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Balsillie has a powerful ally

Globe and Mail Update

CBC is praying the RIM co-founder can add another Canadian team ...Read the full article

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  1. David P from Canada writes: Why is Al Strachan on CBC - does he serve a useful purpose anywhere? Too bad JD moved on to rebuild the Blues, at least he had some coherent thoughts on there...
  2. David C from a constant traveler from, Canada writes: Bettman is a buffoon. He reigned supreme over the departure of Quebec and Winnipeg, the year of non hockey and now this debacle.

    The only ice kids ever saw in winter in Phoenix was the cubes in the kool aid. The heart and soul of Hockey is in all of Canada as well as the northern US states.

    How can he say that a move to Hamilton would fail when his move to the US market was a complete debacle? Winnipeg, losing money, needed a bigger arena. Glendale, (Phoenix) losing money in a very big arena. Toronto, heaps of money, no playoff games and still selling out every night.

    Bettman is incompetent, let the game go where people WANT IT!
  3. Jim Labidio from Delhi, Canada writes: I'm sure CBC would like 4 more Canadian teams - but to call them an "ally" as if they've any dog in this hunt is a little silly and speculative
  4. joe q. taxpayer from Canada writes: I was living in Houston in the early 90's and I remember the Montreal Canadians were waiting for the winners of the LA - Toronto series. I was watching on ESPN and I remember the announcer saying quite clearly that "if LA loses this series then hockey is dead in the US." That was the game where Gretsky clearly tripped Doug Gilmore in front of the Leaf's goal. Both players stopped and looked at the ref who allowed play to continue. Gretsky picked up the loose puck and scored. LA went on to win but Montreal took them in 4.

    That bias in officiating continues today and it is how hte league (read Bettman) attempts to manipulate a market that doesn't exist in the Southern US.

    There will always be a team from the Southeastern US and the Southwestern US reach the playoffs, even further.
  5. J. K. GALBRAITH from Canada writes: David P: One can question a lot of the recent hires at CBC. These include Mike Milbury, P.J. Stock and Jeff Marek. All of them come across as third rate people. Thankfully, they have Elliot Friedman who does the best between period and post game interviews.
  6. Darren Thomson from Vancouver, Canada writes: Awww, Bruce, don't be hard on Bob Cole. It doesn't matter what he says. As long as he has that voice, I'll love listening to him call a hockey game. It's a bit like Vin Scully calling a baseball game. The voice alone does it.
  7. Peter Easton from Canada writes: CBC is truly losing it's grip on NHL telecasts. It's 'Hockey Night in Canada' product has gone down hill dramatically. They've lost the song, they've lost games to TSN, Bob Cole makes so many mistakes, Don Cherry has lost any and all relevance he may have had (I'm not one of those people that are down on Don all of the time, but I think I've reached my limit with him), Ron MacLean tries too hard to come up with clever tings to say to end segments (give it a break), AND they have Kelly Hrudey as an analyst???

    I enjoy TSN's broadcasts much more, and have even found myself watching NBC's broadcast instead of CBC's.
  8. Allan Hewitson from Kitimat, B.C., Canada writes: I agree calling the CBC an ally is a stretch, but it cannot hurt to have the long-standing CBC holds as a promoter of hockey, behind your bid. Balsillie's strategy is clearly interesting, planned and may possibly give him an edge. He obviously also caught the NHL off guard and embarrassed Napoleon. My question is, can a bankruptcy court have any standing in permitting a team move in the NHL. Q2 is how is it possible for the League to arbitrarily remove an owner from representing something he owns. There are clearly a whole lot of legal questions to be answered. But BIG money talks and big losers may want to walk when given the chance. All of the millionaire owners who are seeing their revenues used to bail out a bottomless boats must surely be in a dilemma watching the little Napoleon, their employee, make decisions that will cost them more and more money...not to menion legal bills. When you deal with lawyers, you only wind up in court. A lot of these guys originally owned their clubs as tax writeoffs -- now with the rest of the economy tanked, that's $$$$ they don't want going to the taxman. This will be an interesting summer. I dare suppose more millionaires will come out of their well-appointed lairs to look at what is going on.
  9. slapdash dapoint from harper is not a conservative, Canada writes: watching the caps/pens game the other night, i am continuously in awe of loud and into the game the washington fans have become - shows what icing an exciting team can do for an otherwise typically boring market.

