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New group emerges in bid for Hamilton NHL team

Globe and Mail Update

A second group wants to move an ailing NHL team to Hamilton, in this case the Atlanta Thrashers, according to reports ...Read the full article

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  1. Sil T from Mississauga, Canada writes: This is too funny. Enter the Bettman...
  2. Robert Cameron from Canada writes: Oh yeah, a WAAAAAY better owner than Balsillie! However, Bettman will probably do anything to block Balsillie, I wouldn't put this past him. In fact, I would bet against this being a defensive move on Bettman's part. ie. move a team to Hamilton on HIS terms, thereby thwarting Balsillie.

    Nothing shocks me anymore about the NHL.
  3. Liam Smith from Canada writes: "I'm in the Napa Valley right now drinking wine," Skalbania said Saturday afternoon. "I have zero comment. Goodbye."

    What an awesome line.
  4. J. Bergin from Canada writes: Winnipeg and Quebec City better get moving or there won't be any bankrupt teams left.
  5. Jeremy K from Burnaby, Canada writes: IN YOUR FACE BALSILLIE

    this is great
    so entertaining
  6. Dude Love from Canada writes: Which teams are "financially strapped"?

    1. Pheonix Coyotes
    2. Atlanta Thrashers
    3. Florida Panthers
    4. Tampa Bay Lighting
    5. Nashville Predators
    6. ???
  7. Ballin Munson from toronto, Canada writes: Face it, if the NHL’ s “fringe” owners (not the owners of the older teams, but even there, one has to wonder) are suing each other, going broke, and Nelson Skalbania is considered a serious potential owner, the NHL has got deeper issues than keeping the franchise “rules” in working order.
    The NHL is the most marginal of big league sports in North America. Perhaps this downturn has smoked out the wannabe’s etc. from those who can truly afford being in the club.
    Just as the “big three’ auto makers have to re – adjust downward their cost structure (almost daily news announcement), perhaps the NHL has to go back the days when old man Norris could sign Gordie Howe for $2,500, and a leather jacket.
    Seriously, it wasn’t that long ago, when NHLer’s had to go home to Timmins for the summer and plant trees to make ends meet. The average salary was something a regularly employed person in the stands could comprehend. These days, Guys from Magnitogorsk, who score 7 goals and 9 assists over 82 games, earn millions a year. Pathetic.
  8. Rainbow Warrior Aka Aka Crayola King from Canada writes: Are there any folks from Hamilton here?

    What do you think about this?

    Is there a viable market for NHL there?
  9. Ian Victor from Victoria, Canada writes: Ifthe NHL gets in bed with Skalbania they'll be very very sorry. He is a convicted criminal with a horrid record as a sports franchise owner. Wake up NHL - and start by getting rid of the little man in the commish office.
  10. Jenn D from Gatineau QC, Canada writes: If Atlanta moves to Hamilton, the NHL should award Atlanta another team. They seem to be a potentially good source of Canadian hockey teams.
  11. bob london from Canada writes: Old man Galardi would have a heart attack to see Nelson in the family bed. Socred and Dipper. Gilardi is a good family......... Nelson?......... Family a house built of cards ,

    Go Jim Go....
  12. Ray Heard from Canada writes: All I can say is that these legal proceedings are so complicated that
    only the lawyers will comprehend the jargon, aka journalese, which is why Dicckens and Shakespare had such low regard for them.
  13. Tom Henderson from Canada writes: this is just the mayor of hamilton playing the negotiating game - trying to create a market for the use of Copps...

    Atlanta is at least a year away from resolving the status of their ownership fiasco...
  14. Jeff Biggs from Hamilton, Canada writes: In response to Rainbow Warrior - the market isn't so much Hamilton, it's that it would draw people weekly from everywhere between Waterloo, Niagara Falls and Toronto. We're dealing with 6 or 7 million people here, a significant number of whom would love to see an NHL game but can't get tickets. The only reason Balsillie wants Hamilton is that he can get access to an arena that could be used immediately for one season, then be renovated relatively cheaply for another 10, by which time he'd have the financing to build one on his own.

    As much as I'd love to see this happen, I don't think that it will. It would be too good for Hamilton - good things don't happen to this city very often.
  15. john shantz from Canada writes: Since when did Bettman worry about the character of team owners. Skalbania would be a good fit .
  16. Jah Nee Kah Sun from Canada writes: Habs at Hamilton Thrashers...can't wait....or Kitchener Coyotes
  17. Montgomery C. Burns from Springfield, Canada writes: Last team to leave the southern U.S. please shut the barn door.
  18. Peter Herbert from thunder bay, writes: Skalbania seems to have the pedigree Bettman likes.
  19. Jack Rip from Canada writes: Awesome! 2 NHL teams in Hamilton! Nelson Skalbania is a convicted felon. He should fit right in there with the NHL Owners Club.
  20. B-rock W from Canada writes: Rainbow Warrior Aka Aka Crayola King from Canada writes: Are there any folks from Hamilton here?

    What do you think about this?

    Is there a viable market for NHL there?
    ______________________________________________

    There's a huge market! I live about 30 min away. You have tons from Toronto plus some (Hamilton, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, I wouldn't doubt people from further out) If ticket prices are reasonable, It will be a sell out crowd! Guarenteed. Why do you think Balsillie is offering so much money (almost double what it's valued) It's because he knows there's a ton of money to be made. He's a business man.
  21. j wilson from vancouver, Canada writes:
    skalbaniahahahahahaha......

    cue bruce mcnall
  22. Shawn Mckone from Calgary, Canada writes: Haha poor poor Bettman, he has been trying for so long to sugar coat and protect the expansion into the sunbelt. He really needs to wake up and take control of situation. Teams will be re-locating, it's whether the whole process needs to look like more of a disaster then necessary.
  23. Doug Lippay from Sunderland, Canada writes: It's the Gretzky curse....Skalbania, Pocklington, McNall, Moyes, all either in jail, or broke or both...
  24. Accountant from Toronto from Canada writes: so i think mississauga should build a stadium... and then three NHL teams side by side
  25. AU GT from United States writes: Only an idiot would put a hockey team in Atlanta. Georgia residents will spend the next 3 years looking for the ZINKHAN! They have no time for hockey.....
  26. Goose Bay Resident Canada from Canada writes: Jeff Biggs from Hamilton, Canada writes: In response to Rainbow Warrior - the market isn't so much Hamilton, it's that it would draw people weekly from everywhere between Waterloo, Niagara Falls and Toronto. We're dealing with 6 or 7 million people here, a significant number of whom would love to see an NHL game but can't get tickets. The only reason Balsillie wants Hamilton is that he can get access to an arena that could be used immediately for one season, then be renovated relatively cheaply for another 10, by which time he'd have the financing to build one on his own. As much as I'd love to see this happen, I don't think that it will. It would be too good for Hamilton - good things don't happen to this city very often. ================================================ Jeff don't sell Hamilton short. My wife is from Hamilton and we lived there for a number of years in the late eighties and early nineties. We still travel back there quite often and if I have almost convinced her we should move back and open up an additional location for our business which we probably will within two years. I will definitely be buying season tickets if it you are successful in getting a team. However, I would have to get up to speed on the what has happened in the NHL over the past decade or so. I have not watched a NHL game since Hamilton was blocked in earlier attempts to get a team. Have a super weekend.
  27. Vic Vegas from Gangville, BC, Canada writes: Nelson Skalbania? Was Sammy Gravano not available?
  28. Ken From home from Canada writes: No Worries people Gary B will not let any team into any Canadain Market...
  29. Turning Right from Canada writes: Nelson Skalbania as part of an ownership group. That is way too funny. Problem is the NHL maybe more receptive to someone who owned a NHL team once before even if his financial credibility is somewhat questionable. Questionable owns fits the NHL criteria better. I am routing for Jim.
  30. G. Rhodes from Canada writes: didn't skalbania drink himself to death years ago??? guess not...Hamilton you don't need this "wine drinker" in your town..Period!!! its called Trouble and then some...
  31. Witty Name from Canada writes: What is it with the NHL attracting owners who end up/start with legal issues (Boots Del Baggio, Bruce McNall, Melnyck, Harold Ballard, Henry Samueli, Pocklington)?
  32. Alex Black from New York, United States writes: Now this is certainly interesting...
  33. garth mckenzie from Canada writes: What happens when the Kitchener Doormats get the No. 1 pick and Skalbania loses him in a poker game to one of the other owners? (Some say it was backgammon).

