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NHL considers Balsillie-Moyes ‘scheme' an attack on league

From Friday's Globe and Mail

NHL comes out firing in bankruptcy court filing, calling sale agreement a ‘sham' ...Read the full article

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  1. Josh Taylor from Dublin, Canada writes: Perhaps Balsillie should address the GTA concerns directly: if you can prove a loss of attendance on behalf of the leafs or sabres after the new team, then there could be some compensation, because I doubt there will be any drop at all...
  2. Kim Feraday from Vancouver, Canada writes: The NHL wants to reserve the right to keep hockey in weak markets with no interest in hockey. That way they can keep revenues down because we all know that money is not the object here. Just what the objective is is unclear to me. Southern Ontario can easily handle another team.
  3. Rollo 8>) from Belgium writes:

    The only sham here is the NHL.
  4. Ice Rider from Edmonton, Canada writes: The real sham is Bettman and his ilk would rather see a team in the desert lose $50 million a year, year in and year out, rather than a successful money-making franchise in Hamilton. Why? Bettman's jsut a useful tool for American billionaires who need ro show a loss to reduce their tax liability. What other reason could there be?
  5. Michael Bean from Canada writes: This will be an interesting case to follow. Even if Moyes agreed to all of the rules to them before hand I think the courts would support the right to sell the team and by going into bankruptcy they are obligated to get the best deal for the creditors. The real issue will be whether a deal including the requirement to move the team can even be considered by the courts since the league has the right to determine where franchises are located and they seem like they wont even consider a relocation let alone one inside the 'boundaries' of 2 other member teams.
  6. I, Alafrate from Canada writes: All that matters at the moment is the third last paragraph, where the NHL grudgingly admits the move may be technically permissible (now matter how unsavoury some may find it).
  7. Greg Out West from Canada writes: Situations such as this make lawyers very happy. The hockey fans, not so much.
  8. j q from Canada writes: Every marketable brand which has franchises controls its regional location rights not the individual owners of the franchises.

    Tim Horton's is a great example. If you want to put up a donut shop next to an existing Tim Horton's, you are free to do so, but you can't call it Tim Horton's. Mr. Balsillie can put up hockey team in Hamilton, but he can't call it a National Hockey League franchise and won't be allowed to play games against other NHL teams. If he purchases a franchise, he has no ability to move it to another location without permission of the League.

    This isn't about Bettman. it is about the collective vision of the 30 owners who have mapped out a long range plan to manage the League's future growth. We and Mr. Balsillie may disagree with that plan, but it is the right of the League to determine that plan. If the League is willing to accept hundreds of millions of losses in non-traditional hockey markets with large U.S. populations, then that is there choice.

    We have the choice of continuing to support and watch, or not.
  9. J M from Canada writes: The league it has the 'fundamental right to decide who will be members of the venture and where franchises will be located'

    Obviously there are back room shenanigans to keep the old boys club strong.
  10. Boom Boom from Canada writes: The NHL desperately needs a new President and executive team. Fire all of them owners, if you have any guts and put in some real hockey people, not friggin' lawyers!
    Like they say, if you hire lawyers you'll be in court all the time. Is that what you want???
  11. Ken Jeffries from Canada writes: It seems to me that the NHL covets the benefit of a new franchise in the Southern Ontario market - a $350m USD fee to buy an expansion team with the proceeds shared by the owners, and the players getting 22 or so new job opportunities. I'm sure Balsillie could agree to that.

    It would be a(nother) bad business decision on the NHL's part as they have too many franchises that are in trouble (PHX, Tampa, Florida, Atlanta, NYI, Nashville), but when has the league shown that good business decision making was a strength ??? It's always been about owner greed for new franchise fees. Selling an expansion franchise will win Ontario another team and Balsillie would be welcomed with open arms. It doesn't make sense, but it is plausible !
  12. Jim D from United States writes: ..
    ..
    I think that the court, although there may be precedent for league control of franchise locations, must also consider the humanitarian aspect.
    ..
    How long must the southern Ontario fan be forced to suffer with the Leafs. Is this not inhumane and brutal torture to any true hockey fan?
    ..
    Coyotes, Grasshoppers, shinny, MPPs in skirts, almost all must be more entertaining on ice than the Leafs.
  13. J M from Canada writes: JQ, I think I will open a chain of Jim Norton's
  14. J. Herbert MuffinFluffer from Moosehorn, Mb., Canada writes: The NHL has the expert on 'bad faith and duplicitous dealing'... Mr. Gary Bettman.
  15. Hernando Villanueva from Andalucia, Canada writes: Having grown up in a hot arid climate, I ask my fellow posters to go easy on Phoenix.

