lose its appeal to Canadians. I constantly hear people say: screw America, letsd have our our 10 or 12 team All-Canadian hockey league! I couldn't imagine anything more boring. We love to challenge, compare, stick our nose at, laugh at or preen before those dastardly Americans that dare play or cheer our game. We are constantly looking for acceptance or even simple acknowledment of our national sport in the lower 48 and are thrilled to get a mention of hockey on ESPN. Admit it ... the great majority of Canadians dream of the day when the NHL challenges the NFL, MLB & NBA for sporting dominance in the good ole USA. We just want OUR game to loved and recognised as the greatest game in the world. And because it is truly the most exciting and passionate game there is, we are constantly disappointed when the Yanks don't get it and we lash out at the convenient face of the NHL, Gary Bettman, when he tries and fails to promote the game where it has to be promoted to succeed.
  94. Henry Allen from East Bank, Don River, Canada writes:
    Scot Loucks, in addition to the points to which you refer, I don't know if your source mentions it, but if memory serves correctly, to date majority owner Moyes has poured something like US$300 million into the Phoenix Coyotes, showing consistent losses. He's done everything he can to market that franchise, unsuccessfully. Now, he just wants out, even if he only gets back a small fraction. That's why he bypassed the NHL, negotiated in secret with Balsillie, and then declared bankruptcy, handing control of the matter to a bankruptcy judge.
  95. billy weathers from Canada writes: yea waterloo warriors
    then bring a team to winnipeg
    quebec halifax and saskatoon
    hockey is canada
    the nhl offices should come back to montreal not ny
    bettman should be let go and
    mr brett hull named the boss
    this is crazy blocking a team
    to canada
    bassile can take this and start a great trend
    about time
    cheers
  96. AreWeHavingThisConversation? (again) from Toronto, Canada writes: Mr. Dave Coyote, it is really nice to read your comments and your thoughts.
    It is also exciting to know that there are individuals who watch the game and are a supporter of the game we love dearly!
    If there are enough of supporters such as yourself, maybe, just maybe, the Coyotes will stay. However, many posters have commented that because the NHL is still a business, then money is the ultimate goal! If Phoenix cannot work financially, perhaps another city could.
    Good luck and again, thank you for your postings and for giving people like myself, a 'coyote' perspective!
  97. Dave Holland from Moncton, Canada writes: As a fan of a Canadian team (Montreal) I would love to see more cities in Canada get an NHL franchise. Bettman says he doesn't want to abandon a potential market in the U-S, yet the Phoenix Coyotes are drawing flies. I say let the Blackberry owner purchase a franchise that is destined to die a slow death and move it back to Canada. Too bad Bettman wasn't commissioner of baseball back when the Expos were being moved. He'd have wanted to keep the market alive. The NHL is in big trouble in places like Phoenix, Atlanta, Tampa, etc. Bettman should wake up.
  98. B Ken from kdub, Canada writes: Waterloo Region could easily provide fan support to Jim's team. The Kitchener Jr. A Rangers have a sell out at pretty much every game, even in the bad seasons, like the one just past. They get more people out to a game than many pro arenas in the US. There is a years' long waiting list for season's tickets. Go Kitchener Waterloo Berries!
  99. mario rucchetto from woodbridge, Canada writes: what's wrong with making money,that's the whole point isn't .
  100. The Conservative Liberal from Ukraine writes: All this started in 1993. LA Kings vs Toronto. The cup final was supposed to be Toronto vs Montreal. But because Wayne was in the US and had to increase popularity for the southern market, Carey Fraser had no choice but to make that call against the Leafs against Clarke for LA to win. Cup finals, Montreal 4 - LA 0. Thanks Wayne for selling your soul to the devil in a red dress.
  101. r b from Calagry, Canada writes: I have always thought that there are many cities in Ontario that would be ideal for a professional hockey franchise, and have often wondered why none of them have never been able to obtain one.
  102. Hockeydad London from Canada writes: Glad to see Bettman getting his. Remember though, the little man works for the owners. Likely he is only expressing their collective opinion, althought again, he is the man who sold them on the southern U.S. footprint as the way to a national TV contract. I don't think he 'hates' Canada, it is just that his mandate is dictated by American owners who couldn't find Canada on a map, let alone care about where Winnipeg or Hamilton are. Certainly teams in those cities would be non-draws in most of the U.S. The plus here is that the courts will hold the cards. The rules of the NHL old boys network will likely not withstand a court order or the Competition Act in Canada. Too bad Gary...
  103. Gern Blanstin from Vancouver, Canada writes: I know lots of people are ready to abandon Bettman's sunbelt strategy but I think the strategy is meant to be very long term. Like multigenerational longterm. Or at least one generation: dad takes kids to game, kids grow up and become ticket holders themselves. When people defend Nashville and places they often cite the explosive growth of minor hockey (two teams, then four teams) and this is where the longterm growth will come from. People in Canada play all sports but hockey is the favourite because it is so fun to play. We are willing to pay a lot of money for ice time because it is so much fun. If you haven't skated or played hockey, you may not realize how much fun it is.