    Skalbania is so wreckless he went all-in with Gretzky, is the point.

    In other words, he's perfect for the NHL cabal of owners.
  34. The Habs from Canada writes: Too bad the NHL can't figure out a way to have some cities to have two teams working out of one arena.
  35. f g from Canada writes: Southern Ontario could definitely support a second NHL team, but Hamilton is not the the best market.

    I spent the day in DT Hamilton today and let me tell you, it's one depressing, non affluent and ugly place... makes Winnipeg look like a jewel.

    The second NHL franchise should be located somewhere in York region. There's plenty of land to build a new arena and is home to the most rabid hockey fans in the world.
  36. Hockeydad London from Canada writes: A perfect NHL owner. Bye bye Boots hello Skalbania. See a pattern here?
  37. Jeremy K from Burnaby, Canada writes: If Balsillie's bid starts to falter and this one starts to look promising then we will get an interesting look into the mind of Balsillie. Will he try and block this bid in order to keep the Hamilton franchise to himself? Does he truly care that Hamilton has a team in spite of his lack of involvement? Is he about hockey in Hamilton or Balsillie the hero of Ontario hockey fans? - litmus test ahead.
  38. ron from hamtown from the strat, Canada writes: Failing franchises in non-hockey markets, expensive, unnecessary, costly court battles, keeping hockey franchises out of Canada = Gary Bettman's legacy (oh yeah, there was an entire season lost).
  39. Pamphleteer . from Canada writes: lol, bettman's house of cards is starting to fall down...
  40. John Samuel from St. Paul, United States writes: Nelson Skalbania? Gary Bettman has now officially "jumped the shark."
  41. Jenn D from Gatineau QC, Canada writes: With all these teams in the US on thin ice...pun intended, Canadian fans should not only push for teams in Hamilton, Winnipeg, Quebec and somewhere else in the GTA, but I think it would be nifty to bring back the Montreal Maroons.

    I'm sure Canada can support 15 NHL teams. I think the six NHL teams still in Canada are doing that now on their own.
  42. Terry Terry from Brantford, Canada writes: I wouldn't be surprised if Hamilton gets a couple more knocks at the door during the summer. I think we're seeing the domino effect here.

    Nelson Skalbania?! Fred, don't let the guy stink up the Mayor's office. .... be very afraid!
  43. Chris Michaels from Canada writes: Boy....tough spot for Gary now. Pick your poison -- legit owner that you don't like, or another jailbird.

    My guess is the convict will get Gary's ear first. Maybe the Mussitano family will buy in too.

    Ridiculous. Sounds like a team is coming here -- Bettman and his band of stodgy merry men should get used to it.
  44. Coach rich from Vancouver, Canada writes: What's w/ Hamilton getting all the bankrupt hockey love!!! Surely there must be other Canadian hockey cities willing to pay for the hockey love. Where's the 'Peg???
  45. Chris Michaels from Canada writes: Oh...and an addendum. Hopefully this shuts the sushi-filled mouths of many of you Hogtowners who have decided to rip into Hamilton.

    Apparently eyes are starting to open.
  46. Carl Hansen from Canada writes: Nelson Skalbania. HaHa!
  47. Michael S from Canada writes: This is turning out to be Gary's very bad no good week.
  48. Bill Hopkins from London, Canada writes: Actually, Bettman's plan is to move Toronto and Montreal to Baton Rouge and Little RocK.
  49. Dave Jansen - The Progressive Centrist from Canada writes: .

    It will never happen folks!!!

    If Hamilton gets a professional hockey team, Toronto will be demanding one as well.
  50. Dave Jansen - The Progressive Centrist from Canada writes: Accountant from Toronto from Canada writes: so i think mississauga should build a stadium... and then three NHL teams side by side

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

    The market is big enough to handle three professional teams. Create a 100 km buffer around each city - Hamilton, Mississauga, Toronto - and you have almost 8-9 million people - all great hockey fans who can never get access to a leafs game because tickets are impossible to come by.

    I say get it together for the next season and make it happen!
  51. bill d from sarnia, Canada writes: Watch Bettman throw them all a curve and allow a move of Phoenix to Portland, OR. Portland is also a viable market.
  52. I, Alafrate from Canada writes: Between the article where Shoalts gets the run-around from a mall cop on a golf cart to Nelson Sklabania's brush-off and the comments on this thread, I'm enjoying this a lot more than I have enjoyed the actual NHL for years.

    I've now come to realize the Coyotes won't move, the NHL will expand to 32 teams, and Hamilton will get a dud expansion franchise (at the cost of ~$400MM), and some other poor schlub will get left holding the bag in Phoenix.
  53. John Bladen from Canada writes:
    Hmmmn.

    Well, being a professional journalist, I'm sure Mr. Shoalts has done his homework... but so far I see a connection between Gagliardi and Skalbania (maybe), and perhaps one to Hamilton's mayor... but no connection at all between the Thrashers ownership and either party...

    Hmmmn. Mr. Shoalts, don't you need to own a team before you can move it? Any evidence the two "purchasers" (assuming Skalbo has any dough these days) have contacted the owners, or that the ownership group would sell to them? Didn't think so...

    All those saying Skalbania would be a perfect fit for the NHL owner's club, you are absolutely right... Spano, Regis, del Biaggio, McNall, Samueli, Ballard, the list just goes on and on... and that's just the financial wrongdoing crowd... if we include felony counts as well... well, too bad the G&M has a space limit for posts...
  54. EJ Ravensbud from Canada writes: A lot of posters here are gung ho for Hamilton to get a team. Will these same posters shell out 50 - 150 bucks a game for 40 plus games a season to watch a crappy hockey team be it Atlanta or Phoenix? The Bulldogs were as good as both these teams this year and hardly anyone went to the games.
  55. f g from Canada writes: Chris Michaels .... don't get ahead of yourself.

    It's not about Hamilton, but rather about the GTA being able to support another team. Mississauga, which has a pop of over 700K, and other 905 cities are all factored into the equation.

    As per my earlier post, I think a team in York region would be much more viable than one in rusty Steel Town.
  56. Tim Johnson from United States writes: I hope Hamilton gets the Coyotes. That means the Wings will have two conference teams in their own conference. Can't handle these 10:30 p.m. worknight games in Anahiem.
  57. Cactus Puck from Canada writes: At least the hockey writers at the Globe have something besides the playoffs to write about.

    So who's next? Bruce McNall or Harold Ballard's offspring?
  58. The Last Honest Conservative from Canada writes:
    Atlanta Thrashers ?

    Is there really such a team in the NHL ?
  59. joe kelly from Canada writes: I'm working on a bid right now myself...
  60. joe kelly from Canada writes: ...we're at the Rebel House. So far we've got $340 plus an '89 Honda Civic as a downpayment. And there's still 2 hours to last call. Anyone got Bettman's number?
  61. Link Hogbrow from Canada writes:

    McNall, Boots, Pocks, Skalbania, Ballard.

    ... Thats the joke I have no joke.
  62. Ronnieblue Acacia from Edmonton, Canada writes: No one seemed to mention that the owner of the Nashville predators is under serious investigation. of course this was after he was awarded the franchise to stay in Nashville. His partners are suing him but Bettman and the other owners still want to keep the team there even though they've been losing money again. And since they didn't make the playoffs this year, I can imagine the fan support in 2010.
  63. J S from Canada writes: Hamilton would be a great place for an NHL team! I thought Harold Ballard was wrong when he said that Hamilton would take away business from Toronto or Buffalo. Toronto sells out every game whether they win or not. You pretty much need to know a season ticket holder, have tickets given to you by a corporation or win them at an auction in order to go. Hamilton is just down the street and would also fill every seat every night and would give more people the opportunity to go to a game.
  64. D Peters from Alberta, Canada writes: Nelson Skalbania....LOL....he is as big a crook as Murray Pezim....let the RIM guy get it at least he seems legit rather than this bunch of bandits
  65. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: f g from Canada writes: Southern Ontario could definitely support a second NHL team, but Hamilton is not the the best market.