    I mean really, what child growing up in 0 humidity 100 degree fahrenheit days doesn't dream of lacing them up and going out to the old pond for a little shinny? Without, of course, realizing there is no ice, and no water because of those temperatures........ Same with Florida and LA, real hockey towns.

    If I recall, aren't these southern teams part of the NHL's 'original 86'?
  16. Careful Reader from North of the US Border and loving it, Canada writes: Can somebody tell me how is that keeping a hockey team in 120 °F Arizona makes more sense to the NHL than moving it to Ontario? I mean, the franchise is bankrupt, one would guess there's not a whole lot of hockey fans weeping right now in Phoenix.
  17. Gary Layng from Canada writes: When I first read the headline ('NHL calls proposed deal a 'sham''), I thought the story was about the deal that Bettman was bringing to the table, with a reluctant buyer and all the creditors taking a haircut of at least 25%.

    Any deal that tries to keep a money-losing team stuck in a market that doesn't really care about the sport is either a sham, or a case of wishful, witless thinking.

    Bettman, it's time to take off the rose-coloured glasses and put your ego aside. Your Grand Expansion Strategy has failed. Place teams where they're wanted.
  18. Chris Defend from Canada writes: If the NHL is indeed the owner of this team and prevails then the creditors have reason to pursue civil action against the league to recover all their loans to this team.

    Additionally, major lenders to other NHL franchises facing financial difficulties should put their respective owners on notice too. Pay up or ELSE.

    The NHL commish must be made to understand that he will not be allowed to piss on other peoples' money.
  19. Brenton E. from Canada writes: I could only hope some one would offer me a 212 million dollar sham for a team that is losing the money the dogs are losing.
  20. s c from Canada writes: It sounds like both parties are exagerating their claims. Moyes has every right to declare his team bankrupt and to sell it to who her wants with whats. The agreement between Moyers and Balsillie are contingent on the team moving to Hamilton. That is where the NHL can take a stand.

    The NHL can stipulate where teams are to be located. If Balsillie was willing to leave the team where it is, the courts should rule entirely in Balsillie's favor and he should become the new owner. However, the offer is conditional on the team moving. If the NHL does not permit the team to move, this just means that one of the conditions of the sale is not met and the sale does not go through. It doesn't mean Moyers and Balsillie had no right to negotiate the contract or that they did anything wrong.

    If the NHL prefers to keep teams in losing markets, it has that right.
  21. Brandan Matchett from Halifax, Canada writes: The bankruptcy judge has one job. To secure money for the creditors.

    The league will probably be given the opportunity to match the financial details of the highest bidder.

    In other words Bettman put your money where your mouth is - or hello southern ontario.

    The bakruptcy court could care less about markets in Canada or fans or anything other than securing funds to re-imburse the creditors. Everything else is smoke and mirrors.
  22. Dave Pritchard from Kelowna, writes: ** Breaking News ***
    (AP) In a shocking turn of events, the NHL announced Thursday 11:45am EST that the board of governors has unanimously approved a relocation of the Phoenix Coyotes to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Visit CNN's Situation Room for breaking details. **
  23. Apu Nahasapeemapetilon from Vancouver, Canada writes: 'Apparently, Balsillie does not want to face the scrutiny that come with the NHL Board of Governors' standard review and approval process,' he said.

    I guess the NHL would rather have sleazy owners and convicted criminals such as Bruce McNall, Boots DelBaggio, the Samuelis, Nelson Skalbania and Peter Pocklington rather than owners with the class of Jim Balsille and Paul Allen.
  24. Right Winger (CON/Reform/Alliance supporter) from Canada writes: Hockey will always be 3rd rate in the US with Bettman in charge.
    The NHL is in a panic now because all they can think of is two words...Al Davis, who proved that a team can be moved if the will is there.
  25. Reasonable Man from Toronto, Canada writes: Gary 'The Weasel' Bettman is throwing everything he can at the wall to see what sticks.

    None of the allegations that are contained in the NHL's filings are the slightest bit relevant to the real legal issues at play in the US Bankruptcy Court. Basically, Bettman and the NHL are using their Court filings as part of a PR plan, rather than combating Jimmy B. on the legal issues.

    The NHL was caught with its pants down when Moyes moved to put the team into Chapter 11. Bettman lost, and that petty vindictive little pissant Napoleon is going to embarrass the league out of spite.

    But the stupidest argument of all is the one about this potentially causing financial loss to the Leafs... Since whn is that a legitimate reason to stifle competition?!? Welcome to the world of the competitive market, Maple Laughs! Maybe now you might have to actually care about how well your team performs on the ice, rather than in your financial statements.