    Anyway, I guess bettman was hoping that the financial situation wouldn't be quite this bad so teams would be able to stumble through a couple of decades of low attendance and low prices to be around when the first generation of hockey fans/players in the sunbelt become adults with incomes.
  104. Bob Bidurski from Toronto, Canada writes: Before they were the Phoenix Coyotes, they were the Winnipeg Jets. Take Bettman's statement, substitute Winnipeg for Phoenix and you'll quickly realize he's being less than forthcoming.
  105. Ice Rider from Canada writes: Bettman has done more to ruin Candian hockey than even Harold Ballard and Punch Imlach!! He's all but telling his American owners to vote against bringing another team to Ontario. How many teams in the southern U.S. are struggling on his watch? If NY, Calif, Florida can all have multiple teams -- most of which are chronic money losers -- why can't we have two -- 2.5 if you include the shameful Leafs. If Balsillie gets another team for Southern Ontario, it might force MLSE (Making Losing Seem Easy) to care about the quality of the team and give us long-suffering Buds fans something to cheer about. Maybe that's what Bettman's afraid of.
  106. N. Ontarian from Canada writes: I just don't get it. Here you have a NHL team which is a financial basket-case; in a Southern US market - not exactly hockey central; and you have a person willing to pay a good price for them (how many people do you know willing to buy an NHL team in trouble?), and put it in a market which is hockey-crazy, in a high density-population, and would easily, EASILY sustain another NHL franchise. Yet, some people in the NHL balk and put up all kinds of roadblocks to this. It just doesn't seem to make sense.
  107. Guelph Storm OHL Fan from Blue, Canada writes: I don't think Bettman will allow the team to move. He will not admit that he is wrong about having teams in the South US. As some else said in a post, his next cities are KC and Los Vegas. Bettman would make a great CEO for Ford, Crysler, or GM, he ignores common sense and market realities, and goes with what he wants.

    Also, like someone else said, I guess Bettman forgot that he moved teams out of Winnipeg and Quebec.

    I think Hamilton would make the best of the possibilities.
  108. Louis Elias from Canada writes: The owners need to oust Bettman. Simple. This guy is generally not good for hockey in Canada.
  109. P deGroot from Calgary, Canada writes: Good God Bettman is an idiot.
  110. Frank Hanline from Garner, United States writes: To Mario from Woodbridge: There is nothing wrong with making money but the issue is that if Hockey doesn't become more than just a regional game, it will fall backwards and make LESS money.

    The hockey market in Canada is almost at total saturation. The US market, is barely used. If the NHL can get teams going and mostly self-sustaining (even the NFL has issues in some markets as does the NBA). Personally, I'd like to see the NHL expand by two teams.

    Contraction back to a saturated market is not the answer.
  111. Dave Downie from Toronto, writes: Fire Bettman now. He has ruined the NHL.
  112. THE SLSGY from THE HAMMER, Canada writes: why would Bettman like Basille, he is neither a crook or a jail bird...he actually has money !!!

    And Slats432..writing a blog that no one sees or cares about does not make you a hockey writer ! and a fan forum with open questions to Darryl Sutter does not constitute a one on one interview
  113. Robert Lepage from Canada writes: Hmmm, thinking of new team names:

    The Waterloo Hostile Takeovers?
    The Waterloo R.I.M. Jobs?
    The Kitchener Teenage Mothers?
    The Kitchener Derelicts?

    It's fun to tease, but my second home is in Waterloo and I'd be ecstatic to see another team down there. I'd support them, second to my much maligned Senators, of course.

    And Reinsdorf denied any interest in becoming the owner of the Coyotes, as per the Chicago Tribune.
  114. Spiny Norman from Canada writes: So it comes down to this eh? Bettman and his cronies in one corner and all of Canada in the rest.