    also, some envy when i compare it to the crowd at leafs games - pathetic.

    but, more importantly, i wonder how many people like me would pay (cbc, tsn, whoever) for an extra channel that aired games with audio from the arena only - no commentary. i'm tired of the buffoons on every channel either yammering on or calling plays mintues after they've happened. i'd rather just have all the nosies you'd get from being at the game.

    i'm canadian, i played AAA hockey growing up, my mom grew up in a rink watching my granpa play and ref, i'd say 99% of people who watch hockey on tv know enough about the game to not need the annoying voices from the networks.
  10. john doe from Canada writes: I suspect even betman will fall into line eventually. Only after he can prove to the world he was not bullied into this by Balsillie. I am cheering for Jim on this one and i think the rest of the country is as well.
  11. Paul Sallmen from Burnaby, BC, writes: slapdash dapoint from harper is not a conservative, Canada writes: "...to not need the annoying voices from the networks."

    Easy. Put your TV on mute. But you're right, the cheering fans add to the atmosphere. Just think, any TV station that broadcasts a hockey game in Canada without commentary will have a lot of viewers! You need a play-by-play for radio, but you do not need it for TV.
  12. John Doucette from Manotick, Canada writes: Its amazing how everyone casts the Buttman as the villain when the real power here is MLSE. The little Butt is doing exactly what the Leafs ownership, the most powerful franchise in the sport wants, then he and the Sabres management are cast as the evil duo for the gullible Canadian fans. What can one expect from Toronto sports journalists? Not much I'll guess.
  13. billy weathers from Canada writes: bruce you are a great hockey guy
    saw you on tvo
    you know ice hockey
    bettman and his band of brothers sold
    canada down the river
    la toronto playoff match
    gretzky was not penalized
    the start of the end
    ron maclean cozys up to bettman big time no
    al strachan is he a canadian or american
    bob cole loves the bruins hates montreal
    the cbc used to have a great hnic
    love don cherry
    maybe if basille doesnt get justice
    the cbc start its own new hockey show
    and basille and others start
    a new pro hockey league with teams in canada
    the cbc deserves better and should be lobbying for more teams in canada asap
    cheers
  14. billy weathers from Canada writes: i turn down the sound
    espcially bob cole who hatesthe habs
    strachan who hates change
    love milbury and cherry
    maybe mike and don
    can manage the new team
    mike milbury coach and gm
    wateriloo warriors
    now that would put the fear of god in the suits
    that run the nhl and the toronto maple leafs
    actual onwers who carer about winning
    about time
  15. gar gurr from Canada writes: My sentiments are like others Ron Maclean is so busy trying to impress the listeners with his vast knowledge of the game. if you listen closely you will find he has a way of directing the conversation to some point that he has obviously memorized before the game. Cherry is the real life model of a bully and Maclean cowers from him like a whipped dog. Kelly Rudy has far more playing knowledge than either of these overpaid actors.One billion taxpayers money to the CBC for this type of programming
  16. Louis Elias from Canada writes: Strachan, along Pierre Maquire are the worst hockey personalities I have ever witnessed. Strachs is indeed a dink. Pierre just sucks at what he does.
  17. Hap Stokes from Canada writes: David C from a constant traveler
    You Central Canadians have simply got to stop believing those Arizona Snowbirds Tourist travel brochures pal. For your info, it does snow in NM/AZ/Calif/Texas and damn near everywhere else in the southern US. In fact Flagstaff AZ has as much snow as Toronto does. Hell it even gets cold enough to freeze in Sonora and Bahia (Mexico) also. Incidentally Flagstaff has minor hockey and even produced one NHLer with the Canucks a few (6/8) years back.

    And hockey WOULD succeed in Phoenix and the young Coyotes are just about to prove it to you too. For they are getting very good and all the Desert Dogs need now is another 2/3 years, until they win the Stanley Cup. Which they will-! Then you'll see the rink packed (every night) even if they do have to drive all way to Glendale.

    Building any sports area in Glendale is DUMB.
    For Glendale is to Phoenix as Kanata is to Ottawa.