    I spent the day in DT Hamilton today and let me tell you, it's one depressing, non affluent and ugly place... makes Winnipeg look like a jewel.

    The second NHL franchise should be located somewhere in York region. There's plenty of land to build a new arena and is home to the most rabid hockey fans in the world.

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

    What do you think would happen to the area around Copps if an NHL team was playing there?

    Only Hamilton and Winnipeg have anything close to NHL ready arenas in Canada.

    Balsillie et al should be presenting plans on the arenas they are about to build. That would get the NHL's attention.
    ============

    EJ Ravensbud from Canada writes: A lot of posters here are gung ho for Hamilton to get a team. Will these same posters shell out 50 - 150 bucks a game for 40 plus games a season to watch a crappy hockey team be it Atlanta or Phoenix? The Bulldogs were as good as both these teams this year and hardly anyone went to the games.
    ===========

    EJ... check out manitoba myth busters dot com.

    They put together a great analysis on the math that is the NHL.

    No team charges what the Leafs do. Only the Leafs can get away with it. The whole key is to sell out the arena..... prices are negotiable.

    Cheers
  66. Larry Hill from Canada writes: Lets face it. With the new economy, there will be a new CBA guaranteed. And that will put a lot of Canadian locations back into the running.

    It is either that, or an extreme contraction. So, the ball is in the owners court. Do they face reality and start paying what the market truly is, or do they bring salaries down.

    Professional baseball will face the same thing. Do you want to see the Dodgers vs. the Yankess every year (whether they are the only teams or not, they will be the only ones that can afford the payroll) or do you want NA wide content?
  67. dan donahue from wpg, Canada writes: The entire model is about to crash and yes there will be teams in Quebec and Winnipeg shortly. If but one team is allowed to move, watch the exodus begin and salaries are also about to take a boot to the head as well.
    The times are a changing
  68. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: dan donahue ....

    All the other cities will have to build arenas... including Quebec City.

    I stand by my initial comment.... only Winnipeg and Hamilton have an arena even close to NHL standards.

    Winnipeg is pushing it on seating capacity... but I believe it was designed to add another level of seats. Hamilton is archaic and will require 1.5m (minimum) of renovations to accommodate the NHL.

    Hell of a gamble in Canada to build an arena and hope they will come.

    Cheers
  69. Bill Weston from Grand Rapids, MI, United States writes: This from the Atlanta Journal Constitution in an interview with Thrashers GM Waddel:

    "Waddell cited several reasons the Thrashers won’t move. The Atlanta Spirit is currently involved in litigation with co-owner Steve Belkin that must be resolved. The naming rights to Philips Arena are tied to it housing both an NHL and an NBA franchise. Also, according to Waddell, the ownership group signed a commitment letter to the league to keep the team in Atlanta a specified number of years. Waddell would not disclose the number of years left on the letter but said it was “multiple.”
  70. Miles Vermillion from Canada writes: Great Comments here.

    Actually, the idea of Hamilton getting a NHL franchise is pretty good. The people of Hamilton will support the team a hell of a lot better than Southern US states (let's face it - Southern Americans like basketball and football and will never really understand Hockey). Winnipeg also will make for a great franchise expansion. They have a great fan support for the Blue Bombers and would most likely transfer that love of local team to a new Winnipeg NFL team. The different seasons sure helps.

    Which brings me to my real dream.... Could the current machinations of the powers that be create the perfect sports storm that would enable Saskatchewan to field a NFL team? Those that laugh at the suggestion would be wise to do a bit of research on Saskatchewan Roughrider support and the present and future Saskatchewan economy. Cross-marking and cross cost sharing, etc. etc. etc. between two Saskatchean sports teams could be quite interesting. Remember - CFL Football in Spring/Summer/Fall and NFL in October/Winter/ Spring.

    Besides the obvious support for professional sports in Saskatchewan, the economic future of the province is very, very good from an Global economic point.

    Any comments on the birth of a Saskatchewan NFL team....

    Miles Vermillon
  71. J. Michael from Canada writes: Hamilton should have had a team over 20 years ago. This is way overdue.
  72. Steve Church from Canada writes: Hotstove covered it tonight - despite all the struggles in Atlanta, and the hope for an injection of capital from an additonal (or new) ownership, they're not interest in moving. Finito. This Vcr gang is another group of investors who have crunched the spreadsheet and realize they could scoop a new franchise without paying the expansion fee. There's also forces that did the analysis on the timing, and the distraction to Balsillie's gameplan. The mayor of Hamilton has gone from beggar to chooser ... or at least the illusion is there. The other play in motion is Wang and the Islanders. Without a new arena, he could demand a move ... and if triage push came to shove, it's possible the endgame could feature the NHL itself working with all the interests in Suntario (incl Buffalo) to crowbar an Islanders relocation.
  73. Huey Freeman from Mississauga, Canada writes: This has to be a joke. Some rich guy from who knows where and Nelson Skanbania just announce they are going to buy the Thrashers and move them to Hamilton and it gets front page news. Hey Globe I am going to buy the Edmonton Oilers and I going to move them to Oshawa...yeah that's the ticket. Maybe this playoff fever is starting to get to peoples heads.

    In the end there will be a team in Phoenix and a team in Atlanta and Gary Bettman will live happily ever after...The End. And Canadian hockey fans will be played like stooges again.
  74. Larry Hill from Canada writes: Miles Vermillion from Canada writes: Great Comments here

    Sorry, Mike. Aint gonna happen. The smallest operation in the NFL now is Green Bay. And there is no way that SK can come up with number that would make a dent in GB numbers. And as it is, the NFL would not hesitate to blow Green Bay away if they could.

    And I spend time in Regina and PA. So I have a lot of respect for the folks out there. But you are dreaming in techincolour as we used to say.
  75. james c from Canada writes: "I'm in the Napa Valley right now drinking wine," Skalbania said Saturday afternoon. "I have zero comment. Goodbye."
    ---------------

    hopefully this was said to a nosy reporter. good stuff !!
  76. D W from Switzerland writes: no mention at end of article that Skalbania swooped in and bankrupted the Montreal Alouettes, too;

    he is so well regarded there that the Skalbania Cup for sports ownership was awarded to the Lorias, who carpetbagged their way in and out of town with many of the Expos assets ..
  77. various degrees from Hamilton, Canada writes: Skalbania is a crook , Bettman will win and Hamilton will get Zip
  78. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    " Hamilton Mayor Eisenberger plans to meet representatives of the group, which is headed by Vancouver developer Tom Gaglardi and includes former NHL owner Nelson Skalbania.....

    Slalbania? NO-NO NON-NON-! In both official languages. This is what you get!!

    "On December 16, 1982 Skalbania filed a proposal in Vancouver, British Columbia, under the Bankruptcy Act that called for his 125 unsecured creditors to allow him five years to repay $30.3 million in debts.

    ... millions lost on sports ventures such as the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL and the Calgary Boomers of the North American Soccer League, brought about the bankruptcy.

    In 1997 the BCSC sentenced him to one year in jail for stealing $100,000 from prospective real estate partner Gordon Gooch.

    After the intervention of friends who provided the court with character references, Skalbania avoided a term in jail. Instead he spent nearly a year on parole wearing an electronic ankle bracelet that enabled provincial corrections officials to monitor his every move.