    Pillow fight!
  115. D Wiatzka from Canada writes: Forget about putting the franchise in Hamilton. Put it into the Downsview area of Toronto. There are two New York teams and there should be two Toronto teams.

    1/2 of the GTA is still more potential ticket holders than in most of the U.S. franchise cities and more than Calgary and Edmonton's market. Downsview has the subway line and major highways in the area, as well as room enough for an arena. Copps Coliseum isn't NHL quality.

    Most of the fans in the Hamilton area are the ones supporting Buffalo's franchise so taking them away could be the death knell for the Sabers.

    I don't oppose Hamilton getting a franchise; I'd be happy for them. I used to live in southern Ontario but now am out west, so no bias in that regard.

    I just think the better market is in the north end of Toronto and it's a better location for all those fans in southern Ontario who can't get tickets. Hamiltonians already have decent access to the Buffalo games.
  116. Carl Hansen from Canada writes: Harvey Mushman is right. Bettman has to win in court by proving that Moyer had no right to declare BK or the Coyotes are done in Phoenix.
    If Bettman can dissolve the franchise then Sillyballs is out 229.5 millions. Pocket change for him.
  117. The Backpacker from Canada writes: Frank, what do you suggest are some actual viable markets in the US at the moment?
  118. Carl Hansen from Canada writes: tommy marks from glendale az, United States writes: The Coyotes will stay in Glendale! Bettman is a very smart man he won't cut and run! He already has a buyer lined up to buy the team and keep in AZ. Sorry, You had your chance with the Jets...gone forever!

    I really am sorry you are losing your team, now that it's a pretty good one as well, but the owners blew it. Ottawa almost lost their team because they built the arena in a stupid location. You know how it is these days, real estate only goes up or or it goes Tango Uniform.
  119. S Balderick from Canada writes: Tomrrow's headline: Entire Hockey Community Skeptical of Bettman.
  120. Thomas Harris from Canada writes: Move them to the junction of 401 and 403 it's nothing but fields there so lots of room to build a state of the art arena and parking lots,It's only a half hours drive from Hamilton/ Brantford (500,000 pop), a half hours drive from London (350,000 pop), a half hours drive from Kitchener/ Waterloo (275,000 pop) and close to outlaying cities and towns to the north, south, east, and west..Call them the GSO (Greater Southern Ontario) Blackberry's, and watch them fill the seats to capacity every game they play... Bettman, your not a real businessman if you turn this one down... it's a sure thing
  121. S Balderick from Canada writes: Frank Hanline from Garner, United States writes:

    The hockey market in Canada is almost at total saturation. The US market, is barely used. If the NHL can get teams going and mostly self-sustaining (even the NFL has issues in some markets as does the NBA). Personally, I'd like to see the NHL expand by two teams.

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

    Market is not purely based on population but also demand for the sport. The demand is exceedingly higher in Canada.

    Two teams in Ontario is far from saturation, this province could handle two more without a problem, another in GTA and one for the southwest (a team easily accessible by fans in Hamilton, Kitchener and London would have their arena packed to the rafters every night)

    Under the current climate, there's a strong argument that Winnipeg and Quebec City could fare better than most of the teams in the American south.
  122. Paul I from United States writes: Don't have time to read all posts. I hope someone is mobilizing a campaign to contact NHL headquarters to let them know what their CUSTOMERS wishes are, not what the OWNER'S PIZZ BOY THINKS!

    REMIND THEM WHO PAYS FOR THEIR ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCT!!!!
  123. Black Acre from Toronto, Canada writes: I agree with Bettman. Why would the NHL condone transfer of ownership of a bankrupt franchise to someone with a proven record of business success, a love of hockey, a reputation for integrity, lots of money and the intention to move the team from a place where it has never made money to a market that is overflowing with diehard fans and where it might provide real competition to a team that desperately needs it? It would just make the other owners look bad by comparison.
  124. Paul I from Rochester the Flower City, United States writes: I did have time for YOUR MANAGER though. You must have some American blood in you to make the foolish statements you did. Do you really think that every fan in Tampa Bay and Miami is Canadian? Not even close ,pal.
  125. John Jones from Oakville, Canada writes: The knives are out for Gary. Better grab the cyanide pills and head for the bunker.
  126. Arthur Kidd from Canada writes: The NHL isn`t a democracy for fans that`s for sure. it`s probably healthy for us all to fully realize that. they can have all the fan votes for all-stars they want. this is a business owned by others and the fans are simply the source of revenue. We have absolutely no say and the sooner we realize this the better.