    And you can freeze ice cubes in Phoenix David. ANY night in Jan.

    But if the team is going any place, then move it back to Winnipeg.
  18. Hockeydad London from Canada writes: Allan Hewitson, good question. I have posted on other related sites that the NHL oldboys network "rules" now may be subject to the requirement that the trustee maximize the return for the creditors. If doing so means moving the team, so ordered by the court and to hell with the NHL's rules.
  19. slapdash dapoint from harper is not a conservative, Canada writes: Paul Sallmen from Burnaby, BC, writes:
    Easy. Put your TV on mute.

    --

    tried mute. tried mute with radio commentary. tried mute with music. just odd.
  20. B, Ont. Canada from Canada writes: I wonder just how much the new Blackberry team will have to fork out to the Leafs and Sabres.

    I am sure that Hamilton is sweating this out by the buckets if there is any truth that the maybe new owner has ask Hamilton if they are interested in having the team?
  21. Mr. Green-Jeans from Calgary, AB, Canada writes: But what can top Mike Milbury calling Al Strachan "a dink" in their Lincoln/ Douglas debate last Saturday?

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

    While Strachan may be annoying, Milbury is just a stupid egotistical A$$. why they have him on is beyond me.
  22. Chris M from Vancouver, writes: I don't know what to make of Bettman. I know he wants to grow the league in American markets. Forget Southern Ontario. I want to know why, with zero grassroots efforts (especially beforehand), someone got the brilliant idea to have NHL teams in markets like Arizona, Carolina and Florida. At least the other state that doesn't get snow had Wayne Gretzky. Either Bettman and the owners know something I don't, but if you want to grow the league in the US, I can think of at least 2 or 3 other more suitable markets, Seattle at the top of the list. If this is an issue of the Leafs wanting to preserve their back yard, the Commish should get some stugots, make a statement and tell the league, the sponsors and the fans what's going on. He could easily become a hero to us all. Why he's chosen to destroy the NHL from an entertainment and business perspective, whether it's for Toronto's benefit or not, is beyond me. The lockout and the resulting salary cap treated the symptom and not the disease. The problem was that the richer teams at the top were vastly overpaying for mediocre players (often to their own detriment), driving salaries through the roof, and at the same time you had teams you'd need be clinically retarded to believe they could compete even under less ridiculous circumstances. So now we have a salary cap that temporarily protects an unsustainable system - I think Bettman's been hanging out with George W. Bush and Barack Obama's economists. I'm sorry Mr. Bettman, but if you moved a team from a supposedly unsustainable market in Winnipeg to a market with NO SNOW, no fan base, no celebrity hockey player (Gretzky just isn't enough anymore) and a rink miles away from city centre because you thought it was good for the health of the league - you're not a consultant for the Big 3 or AIG, are you? To quote another guy with the same IQ as Gary, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice.... For once, do the right thing. Give Jim Barsillie his team. NOW.
  23. Panta Rei from Albania writes: what the NHL management does not understand is that YOU CAN T STOP PEOPLE NOT TO CAME TO YOUR GAMES. Now the Bettman solution : Let s expand the league to Africa , I am sure it will go well. Some have more money than brains.
  24. Russell Koehler from Calgary, Canada writes: The CBC's hockey converage is really only relevant in central Canada so I can see why they would like another team in that market. For regular season hockey games out west, Sportsnet offers more televised games dedicated to the specific market the game is broadcast in. For the playoffs, I was very impressed with TSN's coverage of the Flames / Blackhawks series and enjoyed hearing the old HNIC theme song! In my opinion the CBC is great if you're a Leafs fan and is irrelevant to everyone else.
  25. Chris M from Vancouver, writes: LOL...if Bettman will put 2 teams in southern Florida and another in Phoenix and worked so hard to get a hard cap to shove hockey down the throats of people who would rather golf or lay on the beach, why not Africa? As long as the owners of those teams are from western canada, he couldn't care less. In Bettman's perfect world, bad teams are necessary to provide easy games for teams in big eastern US markets. Every cup winner since 1994 has been a team on the US east coast. You can't support a team in a non-hockey market without championships. Even if that makes the NHL just as irrelevant as the WWF/E, it's a business...bad business, but business nonetheless. Every time Phoenix or Tampa beats Vancouver, Canucks fans paid for it. You can't sustain a league that is run like Robin Hood and his merry men. Rob from Canadian hockey fans, give to the Arizona Cardinals fan, because as bad as the Cards are, you still need to offer him/her free beer and pizza and limo to the game to even make him consider showing up. Buy a TB Lightning ticket in '04 to the finals and get free seasons tickets and coupons for concessions next year. Sure it's a free market (or WAS) and ticket prices shouldn't necessarily be mandated, but you don't expect in a healthy league with all teams competing and making money that Vancouver fans pay over $100 for tickets that TB fans pay $25-30 for (and the team loses money). That's not capitalism - that's bad business. If we're paying that much in Vancouver to see Taylor Pyatt's new tan, let's just be honest about what this is about, because it's not about hockey or good business. Balsillie won't get a team because the NHL board of directors and owners have proven they're not smart enough to know how to run a successful league. Forget Jim, let's bail people out with other people's money. Are NHL HQs in Washington or New York, because I forget.
  26. D Burgess from Vancouver, Canada writes: Bob Cole hasn't been able to remember the names and numbers of anyone outside the Northeast Division in years. How many times have you heard '...the, um, Calgary player...', (insert the name of any non-northeast team). His day was done when he referred to Team Canada at Nagano as 'the Leafs'. He's an embarrassment....