    .
  79. Jim Johnston from Rusagonis NB, Canada writes: Well if Hamilton gets an NHL franchise regardless of the NHL rule changes you will still be able to see fights at NHL games - they will just be in the stands, not on the ice. I am sure the steel heads haven't changed - used to love when the FinCups came to Kitchener as a kid. There used to be so many fights under the Queen at the Aud! Same with football games at Tiger Wyne Stadium - even better in Toronto at football games. Too bad for Hamilton that anyone with sanity will only keep the team there until they can get an arena built somewhere else - I am thinking 80kms outside of Hogtown city limits either east or west, with probably west being better - sorry Oshawa not enough people buying North America. It would sure be good to see 10 or more Canadian teams in a 25 team league. And of course the weazel from the NBA long gone. It will be interesting to see what Burke has to say once he is told he can talk. Can't see him not wanting local competition to keep the fire at the feet of the players coming to the Leafs
  80. various degrees from Hamilton, Canada writes: Someone said that Hamilton's mayor is just playing the negotiating game. This guy is a lost cause,he can't even control his own council who do whatever they want. Some mayor,he couldn't even find his shadow without instructions. Hamilton will get nothing, zero ,nada
  81. P R from downtown, Canada writes: Would someone with knowledge of how professional sports leagues operate kindly compare the bid to move the Phoenix hockey team with the deal that sent NBA's Vancouver Grizzlies to Memphis? Bettman's pal made things easy for the Memphis group.
  82. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Scot Loucks from Winnipeg,writes:
    Only Hamilton and Winnipeg have anything close to NHL ready arenas in Canada
    --------
    Scot, while that may be almost true, it would be interesting to have a second look at Quebec City in 2009.

    Their rink presently seats 15,250, ( Winnipeg seats 15,015) and with some funding, could get up to NHL standards. The PQ government is already $130 Billion in debt so whats another billion for rent or a new rink.

    Their population is up to 715,000 but the largest employer is the government and the biggest industry is tourism followed by forestry--not a good thing in these days. The problem is there are few head offices located there that could afford the "luxury boxes"

    The fans there are as fanatic as anywhere and they would need an owner with deep pockets.

    I always wondered what the "break-even" number is concerning spending different levels in the Cap, overall expense, and then what the average ticket price needs to be (or the average total gate $$ per game) to break even in my new NHL?

    There is also a compelling story why Winnipeg can't be in the NHL

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/115945-to-all-my-winnipeg-jet-fans
    .
  83. L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes: Dave Jensen writes :

    ''Create a 100 km buffer around each city - Hamilton, Mississauga, Toronto - and you have almost 8-9 million people - all great hockey fans who can never get access to a leafs game because tickets are impossible to come by.''
    ________________________________________________

    You're right, Dave Jensen. Same in Montreal but with a much smaller market, bring back a team to Quebec City. What a great rivalry that was but tickets will not be easier to get. Au contraire...

    - =
  84. Bill Hopkins from Canada writes: Contrary to Bettman's best-laid plans, hockey will never ever sell in the southern US the way it does in Canada. The reason? The sports that are popular are the sports that kids grow up playing. In Canada, almost every kid is exposed to street hockey and shinny from the time they are born. In the US, it's basketball, baseball, and football. They don't grow up playing hockey, especially in the southern two-thirds of the country. So the London Knights probably sell more tickets than the Cyotes do in Glendale. Give it up, Gary, your empire is going to collapse.
  85. L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes: Bill Hopkins writes :

    They don't grow up playing hockey, especially in the southern two-thirds of the country. So the London Knights probably sell more tickets than the Cyotes do in Glendale.
    ________________________________________________

    Exactly. Let's not forget that in Florida, our Canadian snowbirds are first at the gate to buy tickets! Much, much easier than trying to go to a Leafs game in Toronto unless you have friends and connections in the ''Boxes''.

    I wonder what the attendance would be in Florida without the snowbirds.

    -
  86. t w from Canada writes: The NHLs protected area should be by population, not geography. Toronto could easily support two teams within its city limits. An arena close to the 401 central to the Kitchener/Waterloo/Guelph/Hamilton/London/ Mississauga area could easily support a third team. The only problem is it does not fulfill the NHLs self proclaimed long term mandate of developing the sport in the USA and garnering a lucrative television contract. Even now there is minimal interest State side in watching Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa etc play.
  87. mainstation ... from Canada writes: Skalbania...
    Skalbania...

    you border on the Adriatic...

    Cheers...
  88. ray ittac from Canada writes: tw: "The only problem is it does not fulfill the NHLs self proclaimed long term mandate of developing the sport in the USA and garnering a lucrative television contract. Even now there is minimal interest State side in watching Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa etc play." I do understand the need for vision in business and the need to establish a methodology for achieving this vision. However after a decade or more of realizing that the US TV viewer (nationally) simply doesnt give a hoot about hockey --- a revision of the vision may be necessary. They regularly choose baseball, football and basketball over hockey, bowling over hockey and now even poker over hockey. They take on a free game between Ovechkin and Crosby in the playoffs and announce they have every intention of ditching the game should it go too long...they will ditch a playoff overtime game instead of attempting to tweak the start times of either venue. Give it up...if the USA TV market is the underlying motivation for the placement of teams we will have a dozen teams financially on the edge in 5 more years. Bettman was voted one of the worst executives in professional sports for a reason! Ditch the bugger and build a league with a strong fan base, where buildings are full and people care. Then and only then will the TV guys care. They have no intention of airing a game between the Thrashers and the Coyotes and the Lightning and the Preds when the full seats are outnumbered by the players.
  89. Charles Dickens from Hamilton, Canada writes: Scrap the southern US and put teams in Hamilton, Stockholm, Helsinki, Moscow, Berlin, London, etc... makes more sense to go where your market is.
  90. A Smith from Canada writes: Oh ***t, now Toronto is going to want a team too!
  91. Tiu Leek from Canada writes: "Seriously, it wasn’t that long ago, when NHLer’s had to go home to Timmins for the summer and plant trees to make ends meet. "

    Yeah, but that was because people like Harold Ballard were running the league and chintzing every dime they could get for themselves.

    Come to think of it, I wouldn't be surprised if Harold Ballard was still running the Leafs.

    It'd explain a lot, and for him, being dead wouldn't have even slowed him down.
  92. n storman from United States writes: Doesn't the NHL have a clause about territorial rights?
    The Buffalo Sabres have many southern Ontario fans as part of their fan base.A team in Hamilton would impact the Sabres economically.
  93. Lyn Alg from Canada writes: Skalbania? THE Nelson Skalbania? What is this- a Mother's Day joke? Everything this turkey touches, turns to smelly sludge. But guess what, folks. The 'just as incompetent' little Gary Bettman will probably approve. They are two ' peas in the same pod'. What is the NHL coming to? What is desperately required are new intelligent owners and, especially, a new competent CANADIAN commish. I understand that little Gary is talking about locating an NHL team in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Go figure. Could this be the initial stages of 'delirium tremens' for Gary? In fact, if you watch him on TV he definitely has some form of 'tremens'. Clarence Campbell - where art thou?
  94. Lyn Alg from Canada writes: All joking aside, a study was conducted in the southern U.S. two years ago and it was discovered that more people watched 'Tiddly-Winks' than NHL hockey and little Gary Bettmen keeps insisting that the southern U.S. market is a 'roaring success' - the future of hockey is in the southern U.S. Sure, Gary! when the world climate changes and the Arctic moves to the sun belt as it is predicted to do - in ten thousand years. How does the NHL expect to 'soar like an eagle, when it has a turkey as commissioner'. Gobble, gobble, gobble !
  95. George BrownIII from Christmas Island writes: Looks like more NHL franchises in Hamilton than there are Subway franchises in Hamilton.
  96. Happy Canadian from Canada writes: George BrownIII from Christmas Island writes: Looks like more NHL franchises in Hamilton than there are Subway franchises in Hamilton.
    -----------------------------------------

    You mean "more NHL franchises in Hamilton than Tim Horton's restaurants"............ every other corner in Hamilton has a Timmie's on it.

    All kidding aside, I hope Hamilton isn't going to be disappointed AGAIN. I take all of this "NHL" talk with a grain of salt. Hamiltonians have been crushed time and time again by all of this "we're going to be bringing an NHL franchise to Copps", and next thing you know the deal has fallen through.

    My question is where would the Hamilton Bull Dogs go if Hamilton does get an NHL team? Anyone thought of that one????
  97. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Interesting article on Balsillie in the New York Times today.