    It`s not even just about money or building the fan base. one more hockey hotbed would add extra value to all the other franchises. if you`re a potential Atlanta fan for example. even two more games against a team in a place where it mattered would make becoming a fan about 2.5 % more enticing. a potential LA fan? 7.5 %. or double those as you not only add the compliment you also subtract the detriment. those kinds of percentages could make the difference in the rate of critical expansion of some franchises.

    Absolutely ludicrous business acumen by bettman et al!!!

    The NHL is not even a plutocracy. It`s perhaps one of the best examples of dinosaur cronyism. stubborn old rich men driving their Chryslers off of cliffs.
  127. Tom Anthony from Canada writes: Bettboy continues ru[i]nning the NHL.
  128. paulo the seer from waterloo, Canada writes:
    I propose the Dangleberries.

    Small, feisty, and they hang around when the going gets tough.
  129. B D from Saskatoon, Canada writes: There is no other professional sports league in North America that is as well represented as the NHL. There is 3 Teams in California, and one in nearby Pheonix. They don't need the Coyotes, their newspaper is basically saying let the franchise go...

    Pheonix could use another Basketball team before they should have ever got an NHL team.

    Hamilton is a good market for Hockey and it will quickly become one of the more profitable franchises in the NHL.

    As to the person who said you risk the NHL of being regional... that is nonsense, there are 2 teams in flordia, 3 in New York, 2 In Ont, 2 in Alberta, and a bunch in the middle, that covers pretty much all of North America.
  130. Carl Hansen from Canada writes: John Jones from Oakville, Canada writes: The knives are out for Gary. Better grab the cyanide pills and head for the bunker.

    LOL. I almost posted that last night. Poor Bettman. I agree with Scot Loucks that Gary is not really anti-Canadian. Gary just has bad vision.
    If the economy continues going down then the NHL will be in real trouble. Even now the Islanders owner regrets buying the team.
  131. Captain Feathersword from Canada writes: Robert Lepage from Canada writes: Hmmm, thinking of new team names:

    The Waterloo Hostile Takeovers?
    The Waterloo R.I.M. Jobs?
    The Kitchener Teenage Mothers?
    The Kitchener Derelicts?

    The KTown SmackDown
    The Waterloo Intellectuals
    Balsillie's Beatdown Posse
  132. Bones Monseki from Ottawa, Canada writes: Sorry scot - had to step away from the computer.

    regarding Moyers asking Balsille to table an offer:

    That's what I was thinking. Now there is dissident in the owners circle. This would've had to upset Bettman....

    Where else does the dissidence reside? Who else int he ol' boys club is willing to break the company line, upset Bettman, in order to recoup loses?
  133. Ryan H from Waterloo, Canada writes: I don't know why they are preventing someone who is willing to dump money into the league from doing so. So many other teams are struggling for attendance and money, and they want to stop it. That's just stupid. I'm not a big enough hockey fan to watch it on TV but if we had a local team, I would definitely go to games. I like hockey enough to see it live.

    I don't think the League should stop him from moving a team because he won't stop until he gets approved and moves it here. It's only a matter of time.
  134. Arthur Kidd from Canada writes: Maybe Bassilies could make a bunch of trades with Burke and then name the team the Hamilton Ipods.
  135. Arthur Kidd from Canada writes: err.. make that the Hamilton Ifones...
  136. Willard Kurtz from Canada writes: The Laughs ownership must've just crapped their collective trousers. Balsillie is the ideal owner, he loves the sport, he has deep deep pockets, he's damned smart and oh ya he knows a thing or two about business. Hear that hissing sound MLSE?...it's the sound of your market share balloon deflating.
  137. t w from Canada writes: The islanders owner also regrets hiring Garth Snow out of nowhere as his main man and giving DiPietro a 15 yr contract.
  138. Ryan H from Waterloo, Canada writes: I don't follow Ballsilie's actions too closely but I know that this is his 3rd attempt to buy a struggling team. Will he have to put in offers to each American team before he gets one?
  139. Bones Monseki from Ottawa, Canada writes: Arthur Kidd writes: ... The NHL is not even a plutocracy. It`s perhaps one of the best examples of dinosaur cronyism. stubborn old rich men driving their Chryslers off of cliffs. stubborn old rich men driving their Chryslers off of cliffs.

    This is intrinsically hilarious. In and of itself, this is downright funny and true.

    RIM is larger and more profitable than the NHL - less anyone prove me wrong.