    Hughson is the man, and ought to be given all HNIC flagship games.
  27. Remain Nameless from Canada writes: Fool! The CBC TV show is called "Hinterland Who's Who", not "Wilderness Who's Who".
  28. Hockey Fan from Canada writes: I still like Bob Cole.
    I think he corrected himself anyways.
    Fat face = goalie mask...

    Long live Bob Cole.
  29. J M from Superduperhockeyville, Canada writes: Toronto will NEVER EVER let this happen. They should move it to Winnipeg so it can go completely broke there. Winnipeg being such a hot market and all. Oh yeah, but of course it was a conspiracy. Yeah, I get it. Hockey is not a business, it's part of our identity. The government should appeal to the UN to bring all the US teams to Canada so that even North Bay gets an NHL team. I guess it's all Harper's fault.
  30. belsize park from United States writes: but brucie... bob cole is THE BEST...
    if u disagree, try listening to a game on versus....
  31. John Stevens from London Ontario, Canada writes: I agree that HNIC is losing it. TSN is better and RDS is the best. Bob Cole needs to take his I KNOW Everything voice to the retirement home because he misses too much. As a Habs fan I love RDS but its not because they cheer lead. They recognize a good team that is clearly outplaying the Habs. TSN is the Toronto Sports Network and I'm sure the Maple fans love them.

    Whatever happened to HNIC's the this week it's the Maples next week is the Canadiens???
  32. ron from hamtown from the strat, Canada writes: Interesting that an old CBC hand like Dowbiggin would trash the place that gave him his "reputation". But that's not my point. My points are 1. TSN's panel is a joke; ex-coaches flashing their resumes at every opportunity or showing why they are ex-coaches (are you reading Laviolette?) 2. Pierre Maguire needs to be a little more objective; he has a new player crush every game and 3. For the information of those of you from the west, CBC has an excellent game featuring a Canadian team from the NW division every Saturday night and, even better, it does not have Bob Cole
  33. Hap Stokes from Canada writes: J M from Superduperhockeyville, Canada writes: Toronto will NEVER EVER let this happen. They should move it to Winnipeg so it can go completely broke there. Winnipeg being such a hot market and all.
    ===
    Perhaps Scot (fm Winnipeg) can correct me or inform us all if the Moose do or do not have the highest attendance in the AHL.--But JM if that is accurate then what makes you think the Jets (nee Coyotes) would go tits-up in Manitoba? And what do you mean by that Toronto style skepticism of poking 'Hot Market' jabs at Winnipeg? What have those Toronto media smart a$$es told you?--Do you think Winterpeggers are all on Welfare and UIC Cheques? Nope they are a rich town buddy and getting richer everyday.

    Suspect the real ML reluctance is:--If S.Ont had the very good Coyotes winning in the easier East and always in the play-offs year after year, then the never winning Muffle Loafers would finally have to build a team just to do that funny thing called 'COMPETE' or have M/T butts in MSLE (which they truly deserve). The Leafs have become the real joke of the NHL, not Phoenix or Tampa.