    Knew he was a hockey freak, but not to the degree of naming his RIM board / meeting rooms after NHL legends.....interesting tidbits on the guy without all the legalize of the situation.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/10/sports/hockey/10coyotes.html?_r=1&ref=sports
    .
  98. Foggytown Jones from Niagara, Canada writes: Wow...2 teams in the Hammer before TO..who knew??
  99. J.C. Davies from Canada writes: The facts are:

    1. Of the 30 NHL teams 24 are in the US.

    2. An NHL team cannot move to another city without support of majority of owners.

    3. The owners of the US teams do not want any more Canadian teams.

    4. No US teams are moving to Canada.
  100. Link Hogbrow from Canada writes:
    Jim Balsillie has money. These other clowns do not.

    Jim Balsillie actually cares about hockey first, and not the egos of has prospective "partners".

    Time is on Jim Balsillie's side, not Buttman's.

    One thing for sure ... the game will survive the idiots that run it.
  101. Foxrun x from Oakville, Canada writes: I think if Hamilton got a team Toronto might actually get a good one, which would confuse all the fans.
  102. JOHN JONES from Brentwood, United States writes: Why do all these threads assume that Bettman is not smart and that Balsillie is not greedy. Bettman's interest is not keeping a team out of Ontario but rather making sure he get's paid for it. Balsillie's interest isn't patriotism but making money. Bettmans isn't anti Canadain and Balsillie isn't pro Canadaian thay are just both pro money.
  103. Charles Dickens from Hamilton, Canada writes: Under business law the NHL territorial rights issues will fall apart; see Al Davis vs NFL. A team can move to Hamilton. This is why they have not gone to court before this to protect rights in other areas, they simply pay the owners of other franchises a location fee. ie Buffalo and TO have no say in it, nor do the other owners. ( with the difficulty in crossing the border and the number of ticket holders the Sabres have from Hamilton and Niagara; it may be the end of them).
  104. Hockeydad London from Canada writes: J. C. Davies, I would agree except for two things, one, a bankruptcy court judge has an offer in front of him with conditions that is best for the creditors, so will the internal rules of the NHL club block the sale? We shall see. Otherwise, the NHL is really looking to move Phonex, however, not to southwestern Ontario. They see a market here for an expansion team bringing in $400M in expansion fees to the owners and compensaion to MLSE and the Sabres. Pony up money and the rules will not be a problem.
  105. Link Hogbrow from Canada writes:
    Come on now JJ.

    Bettman is the guy who thought that a Montreal / Toronto final wouldn't be as good for the game as Montreal / LA.

    The real reason he "fought" so hard for Canadian franchises when our dollar was so low, is that he knew that without the Canadian teams there would be no NHL at all. Period.

    We would still have the game up here though. Like I said the game will survive its little men in big jobs.
  106. The Defender from Whitby, Canada writes: The Unserved Market of Southern Ontario.....you can't put any better and HAMILTON is the best location to serve surrounding communities its that simple. JB make it happen !!!!
  107. Desmond Whitton from Canada writes: Rainbow Warrior Aka Aka Crayola King from Canada writes: Are there any folks from Hamilton here?

    What do you think about this?

    Is there a viable market for NHL there?
    _______________________________________________

    lol hahaha you're joking right?? The Hammer has been DYING for an NHL team for decades. That's why Copps Coliseum was built in the first place. If Hamilton got a team, the games would be sold out every night. guaranteed.
  108. Ballin Munson from toronto, Canada writes: John Jones : Excellent post, and full of more common sense than 80% of the writing here. Mr. Rim would walk from a free franchise that was offered for Winnipeg.
    I would like a Ferrari, and think there would be a market for at least twice as many sold currently. Heck, even my brother in law would buy one. Do you think we can start a petition for them to build more?
    Do you think it is Ferrari's interest to build more cars, just to satisfy demand? Everyone wants more of something that is in short supply, and hence perceived to be valuable. Duh, that is what makes it valuable.
    The NHL wants 30 MLSE situations, not to milk the few it has.
    The NFL could easily put a second team in markets like Dallas. Why doesn't it?
  109. Tom Randall from Winnipeg, Canada writes: There is ZERO truth to this rumour - G&M should contact the Thrashers and actually do some reporting
  110. Ballin Munson from toronto, Canada writes: Charles Dickens et al. Davies was already an owner of an NFL team, a world of difference from being on the outside. The more variables in play "first the team has to declare bankruptcy, then we go to court to buy it, then we struggle with the league to move it, then we fight with two other teams for indemnity rights, then we get an old arena in shape...."

    The more balls in the air, the more like one will fall. Face it, it aint' gonna happen.
  111. Candice Bond from Canada writes: Where's Hazel when we need her?
  112. EJ Ravensbud from Canada writes: Defender, if you live in Whitby and are thinking about attending games in Hamilton you may want to reconsider. It would be better to attend games in Ottawa - less traffic and you would be home before noon the next day.
  113. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Sorry, I just don't see the move happening......but I would NEVER bet against Balsillie.

    The big question remains: Can he secure a majority vote from the other NHL owners that is needed for approval of the sale.

    Next, you have Bettman's plan to secure major US TV markets--here are the top ranked TV places where they are not yet located:

    Haven't done all the arena research but this is what could be on the table...

    Houston-ranked number 10 and has a hockey history.
    Seattle--ranked number 14
    Cleveland-ranked number 17-had an NHL team
    Portland--ranked number 23
    Indianapolis--ranked number 25
    Hartford--ranked number 28-had an NHL team
    Kansas City ranked number 31 with an arena all ready to go!( maybe the soft landing for the Islanders...
    .
  114. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Tom Randall from Winnipeg, Canada writes: There is ZERO truth to this rumour - G&M should contact the Thrashers and actually do some reporting
    -----
    You might be right--but in these crazy times who ever knows?

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Saturday, May 09, 2009

    Thrashers general manager Don Waddell said the NHL franchise will not be moving any time soon.

    A Canadian newspaper reported Saturday that a Vancouver-based group is interested in buying the Thrashers and moving them to Hamilton, Ontario.

    Waddell cited several reasons the Thrashers won’t move. The Atlanta Spirit is currently involved in litigation with co-owner Steve Belkin that must be resolved.

    The naming rights to Philips Arena are tied to it housing both an NHL and an NBA franchise. Also, according to Waddell, the ownership group signed a commitment letter to the league to keep the team in Atlanta a specified number of years. Waddell would not disclose the number of years left on the letter but said it was “multiple.”

    “I’ve been through this so many times, but the truth is there are too many obstacles,” Waddell said.
    .
  115. wayne powers from saskatoon, writes: Bettman probably wet his pants with spectre of Nelson returning. Being a convicted felony, wow this is a Gary Bettam dream owner, no cash, no problem, criminal record no problem. Come on down to Crazy Gary's were crooks and con men are more than welcome. Just don't have any money or else we will not let you in .
  116. L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes: Great article in the NYTimes re Balsillie...

    ''Instead of by conventional numbers, boardrooms and conference rooms on the company’s campus in Waterloo, Ontario, are identified with the names of hockey’s greats: Gordie Howe, Maurice Richard, Frank Mahovlich, Bobby Hull, Guy Lafleur, Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzky.''

    - =
  117. L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes: The NY Times headline is

    ''Blackberry Billionaire Has the NHL Buzzing''

    I do wish they would stop buzzing and give us, up in Canada, what we want and deserve. At least one more hockey team in the Toronto area.

    Thanks for lots of great comments, people.

    - ==
  118. OilerFan from from Canada writes: This additional news only enhances Balsillie's bid, imo. If Bettman has two choices, and Skalbania is part of the mix in one of them ... Bettman should be fired if he even mentions Skalbania's name in normal conversation.