    Balsille just laughs, and waits and strong arms the league until they bend. A Matter of time.
  140. Rob S. from Grand Forks, Canada writes: The NHL doesn't like moving teams as long as they aren't Canadian. I'm pretty sure that the NHL is sitting on airline tickets, ready for all the Canadian teams, should the moment arise.
  141. Frank Hanline from Garner, United States writes: To S Balderick from Canada: The way to grow is to expand the reach of the product. Going backwards may well please the fans (and yes, the Leaf's management needs to be shaken out of their complacency) in those areas but it stifles growth when it is growth that is needed.

    Personally, I think there are too many teams in the NY area.

    To The Backpacker from Canada: Are you asking me which teams in the US are currently profitable or new cities in the US to get teams?

    For the former, I'd have to look it up. I can give you an answer though a doctor with a flashlight could pull it out himself. Still the basic premise stands as it takes at least a generation, with a team that can win and good management to start it up. Doing something half-hearted and claiming 'we tried' is not trying at all, is self-delusional and self-defeating.

    As to the latter, I don't think there is, save perhaps Duluth or Fargo.

    What I'd rather them do is expand two more teams and for those to go into Canada is fine with me. Regina and Winnipeg would be great choices, that is if one is truly interested in seeing things in Canada and not just front loading things for fans in Ontario.
  142. Frank Hanline from Garner, United States writes: Later.

    Look for me at the 'Canes game tonight.
  143. St Fort from victoria, Canada writes: This has nothing to do with would would be good for the game. This is a pissing match between Bettman and Balsille. On one side you have a lawyer who wants to control everything and always to be in control.
    On the other side you have a very successful businessman who is used to getting things done. It would be a shame if Balsille could not move the club. Who the heck cares what the other governors thing??? This guy has a proven track record of getting things done. He would be a great addition to the league and to bring a club to an area that would sell out. I wish Bettman would just get out of town and leave the NHL to people who know how to make money and supply a team that to an area that would welcome it with open arms. Bettman is ant- Canadian.
    They should ditch also ditch Tampa,Nashville. If you would to look at poor owners,look no further than Tampa Bay.
  144. The Backpacker from Canada writes: Frank Hanline, I was wondering which should be able to support new teams, and you did answer that question.

    I completely agree that the team doesn't have to be in Ontario. I'd be just as happy with a team anywhere in Canada.

    Have fun at the game! Go Canes!
  145. AJA M from Canada writes: There is no doubt that Bettman will do whatever is necessary to prevent this team from coming to Canada. Bettman makes me sick. We should send McLean at him again and not hold back this time, Ron.
  146. J Martin from Canada writes: Why the hell did the NHL let Minnesota get a NHL team again after losing their first one.....oh ya its a solid hockey market that got screwed out of a team, they just happen to be on the other side of the border, but not much different then Winnipeg, S. Ont, QC, etc.
  147. Red Ruffensore from Port Coquitlam, Canada writes: The NHL owners, through Gary Bettman, will huff and puff about procedure, rules, proper etiquette etc. But in the end, I'm betting Balsillie will get his team and put it in Ontario. Because the one thing the owners like more than rules and procedure - a lot more, actually -is money. They are deathly tired of writing cheques to prop up the Coyotes, Predators, Panthers and a few others. Look at any decision the owners have made over the past 20 years. Whether it's expansion to Florida or a TV contract on the Versus network - if the choice for one or the other puts more money in their pockets TODAY, that's what they'll go for. And the chance to stop taking money out of their pockets for one more team that's not going to survive anyway will be all it takes for Balsillie to get his team.
  148. Rabidsenses > from Good gawd, a latte-swilling Westerner, Canada writes:

    Ken Dryden

    NHL Hockey Commissioner.

    I like the sound of that.

    (oh were that we lived in a sane world)

    Mind you, if Bettman insists on petulantly derailing Balsillie then I tend to agree with several other posters who think that Balsillie should just insert himself as commissioner. I know, I know . . . it wouldn't work because, technically, the owners are the league and Bettman works for them.