    Now that you are a 'Have Not' Province, suggest you don't pi$$ those rich Winnipeg'ers off or they won't send you Poor Boys any more money.
  34. Ross g from Canada writes: CHRIS M- 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.
  35. Hockeydad London from Canada writes: Chris M. & Ross g, great and insightful posts. This is not about Gary Bettman, he is but a creature of the owners. The holy grail of the NHL has been a national U.S. tv contract. Gary kept himself alive with the cost certainty of the new CBA, even though it cost hockey fans a year. Remember, it was the NHL shuting down, not a strike by the players. And look where cost certainty has got them. Low revenue teams like Phonex cannot earn enough to keep up with the rising payroll. If the economic collapse had not occurred, perhaps teams like this would struggle on in hopes of that big tv cheque. Now times have changed and Gary and the owners, as you pointed oout Ross, do not want to let go of that dream. A bankruptcy court may change their minds however. The trustee must maximize the return for the creditors, if that means moving the team, so be it. That is why the NHL is saying that the owner's deal with them prevented him from declaring bankruptcy with respect to the team. They know the risk to the old boys "rules" that a court decision would be.
  36. King Buzzo from Canada writes: To J M from Superduperhockeyville : North Bay should have a team.
  37. Matthew McKenzie from Thunder Bay, Canada writes: Supposedly just after the Stanley Cup finals in 1989, the last time two Canadian teams met to battle for the Stanley Cup, an executive from the NHL told Time magazine that it would be the last time two Canadian teams would ever meet for the Stanley Cup.

    And the botched call in the LA-Toronto series is just one example. Another was not allowing that goal in Game 6 during the Calgary-Tampa Bay series which would have given Calgary the Stanley Cup. I am sure Bettman was relieved when that call was made and Tampa went on to win the cup. Is it any wonder it has been 16 years since a Canadian team last won a Stanley Cup.

    And consider the situation when they won the Stanley Cup in 1993. Brian Mulroney was still Prime Minister, the Detroit three were making money and we were just coming off of a recession.

    I am almost starting to think that the NHL is the new WWE. Only Vince McMahon comes out and says that it is sports entertainment and that "winners" are pre-determined.
  38. Sydney Goldberg from Canada writes: TSN is a much better presentation and living in Vancouver I truly wish they were doing our games. Imagine a Canadian Network that did not have Ron Mclean doing his best Chicago Blackhawk cheerleading chant. It is clear that the people's network not only wants another team in Toronto which is fine, but is furious that the one in Vancouver continues how dare they to compete. The Cayotes did not make the playoffs this year and finished with a less than stellar record, so the Toronto Broadcasting Corporation would still not have an Eastern team on their schedule. Should all the Eastern Canadian teams miss the playoff's what will Bruce Dowbiggin, Gary Bettman and Scott Moore do. Next they will demand the Canucks move to Toronto. I have a better idea improve the Leafs, Canadians and Senators and your problem will be solved with out without a new team. Sydney Joel Goldberg
  39. 5and man from Toronto, Canada writes: Basillie will probably lose this battle.

    BUT FRET NOT!
    There are least 3 US NHL franchises that are in deep financial trouble.
    So, if not Phoenix, there will be other opportunities!
  40. Erik Richards from Winnipeg, Manitoba, writes: What will it take for the Governors to lose this Bettmann pipsqueak? I still remember yelling at the radio some 10 or 15 years ago when he was thinking about changing the number of periods to 4.

    Why the NHL thinks it's a good idea to prop up sunbelt teams like Phoenix is beyond me. You'd think they'd have better things to do with their money. Lighting their cigars with C-notes would be cheaper than keeping the Coyotes down there. Move it to where there are real hockey fans.