    Ultimately, with all of the NHL's problems with southern US teams coming to light from these legal proceedings, hopefully it will also lead to the opportunity to clean house in the NHL front office.
  119. EJ Ravensbud from Canada writes: Just checked the TV schedule and saw that NBC is presenting the National Heads-Up Poker Championship early this afternoon and a golf tournament later this afternoon. Two NHL playoff games today with no national US broadcast. Poker and golf trumps hockey in the USA. Where is the future for NHL hockey in the USA?
  120. L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes: OilerFan writes :

    Two NHL playoff games today with no national US broadcast. Poker and golf trumps hockey in the USA.
    ________________________________________________

    Exactly. No hockey playoff games on the US networks... that is nothing new. OK with Golf, which is a great sport with lots of fans but POKER?? What has Poker got to do with sports.... I get absolutely enraged when I see Poker on ESPN and TSN, while there's hockey, tennis not being shown at all, or in the case of tennis, in the middle of the night... 3 AM is fine for LIVE MATCHES but not when the finals are played in Florida, EDST, same time zone as Montreal and Toronto.

    Poker on sports networks instead of hockey, tennis, etc....

    As a chessplayer, I'd like to see chess on TSN, instead of poker... LOL

    Enough for now. Going out for a late lunch, after 1pm to avoid the Mother's Day rush in dining rooms. Hopefully, the brunch crowd will have finished with their fruit and eggs benedict.

    -=

    -
  121. L.B. MURRAY from !! from Canada writes: Oops, sorry... I meant
    Ravensbud instead of OilerFan...

    Now, I'm outta here.

    -
  122. Mark S from Calgary, Canada writes: R Carriere, your post at 11:32 am told an interesting story, that is that Houston and Seattle will probably get teams before Canada does. The Portland winter hawks draw 12,000 fans regularly for a WHL junior game. It's between Portland and Calgary which Junior team has the record for attendance, Somewhere between 18-19,000 fans. Not sure who the winner is now.
  123. Mark S from Calgary, Canada writes: If Nelson Skalbania is a convicted fellon, how did he enter the USA to drink wine in the NAPA Valley?
  124. Steve in the Adirondacks from Lake Clear, NY, United States writes: I must say for the last few days this whole business of Phoenix coming to Hamilton has been disconcerting to this lifelong Sabres.In reading the newspaper articles in the Canadian papers & the reader boards the disdain expressed regarding the Sabres & their fans is disheartening to say the least. First off, I support a third franchise for Southern Ontario but not in Hamilton, that only becomes a zero sum option. Buffalo draws 15-20% of its fans from Ontario just as many Canadian businesses draw from Western New York in Fort Erie, Niagara Falls and other towns. As examples the race track in Fort Erie probably will have a much more difficult time of it financially if is does not draw support from Buffalo, the casinos in Niagara Falls gather a significant amount of business from WNY. The point is that for all of these businesses it doesn't matter if you are from WNY or Ontario, the border is only a line as far as they are concerned. Buffalo has been in the NHL for nearly 40 years & for the most part has been a successful franchise that draws from both WNY and Ontario. Hamilton would be a disaster for Buffalo because even though the border is irrelevant for a business it has become harder to cross the border as a citizen of either country. However, if a franchise were to be located in Toronto or the London/Kitchener area it's impact becomes significantly less for Buffalo because of the distances & league rules. It's 70 miles from Hamilton to Buffalo & a 145 miles from Buffalo to London & 106 miles to Kitchener from Buffalo. Fans in Hamilton can easily commute to London or Kitchener from Hamilton or choose to go to Buffalo but the fans in the areas east of Hamilton would still either choose Buffalo or London/Kitchener but Buffalo remains an attractive option based on the distance traveled & possible fan loyalty. This does not have to a Canadian vs. American issue unless we allow it to be. Basing a team in London/Kitchener or GTA will result in having three healthy teams.
  125. Bill Hopkins from Canada writes: I agree with Steve - London would be a good location. It is far enough away from Toronto to avoid the territorial conflict, but not all that far from Hamilton, K-W, etc.

    On another point, I really don't think Balsillie is in this for the money. The guy is worth $2.9 billion. And he has said it very clearly according to some reports I've read that what he wants is his name on a Stanley Cup, and the only way that's going to happen is as an owner. And he's got the money to buy it. If hockey fans in SW Ontario benefit by having another team to watch, so much the better.
  126. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Steve in the Adirondacks from Lake Clear, NY, United States:

    A very thoughtful post voicing your concerns and there is no doubt that Buffalo has some of the most incredible fans concerning either the NHL or the NFL.

    That being said, perhaps the passionate fans are being short changed by your owner and the so-called President.

    When they had an opportunity to step up to the plate to secure Briere and Drury-the heart and soul of the club and both were willing to take a home team discount, the ownership walked away with their typical arrogance--knowing the tickets were already sold for the following year after a great playoff run.

    They did the exact same thing with Brian Campbell--see him performing for the Hawks in these playoffs?

    Next, they almost let Ryan Miller get away not learning from their previous jerking around.

    Yesterday, I read a piece in the Buff, news where Rene Robert outed the ownership. Sour grapes or not, it was worth the read and portrays what these guys are all about.

    Buffalo can support its Sabres......unless ownership shows disrespect for the fans--You decide if yes or no.
    .
  127. Steve in the Adirondacks from Lake Clear, NY, United States writes: R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes: You are right what Robert had to say about ownership hit the nail right on the head. Golisano to his credit has turned down a possible sale to Balsillie because he would move the team. As far as the operation of the hockey side of the team Golisano has been inept but what he did with Bettman to keep the team in Buffalo after the bankruptcy has been tremendous. They turned the whole atmosphere of the game and team around 180 degrees thats why season ticket renewals are at about 80%. Many people in this area blame Larry Quinn far more than Golisano in regards to free agency and other issues. Quinn was incredibly disliked when he worked for the Knoxes and his involvement in other local issues. I have a hard time with Bettman because of No Goal in'99 but he could have done the easy thing with the Sabres and sold them but in our case he did the right thing and not sell them to the highest bidder. Golisano has been public in stating he would like to sell the team but not to someone who will move it therefore there was no deal with Balsillie.
  128. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Mark S from Calgary, Canada writes: R Carriere, your post at 11:32 am told an interesting story, that is that Houston and Seattle will probably get teams before Canada does. The Portland winter hawks draw 12,000 fans regularly for a WHL junior game. It's between Portland and Calgary which Junior team has the record for attendance, Somewhere between 18-19,000 fans. Not sure who the winner is now.
    ---------
    Hey Mark-Tks for the answer. Good points. I see the next 2 years as tumultuous for the NHL in non traditional US markets where NFL rules followed by MLB and the NBA-NCAA stuff and.... bowling. Lots of people becoming unemployed and corp. entertainment is being cut. (Ref: NY Yankees empty discounted seats!)

    There will be several teams up for sale or re-location because of owner leverage such as Hicks in Dallas and Gilett in Montreal to name just a few over and above the sun belt gang-maybe a new forced CBA..who knows where this recession is going......
  129. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Steve in the Adirondacks from Lake Clear, NY, United States writes:
    ....... I have a hard time with Bettman because of No Goal in'99 but he could have done the easy thing with the Sabres and sold them but in our case he did the right thing and not sell them to the highest bidder
    -----
    Always had a soft spot for the Sabres because of the French Connection days of Perreault-Martin-Robert and remember in 1975 when Bernie Parent stoned them for the goon Flyers. Those guys could play and Rick Martin was the second best guy to score in the slot after Mike Bossy...

    Yea, 99 no goal was a sham and a shame! didn't that last game go 3 overtimes? Bettman did a good job with the Buff bankruptcy thing....too bad he didn't show the same concern for Quebec City and Winnipeg....
    .
  130. Sober Second Thought from Toronto, Canada writes: This is weird. If it makes business sense to move a team to a profitable market - why wouldn't you? The GTA could sell out 3 different teams every night. ........Bettman is probably waiting for some huge US bailout of the league instead.
  131. Mark S from Calgary, Canada writes: R Carriere ,

    You are right about the next two years being the end of a few southern franchises. The move of any of these franchises would be as previously mentioned, Houston, Seattle, and Portland, this way the NHL could move Detroit back to the eastern or central division, whatever they call it now. Detroit doesn't belong in the Western Conferance. Natural rivalries would occur between Vancouver and /or Seattle or Portland. Houston and Dallas not to mention the California teams.
  132. Charles Dickens from Hamilton, Canada writes: JOHN JONES from Brentwood, United States writes: Why do all these threads assume that Bettman is not smart and that Balsillie is not greedy. Bettman's interest is not keeping a team out of Ontario but rather making sure he get's paid for it. Balsillie's interest isn't patriotism but making money. Bettmans isn't anti Canadain and Balsillie isn't pro Canadaian thay are just both pro money.