    (but don't forget that the possibility is not off the table in this insane world we currently live in!)
  149. Stan Duptall from Canada writes: Gary, give us back our fuggin' game!
  150. Martin's E-ratt from Nashville, United States writes: I hope Jim gets his wish and gets the team. If the Preds don't make it in Nashville after a couple of more years I hope they relocate to Milwaukee.
  151. William Robertson from Hamilton, Canada writes: There's only one club that has anything to fear from Basille's offer - Buffalo. Every other club should be a winner, at least financially, and maybe even southern Ontario could get a Stanley Cup winner?
  152. Rick B from Toronto, Canada writes: No small part of Bettman's spirited opposition to Balsillie's desire to bring a team to southern Ontario is the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Golden Horseshoe's most succesful monopolist prefers complete control of the southern Ontario hockey market, without encroachment by a new team that will draw consumers away from Big Blue.

    Any monopolist can get away with a shabby product and in the case of the Maple Leafs, 42 sterling years without hanging a new banner demonstrate the success of its product strategy admirably.

    Big Blue can't contemplate a world where a little 7 year old in Oakville would grow up idolizing a Hamilton TBD player rather than a Toronto Maple Leaf player.

    I won't assert that Bettman is a pawn, but he clearly knows who butters the bread in the NHL and in this case the butter is coloured blue.

    Fans wanting a team in southern Ontario should cast their sights on 40 Bay St. and the monopoly capitalists at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd.
  153. B D from Saskatoon, Canada writes: I remember when Saskatoon got screwed out of a team in 1982. I think that had it succeeded then, we may not have had the same trouble as Winnipeg and Quebec City, or we may have. Never underestimate the support of Saskatchewan sports fans. I am sure people from all over the province would decend on Saskatoon and we would sellout every game. As for Corporate support: It has grown dramatically since 1982 Cameco, Areva, Potash Corp, all the Crowns (Sask Power, Sask Energy, Sasktel) I think that a team would be more profitable in Saskatoon than in Sunrise, Flordia (Panthers). I think a team in Hamilton would be more profitable than Glendale, Ariz (Coyotes) I think a team in Winnipeg would be more profitable that in Nashville, Tenn. I think a team in Quebec City would be more profitable than one in Atlanta, GA. I could join the Bettman hating crew, I have kind of mixed feelings about the bloke. I was totally with him as far as the Salary cap goes, and that should be his Legacy (sic.) However, as far as this keeping franshises where they are and bashing your head against the wall until you hear the mushy sound isn't healthy. He should be grateful for Basille wants to benefit the league. Let it happen Gary, it's good for the league. If you don't your time is up, you ought to leave. I remember when the Griz was in Vancouver... Boring... Bad for Basketball... so they moved em where they are crazy about Basketball Memphis Tenn. I remember when the Jets were in Winnipeg, they lost peanuts compared to Pheonix, yet lets move the Team to where people can get sunburnt 365 days a year... Just doesn't make much sense for a game played on ice. I'd rather see the NHL expand into Europe (Moscow, Prague, Helsinki, Stockholm, Berlin) before I'd want to see another team in a Blah market like Las Vegas or Kansas City (PUKE!) Bettman has lost touch with what is best for the league. He is an owners Commisioner.
  154. Rob Swanson from Edmonton, Canada writes: On the plus side, getting a quality tee time in Phoenix just got a lot easier with all those lawyers and clerks getting called to the bar...

    This will not be sorted in time for this year, football may be back in Ottawa before all the latin is read on this deal.

    I suspect big Jim is not going to get his way, but this might be the end of Bettman, so that is the big score for Canadian hockey and the NHL.

    Wonder who would replace him?
  155. Rick Taves from Chatham-Kent, Canada writes: Placing pro hockey in the southern states where the fans see it as a northern version of roller derby has hurt our game. It's time to return it to the fans who have actually experienced skating on ice.
  156. AJ W from Canada writes: Gary Bettman is as comical as Count von Count from Sesame Street. Don't believe me? Google 'Count von Count'and 'Sesame Street'. The resemblance is eeerily striking no?
  157. Winni Miss from Mississauga, Canada writes: What is wrong with Gary Bettman? Is it not time he retired?
  158. Winni Miss from Mississauga, Canada writes: Bring the team to Brantford - Gretzky's home town...
  159. Steve Crocker from Moncton, NB, Canada writes: You think that the owners group would love this guy, pockets deeper than the Grand Canyon, and a love of the game to boot. Seems like a good mix to me
  160. B D from Saskatoon, Canada writes: AJ W:

    http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/2790/garyd.jpg
  161. Turning Right from Somewhere in Ontario, Canada writes: Why would Bettman and the other NHL owners want another successful franchise in a thriving Canadian market? Bettman would rather have a team in Hawaii before he lets one move to Canada. For that matter if he is looking at increasing audiences why not move the Coyotes to Mexico City, that is a big market.
  162. Sil T from Mississauga, Canada writes: If Bettman is skeptical about it, it's the right thing to do.
  163. vin air from Christmas Island writes: Bettman said "We don't run out on cities."