    Seriously - can we not get rid of this guy?
  41. wayne powers from saskatoon, writes: I have to laugh at all these sports announcers who say Basillie has made this personal between he and Bettman, with his announcement yesterday. Wasn't it the wee one who at the 11th hour added a no movement clause to the Pittsburgh deal. And wasn't it Bettman who worked out the very strange deal in Nashville with his buddy Boots (now a convicted felone) and the Wild owners.
    No I think the first shots in this war came from the little dictator, who is following the long line of crooked NHL commisoners with dirty deals with shady con men.
  42. Carl Hansen from Canada writes: The Moose attendance is irrelevant. It varies from 6600 to 15,015. The NHL would sell out in Winnipeg but of course that would depend on the price of the tickets. At 200 million for a team and 300 million for an arena I don't see how the numbers work in most markets.
  43. Derek Holtom from Swan River, Canada writes: 1. who cares what the CBC wants. public money so they can cover the NHL and save their station no one watches? wah wah
    2. Carl Hansen from Canada writes: The Moose attendance is irrelevant. It varies from 6600 to 15,015. The NHL would sell out in Winnipeg but of course that would depend on the price of the tickets.
    ---
    that's the thing, isn't? i'd like some proof that wpg has the deep pockets to afford season tickets. i just don't see it. prove me wrong
  44. Fred S from Blackberryland, Canada writes: CBC may love the idea, but they are as good if not better at losing money (HNIC notwithstanding) as the Coyotes.

    TSN & RogersSportsNet would also obviously be thrilled, but in the big scheme of things are minor players...

    The real ally to Balsillie and the key to whether this goes through is none other than the current Coyotes head coach & part owner, Wayne Gretzky.

    He is the one guy who can make Bettman & Co. back down and win for Balsilliein the court of public opinion by supporting this move, and while he might want to stay in Phoenix & keep the team there, he must realize financially, after so many years of trying even with a new arena, it simply is not viable.

    His career & life comes full circle to the backyard where he grew up - and he finally connects with an owner who appears to have a bit more credibility than pocklington or mcnall or moyes.

    Balsilliie's brilliant gambit most certainly has to have gotten Gretzky onside with this deal before he went ahead.

    Gary Bettman has finally met his Waterloo...
  45. 5and man from Toronto, Canada writes: Re: Fred S from Blackberryland, Canada

    Yes, having Gretzky will be a plus and a great PR move ... but, Gretzky's influence is nominal at best when it comes to moving a franchise.

    Gretzky has nothing to do with any upcoming US court hearings over this matter. And, Gretzky knows to "shut up" as there is no guarantee that Balsillie will win.
  46. mario hammer from toronto, Canada writes: I love these people who say get the NHL back on ESPN and all will be well. Cause we all know how great the reception for the NHL was when they were on that network, lol.
  47. Nick Be from Toronto, Canada writes: no matter how the Bettman tries to make the NHL a north american sport , it just will not happend. The strenght of the NHL lies in Canada and a couple of northern states. The rest are mear sideline events. NHL has limited appeal . It can never out perform Basketball, its only competitor.
  48. M D from GTA, Canada writes: gbettman@nhl.com

    NHL League offices: (212) 789-2000
  49. Peter Stern from Canada writes: Chris M... regarding your statement "if Bettman will put 2 teams in southern Florida and another in Phoenix and worked so hard to get a hard cap to shove hockey down the throats of people who would rather golf or lay on the beach, why not Africa?"

    Well he has to expand hockey to Mexico and South America first... LOL.

    Yessiree... when I take a trip to Cancun, hockey is the first thing on my mind... LOL.

    And lets not forget the top city Bettman wants a team in... Las Vegas.

    When I went to Las Vegas, while looking at the cocktail waitresses, I recall wishing 'vegas had a hockey team. Yep... I remember thinking that to myself all of ZERO times. I'm sure 'Vegas will be a "Really Big" market for hockey. Yep... Bettman thinks that people would go to a hockey game in a cold area there rather than gamble, see a show or party...
  50. Red Ruffensore from Port Coquitlam, Canada writes: "It's a bit like Vin Scully calling a baseball game. The voice alone does it. " Yeah, but Darren - I don't think Vin Scully ever tried to give the Dodgers a win after only 5 innings. The kind of lapses that Cole seems to be having more frequently these days are understandable in a man of his age. But not of a top flight play-by-play man. He has nothing to prove - he's really done it all. Now's the time for Bob Cole to call it a career. It's been a great one; I hope he doesn't leave the lingering memory of a guy who went out at the bottom of his game instead of the top.

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