    Bettman's very smart. If another team comes to Canada then the Salary floor for all other teams will rise. That's the last thing the other struggling franchises need. Also Basillie wants a team in Hamilton: not patriotism, his wife is from there.

    Ballin Munson: I agree it is a long shot. I would rather see all these billionaires start a new league which incorporates Europe. maybe a real WHL.
  133. Buck Russell from Uxbridge, Canada writes: I saw the Mayor of Hamilton on the news today. How's he getting away with saying he's only dancing with Blackberry Boy? If I lived in Steeltown I'd want to make sure we got the best option not one my Mayor seemed to have an irrational preference for....Am I wrong?
  134. T Scott from Toronto, Canada writes: f g from Canada writes: Southern Ontario could definitely support a second NHL team, but Hamilton is not the the best market.

    I spent the day in DT Hamilton today and let me tell you, it's one depressing, non affluent and ugly place... makes Winnipeg look like a jewel.

    The second NHL franchise should be located somewhere in York region. There's plenty of land to build a new arena and is home to the most rabid hockey fans in the world.
    Posted 09/05/09 at 9:04 PM EDT | Alert an Editor | Link to Comment .....................................................................................................FG, excellent comment, those are exactly my thoughts. No knock on Hamilton, but in york (North Toronto) you maintain your links to the countries financial base, but most importantly, subway, streetcar, go train, and highway access, which makes much more sense. Plus I don't think people in the GTA would be inclined to cheer a team from Hamilton (Ticats anyone?) where as most would cheer a TO team either way, especially if it gave an option over the leafs...
  135. various degrees from Hamilton, Canada writes: Buck Russell from Uxbridge : No Buck,you're not wrong . Sadly Hamilton have a mayor who has difficulty in taking a stand and making a decision. That's why there is no one in control in city hall. After reading a few of his comments it is clear he is in over his head here with this hockey deal. The saving grace is Hamilton will never get it anyway nor should they.
  136. EJ Ravensbud from Canada writes: Steve from Lake Clear, you have anxiety about losing your Sabres if Hamilton gets a team. Well imagine how the folks in Winnipeg and Quebec City felt when their teams were moved south. Do you think that kids in Phoenix will show up in the street with their piggy banks to help keep the team like they did in Winnipeg in '95. I bet you did not shed a tear. The NHL is made up of at least 60% Canadian players which means without Canadians footing the bill for player development from 6 years of age to 20 years of age and tax dollars going to build facilities in even the most remote regions of Canada there would be no Sabres or NHL. Then Canadians have to watch superstars like Crosby, Lecavalier, Gretzky and Lemieux play in places like Pittsburg, LA and Tampa. Your present management, Regehr and Ruff are two Canadian Prairie boys who learned their trade on the cold rinks many years ago.
    The NHL moves their head office from Canada to New York, teams from Canada to the USA and all we get is a cold shoulder when we ask for a fair share of the action.
  137. various degrees from Hamilton, Canada writes: If anyone thinks some cold eyed slippery handed lawyer like Gary Bettman is going to disappoint some millionaire who wants the NHL in his American city than you're crazier than a bed bug. Do you really think if there is going to be a team in southwestern Ontario they would pick some rundown blighted hard luck town like Hamilton. Half the people in Canada think Hamilton is a dump. Nobody in the states ever heard of it and half of them never heard of Ontario. There is already 5 teams along the border. There won't be another. That's why the NHL has teams going broke now, There are to many of them with talent spread to thin and it's all for the buck. Get over it .
  138. Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: Maybe Buttman will finally have to capitulate, and allow this to happen. It might provide him with the quickest way of thwarting his arch-nemesis Craig Basile.
  139. Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: Various degrees, it isn't Hamilton itself that matters, it's the proximity of Hamilton to the largest concentration of hockey fans on earth. Granted, that poses some territorial issues with the Leafs and Sabres, but the massive southern Ontario market cannot be ignored by the NHL forever.
  140. wayne powers from saskatoon, writes: I look over at the AHL and wonder if Bettman has his paws in there. Teams like the Iowa Pork Chops, it's a joke there are more places here in Canada were an AHL would have good support and make money but they keep sticking them in Deadwater USA. We have an arena here in Toontown (built for the Blues) that has hosted World Juniors and this summer we get what NHL preseason games. Two games Islanders\ Flames Islanders\Oilers and the tickets were gone in a flash, at prices most US teams won't beleive. Oh and we have the Worlds again this year and it was sold out in hours.
    Bettman and crew seem to beleive that hockey's heartland is the US and will stick to that plan until the whole thing goes down the crapper
  141. Sydney Goldberg from Canada writes: I agree that the NHL in Arizona, Florida, Georgia and Tennesee has zero logic behind it. These states are huge NFL, NBA and NCAA fans and have no clue or interest in hockey. I also agree that American Cities like Portland and Seattle already support WHL teams quite well and love hockey. Check out a Thunderbird or Tri Cities Americans game some time. The reality is that any move to Hamilton is not cut and dried because of a number of legal hurdles and serious reality checks. Atlanta's current owners want to sell the Hawks and Thrasers as one and include the arena. They have made clear that the curent owners do not want to move the teams and that includes The Spirit Of Atlanta and Steve Belkin and that those who want to move the teams need not apply. I noticed that Mr. Galardi did not indicate who he had spoken with in Atlanta. The Phoenix issue is made up of a number of parts. Judge Baum can decree that the bankrupsy is legal and Cayotes may be sold to the highest bidder. He may also decide that the NHL clause is effective and that only the owners can approve the move to another location. Jim Balsille is not working with a owner in Southern Ontario who wants to sell his team and the current Cayote's owner has no franchise for sale in that area. I understand that Southern Ontario could support another team, but the reality is that Judge Baum who is not a Canadian Judge and who perhaps has no idea where Toronto actually is on a map, will decide this case based on legal points only. Would it make sense for Gary Bettman to move a team to Toronto likely yes. Should the NHL have moved from Winnipeg and Quebec City likely No. Will the NHL get better ratings than darts, bowling and figure skateing in any Southern U.S city likely No. That has zero bearing on what Judge Baum will do. People forget that the original six teams had only two Canadian entries and that the WHL changed that. It's a legal case not we want a team case. Sydney Joel Goldberg
  142. Hap Stokes from Canada writes: EJ Ravensbud
    Cheers Ed--When you called both Atlanta and Phoenix crappy teams.
    Sorry but you were only 'Half Right' buddy.
    Those Coyotes are a most exciting young team headed for the Cup.
    The Cup inside of 5 years--Probably only 2/3.

    While you are at it Ed, look at the other (future) great teams.
    The Coyotes will have to beat out an entire stash of great young teams
    The Kings, Blue Jackets, Blues, Blackhawks, Predators.
    There is about to be a MAJOR change in the NHL the next few years.
    And the Winnipeg Jets (nee Coyotes) will be right UP THERE too.
    The above are all excellent young teams Ed!
    Doomed right now though, because they all play in the West Conf.
    BUT--If the Coyotes played in the Weaker Easter--Play-offs 2010.
  143. Guy Olivier from Columbus, Ohio, United States writes: Hockey in the south... simply rediculous.

    Go CAVS!!!!!
  144. EJ Ravensbud from Canada writes: Hap, if you cannot make the playoffs in a league where 16 out of 30 get in you are "crappy'. Both teams may get better but current management and coaches (especially Wayne) do not offer much hope. Salary issues will hurt all these so called up and comers. Again I say that I want good young Canadian superstars to be enjoyed by Canadian fans, not in Tampa, Phoenix or LA.
    Off topic, your Canucks are disappointing. They should be wiping the Hawks, but they are being beat up. They should have saved the 5 mill on Mats. A young Winnipeger and the last Jets goalie are eating their lunch. Of course I could be wrong and the Canucks will win the mext two games.
  145. joe garcia from Canada writes: Flames, Thrashers... Atlanta is simply not a hockey town.