    Tell that to Quebec City and Winnipeg.
  164. W M from Canada writes: That's what we did when the perception was that five out of the six Canadian franchises around the turn of the century were in trouble. We fixed the problems. We don't run out on cities.
    ===========================================
    .
    Sorry, Gary, could you repeat that for the benefit of the fans in Quebec City and Winnipeg?
  165. John Parisien from Regina, Canada writes: Southern Ontario will never see another team. You people have to remember that 9/10ths of these guys don't care about "the game" of hockey, it's about $$$. Business is business is business. MLSE is not going to give up their piece of the pie, which equates to the most valuable franchise in the NHL - simply because they have the market share by the kahunas. If another team relocates to their neck of the woods, their piece of the pie is cut in half.

    Everyone is getting their hopes up here. I would love to see another Canadian team, but Bettman will sooner see Puerto Rico adding an NHL squad, than for a team to return to the greatest country on earth.
  166. Ross g from Canada writes: Bettman's model is to get a national US tv deal and everything is staked to that. To get that TV deal, the NHL needs to have teams in virtually every major market in the US. This why Phoenix is so important and why non hockey places like Kansas city get mentioned for teams. This is also why it can make sense to keep pouring money into a team losing money if it is in what is seen as a key market (phoenix) and why there was so little willingness to keep teams in Winnipeg, Quebec, Harford when they could be moved to fill one of those key markets. If the NHL ever got a tv deal like the NFL then the value for the franchises would rise and the real money would be made from the deal and not from the gate, so you could have teams with poor attendance still being profitable. This is what Bettman is still shooting for and why the league makes some of the weird ( to those watching) descisions. I doubt the NHL will ever see the deal they have been angling for, for so long, but for Bettman it is the key behind the direction he has taken the NHL. To have a profitable team in Winnipeg or Hamilton instead of Phoenix or Tampa hurts the goal of the big payoff even if it makes short term sense financially. Bettman sees anyone who wants to move a team to Canada as a threat to this.
  167. King Buzzo from Canada writes: If Balsillie isn't able to acquire and move the Coyotes, he should consider starting a Pro Canadian Hockey League. Don Cherry could be commish. He could promote Old Time Hockey (like Eddie Shore) and let the fans vote with their dollars on which type of hockey they want to watch.
  168. Larry Hill from Canada writes: The big "GULP" you hear is Bettman swallowing his huge ego. The guy to save one of his franchises is the guy who he simply detests.
    Bettman has done everything in his power to deny Balsille a NHL franchise, but I think he has run out of dirty tricks in his black bag.
  169. Springbank Dave from Calgary, Canada writes: Bettman would move any Canadian team to the states in a heart beat. What's the problem with moving a team the other way? What does Bettman have against Canada! The NHL needs to get rid of this guy!
  170. Bob Hogarth from Calgary, Canada writes: Mr. Bettman: While we recognize that 1) being a Canadian, and 2) practical consideration, are not relevant to you, please note that while you remain skeptical of Balsillie's offer, WE remain entirely skeptical of you and your motives. Please go gently into the good night.
    Jim - Good Luck on this - I like your style: time to shake up the Old Boys Club.
  171. Bobby S from Canada writes: I wish Balsille all the luck but I don't think it's going to happen. I personally hope it doesn't and then Balsille decides to create his own league. Give em heck Jimmy :-)
  172. b p from van, Canada writes: BETTMAN IS AN IDIOT.
  173. R. S. from Sunnyvale, Canada writes: Hey Bettman you tool. How can you say that you don't run out on franchises and that you prefer to fix them...How did you get a team in Phoenix in the first place...Oh that's right, you stole the Jets from Winnipeg; a real, strong, traditional hockey market. When will the owners of the NHL teams realize this clown is doing more harm then good for this league and that a change is needed and fast.
  174. Paul I from United States writes: If these guys are negotiating through the media, does it really sound like they are interested in getting anything done? I think not.
  175. Lee Bailie from Toronto, Canada writes: This move will be quashed one way or another. Bettman is clearly enraged by the prospect of a US franchise moving to Canada.

    His message to Balsillie seem to be if I were to translate, goes something like this:

    "Go away. Take your billions and go buy your way into someone else's league. We don't want any more teams in Canada, and you want to know why? Because Canadian hockey fans ain't going anywhere. We could start every NHL game in Canada at 3 am and the buildings would still sell out and the TV ratings would still be big. Those hosers don't care about any other sport and we know it. Americans have options when it comes to sports, lots of 'em, and I can tell you that NBC and Versus executives would draw and quarter me if I set a precedent of allowing shaky American franchises to escape to Canada. The Coyotes aren't going anywhere without my approval, but if you think you can defy me Mr. BlackBerry, go ahead and bring it, I'll be waiting!"

    The bottom line here folks, is that no NHL team is going to relocate as long as Bettman is commissioner. He'll strong-arm enough owners to ensure the board of governors votes this down and somehow the Coyotes will survive- in the US, though maybe not in Glendale, Arizona. Balsillie has shown he can be a patient man. My advice to him is be to continue to be patient. Bettman won't be commissioner forever.
  176. S Thompson from Oakville, Canada writes: Bettman's job is to make money from the league. US franchises are living off of CANADIAN WELFARE! Aren't you embarrassed? Bettman must go now and the NHL headquarters should be moved from New York to Toronto where it belongs.
  177. Hugh Andrew from Canada writes: Canadians should be very angry that here again, Americans are telling us what we can or can't do with our own game or resources.
  178. Edward Carson from Canada writes: Bettman's midnight move of the NHL office from Toronto to New York should have smartened everyone up to his anti-Canadian stance...but it didn't.
    If Bettman wants to carry on the way he does then what the fans of Canadian teams need to do is not attend any game involving an American team. Only go to Canada v Canada games.
    Next Balsillie should start a Canadian league and then sue for the Stanley Cup as a heritage item since it was donated to be given to the best hockey team in Canada by Lord Stanley of Preston.
  179. Delphic Oracle from Canada writes: Bettman being something of a snob (along with a number of the owners) doesn't like idea of his gold plated NHL being located in a 'small' Canadian city. Basille keeps talking 'southern Ontario' but will have to eventually locate it somewhere. Still for marketing purposes and fan support (not to mention, Bettman appeasement) perhaps he should chose a regional handle. Do how does the Niagara Jets sound?
  180. Cowtown Guy from Canada writes: Sir Aarfer writes:

    "I pahticularly like when Count Chocula says..."

    Thank you Sir, I've been wondering for years who he reminds me of. I think you nailed it.

    thanks!
  181. Rusty Waters from Canada writes: Bettman is living in the past...If we are lucky Harper will put him in the senate, and Bettman can shine Mike Duffy's shoes.
  182. Verona Raven from United States writes: Gretzky has clout...if this team is going to Ontario, it is much more likely if Wayne is involved. The Leafs can kick and scream....but they will continue to make money hand over fist with their mediocre team.
    It's about time to realize that the Hartfords, Quebecs, Winnipegs, and other cold weather areas are the real cradle of hockey.
  183. George BrownIII from Christmas Island writes: We need a Canadian national pro hockey league just to give the monopoly called NHL competition and put some of the southern teams out of their misery.
  184. Disgusted Canadian from Canada writes: It's quite evident that Pheonix is not a hockey city so I think the NHL should let the team go where the real hockey fans are, here in Canada. Bettmann should just shut up as right now, he is just a barnacle in the Rsoul of progress
  185. A Guerin from Canada writes: The Coyotes have been in this "new" arena for 5 yrs now and still haven't been able to draw a decent crowd. So if Bettman thinks the team can make a go of it, he should buy the club and quit as NHL commissioner.

    As for Gretz he should resign as coach. Any other team would have fired him by now. Go coach Jr A or Bantam hockey and work your way up oh "Great One."

    The NHL HO should also come back to Canada where it was founded but moved in 1989 to NYC under Ziegler.
  186. Link Hogbrow from Canada writes:

    "We think when a franchise is in trouble, you try and fix the problems."

    Fix ? How ?

    Maybe move a couple of million people who care about hockey to the desert ?

    JB should buy the team promising not to move it. Then move to say KW. When the NHL tries to kick then out, he'll have a 2 word answer for them.

    Al Davis
  187. Cowtown Guy from Canada writes: Hopefully, whatever proceedings occur initiate, in whatever convoluted manner, the departure of Bettman, aka 'The Weasel" (no offense to that great wrestling manager Abdullah Farouk who coined 'The Weasel' long before Bettman sullied the NHL offices)

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