    It would be great to see teams in Hamilton, Quebec, and Winnipeg, all places that have snow on the ground in winter and shed some of those southern warm locations that will never be true hockey towns.

    Give us back our game.
  146. Murray Richardson from Canada writes: Re: Bettman's strategy to promote hockey in the American Southwest and secure a lucrative US television contract.

    The NHL has been trying to sell hockey to the US networks since the 1950's with virtually no success. Remember Saturday afternoon hockey? Remember the pucks with the blue flames streaming out behind? None of these efforts attracted new American hockey fans. Bettman's latest scheme involved giving away NHL rights virtually gratis to some unknown cable network. What was the upshot? Championship bowling and monster truck competitions outdraw NHL hockey. And with TV networks tanking as a result of the loss of advertising revenues, why would anybody believe a big-time TV contract awaits the NHL? Bettman is hallucinating if he thinks some US network is going to offer up mega bucks to broadcast NHL hockey any time in the next century or two. He might as well try peddling the NHL in Honduras or Belize as in the US Southwest; he'd have about the same degree of success.
  147. Steve Church from Canada writes: Steve Adirondaks - Your post at 1:07 was excellent. It's a good cut at the way Balsillie's target on Hamilton could do collateral damage to the Sabres. I'd argued a few years ago that if the Sabres could not afford to stay in the League, a move to Hamilton (as the Hamilton Sabres) would show the best support to the fans. Never did anything like a business case on it. But Buffalo has recognized the canadian fab element better than any other US franchise. I think you're right about some unpleasant reactions if the NHL is unable to prevent a rogue franchise from landing in Hamilton. For comparison, there's still resentment in Winnipeg that somehow the NHL did them in.
  148. Hap Stokes from Canada writes: Ed it is much harder for any team in the West to make the play-offs than it is for a team from the East. Worse Ed it has been this way since just before the lock-out. The NHL has degenerated from equality back into a Two Tier League.

    While the lower tier may have all the famous 'Stars' and get all the media raves, the other tier is tougher and better goal tended. But the biggest difference is: has a much superior Defence. For EX. Ed, I would wager my last sou that the Nashville Predators, while they may not have made the West play-offs still have a superior defence and goal tending to any of the four teams (now playing) in the Eastern Qtr Finals. Other than the Avs/Oilers there aren't many weak sisters in the West Conf like there are in the East--Ed

  149. EJ Ravensbud from Canada writes: Steve, the resentment is there in both Winnipeg and Quebec City. Both teams were created from the grassroots with fans playing a big part in financing the original teams in the WHA. Local owners in each city made big bucks with Gary's help when the teams were sold to the USA.

  150. EJ Ravensbud from Canada writes: Hap, you are probably right, but the eastern media, especially in TO focuses mainly on the eastern time zone. All you hear is hype about MTL and TO and because it is three hours later before a game starts on the west coast most of us are asleep before the games are half over.
  151. Steve in the Adirondacks from Lake Clear, NY, United States writes: EJ Ravensbud: Just a quick reply to whether or not as a Sabres fan I felt the loss of the Nordiques or the Jets & the assumption I probably did not shed a tear. No I probably did not cry but as a fan when the Sabres and Nordiques played it was always a highlight game of the year no matter how the clubs were doing. The Jets I followed quite closely because of a certain Bobby on the team. The way the relocations of those franchises were handled showed that once again the fans matter not a whit with the powers that be when it comes to money. Both teams were well supported & the cities deserved far better than what they got. But if the arguement is that these two travesties happened so turn about is fair play and lets destroy the Buffalo Sabres for the sake of our national honor and the Hamilton having a franchise. Then I'm afraid to say that this arguement has no merit and is petty at best. This is a problem where there is a solution that can meet everyone's interest, is it the best solution, probably not. Having a team in the York or London/Kitchener area will let the Sabres sink or swim on there own merits, meet the demand for hockey in Ontario and provide the Leafs with no option but to deal with it and probably get some sort of territorial fee. The Sabres would get nothing because it is out of our area. Hockey should be in areas that care deeply about the sport best exemplified by youth participation. The Buffalo area is one of those places why sacrifice the Sabres for the sake of Hamilton when a team in another London/Kitchener or Toronto can fill those needs for Ontario. It does not have to be a zero sum option. I love my team & love hockey & it is not just Canadian anymore like basketball is now a world game. In regards to Phoenix, I wonder how the team would do if for once the fans had a reason to get wrapped up in the team the way we do up north. I know they have been there a long time but a part of me says do we have to do to Phoenix what was done Winnipeg.
  152. Hap Stokes from Canada writes: Ed
    You want to know why the Canucks are losing?
    Because the Hawks are a MUCH better team!

    But then, so was every team the Nucks beat this year.
    So Chicago is just more of the Same Ole, Same Ole.

    No matter what happens tomorrow night Ed
    The Canucks will still have played TEN (10) more games than all the 'so called' EXPERTS who claimed they wouldn't even make the play-offs with that bunch of NoStar, NoName, NoBodies. So every game they squeeze out is just an extra bonus.

    Ed--This team is just loved here on the Wet Coast.
    Flags, horns, pubs jumping--That never happened B4 at least to this same high degree. Because all the prior Canuck play-off teams, at least had some very good players unlike this club (on the team). Wouldn't surprise me when they are eliminated, they will hold a Parade here nonetheless for the NHL's biggest surprising underdog Nobodies.
  153. EJ Ravensbud from Canada writes: Steve, I have no desire that the Sabres suffer as a result of another team in Ontario. I have no petty resentments based on the loss of the Jets or Nords, two wrongs never made a right.. As I said before Canadians pay the freight for hockey in the NHL in development and infrastructure costs. Most of the players on your team are Canadians as are the Prairie boys who coach and manage your team. All most of us in Canada who follow hockey ask is that we are treated fairly in the location of teams and the ability to have some Canadian superstars play in Canada where hockey is a way of life compared to the niche sport it is in the southern USA. Who was the last Canadian born superstar of the Crosby stature that played on a Canadian NHL team, Lafleur, Roy?
    As an aside, your French Connection line was pretty good but I consider the Hull, Hedberg, Nilson line of the late '70s Jets to be as good or better. They were pure poetry on ice.
  154. EJ Ravensbud from Canada writes: Hap I hope they have some young stars on the Moose, who are going for the Calder, to help your team in the future.
  155. Steve in the Adirondacks from Lake Clear, NY, United States writes: EJ: I was not painting your comments in the nationalist view but it has been a common thread through many comments posted here and elsewhere. I understand your desire to see homegrown Canadian players of the magnitude of a Crosby or a Lemieux but remember you have to have some pretty bad teams to get into position to draft players of that caliber. I would have loved nothing better than for the Sabres to have been able to draft Patrick Kane (bought my first car from his father) but I'm also glad that we didn't have to be the worst team. The days when a team could have dibs on local players are long gone and from a competitive standpoint its probably for the better. The game of hockey was developed and nurtured in Canada and now the world is adding to it with players and coaches from the US and Europe. Baseball is a better game because of Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente and Ichiro than it was before it opened up to the world. I know the play in hockey is much better than it was when I saw Sabres play the first time in 1971. That improvement comes from different styles of play and a deeper talent pool. Regarding Hull, Hedberg and Nilson, I think I'll stick with Perreault, Martin and Robert but it's a debate that is the beauty of hockey. I was lucky to be able to see the Sabres play the Soviet Wings in January '76 and to watch the French Connection skate and pass that night with the Russians was one of the most thrilling hockey experiences I have had. The Sabres beat them 12 to 6 and to top it off was the standing ovation the Sabres received two night later at the Montreal Forum. What a game WE have.
  156. EJ Ravensbud from Canada writes: Steve, cannot disagree with your comments. Those of us a bit long in the tooth have seen a lot of good hockey and hate to see the game diminished by some dubious owners working pyramid schemes.

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