    My bet is that the Hamilton Blackberries end up winning the Stanley Cup long before the Leafs.
  26. Another vicious kick right in the face from writes: The NHL is a joke, pro hockey is a farce, Bettman is a fool, and Ballsilly just needs a way to spend the $$$ he earned backdating options. A pox on all of them.
  27. David C from Canada writes: I really dislike Bettman. He is only interested in his own 'vision' of the league and not what is popular with the fans or in this case profitable....

    Keep losing money there Bettman, since you control it. Eventually the board of governors (other franchise owners) will get tired of financing your folly and perhaps then, more franchises will come to where they are wanted and most likely profitable.. CANADA.

    P.S. It's our game, quit trying to transplant it into places where ice does not occur naturally.
  28. Maximus Bishop from Fergus, Ontario, Canada writes: Its quite obvious to me that the NHL wants to keep its Teams in only USA cities, as for Buffalo objecting to a Hamilton location, when the Border closes more or less on June 1st this year, they won't have as many Ontario people attending any Games either Hockey or Football in the 'Queen City'.
  29. MLSE is the Enemy from the 416, Canada writes: Anyone who thinks that the Bettman puppet isn't controlled 100% by MLSE is sadly mistaken. Isn't it interesting that a group who can't keep their comments to themselves hasn't said a peep about this?? It's not that their revenue would decrease but that they wouldn't get any of the new revenue. And as we all know, it's not about anything other than making their masters at the teachers pension fund happy with strong returns.
  30. Tory LaPrath from Phoenix, United States writes: Hernando, I must respectfully disagree. You say the term what kid hasn't dreamed, etc. and say it sarcastically. I can name lots of kids out here that are total hockey nuts and hit the local rinks constantly to get their fix. We've had season tickets to the Coyotes since they moved here, and my own 6 year old son has been going to the games since he was an infant, minus the missing season of course. He's a total puckhead now. He loves this sport, and, as I have said before, the kids are the future fans that will help this sport carry on. He's learning to skate, has his own equipment, and already possesses a wicked slap-shot.

    As I have said prior on other articles, this is a front-runner town that tends to only support winners. I hate that about this place, but it is what it is. When the team starts winning, and they seem to be right on that cusp, FINALLY, more than just the die-hard fans will be in the arena.
  31. Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: LOL...the pic of Bettman of priceless. He looks like someone just shat in his corn flakes.
  32. M.J. B from Canada writes: oh god.
    bettman needs to go.
    even though it shouldnt be about the money, there is more money awaiting you in BETTER SERVED MARKETS. do you know what a hockey market is? a place where people enjoy playing/watching hockey. PHOENIX ARIZONA (jobing.com could be the only arena there..) is a desert. ice doesnt mix well there. bring another team to canada! though you are the worst commissioner the nhl has seen in a while. you think you understand what the fans want.... you dont.

    also get rid of the trapezoid.
  33. Child of the North in Canada from Canada writes: Bettman: The man who killed hockey in Canada or the goose that laid the golden egg. He would rather see the whole league go down in flames than give in to the notion that hockey will never sell in the southern US.
  34. J M from Superduperhockeyville, Canada writes: Is there a single US NHL team that deserves to have a franchise? We need to bring the game back to it's original roots and keep it Canadian and Canadian only.
  35. Cant we all just get along from Canada writes: MLSE,,,,,, doeasnt give a crap,,Number one fan base and team in the world,,,Bettman has to go,,,,,Hockey as we know it is almost history,,to many guys like Bettmen running it,,,Bring back the Old days boys,,,the old days
  36. john wardle from Canada writes:
    Somebody do something about Bettman.
  37. Marian Ruccius from Gatineau, Canada writes: Seems to me that Balsillie has the full right to buy the team, but that only the NHL has the right to say that he can move it to Southern Ontario.
  38. Sir Aarfer from down in the dumps, Canada writes:
    why doesn't balsillie just back off, let someone else move there, and then acquire a majority interest of that team?

    He seems to be prepared to spend whatever it will take to become an owner in S.Ont...
  39. I, Alafrate from Canada writes: You know what would be a good plan B?

    If Balsillie bought the Sabres and moved THEM to Hamilton.

    Haw haw haw.
  40. Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: MLSE is the Enemy from the 416, Canada writes:

    'Anyone who thinks that the Bettman puppet isn't controlled 100% by MLSE is sadly mistaken.'

    No Bettman is only about 25% controlled by MLSE. The NYR have a similar 25% stake with Montreal, Detroit, Boston, Chicago and Philly accounting for 45 of the remaining 50%.

    The rest of the league splits the left over 5%.

    Bettman works for the owners. The owners are dominated by the 6-7 teams in the major markets.
  41. Ed Long from Canada writes: Apu writes a very accurate comment,

    'I guess the NHL would rather have sleazy owners and convicted criminals such as Bruce McNall, Boots DelBaggio, the Samuelis, Nelson Skalbania and Peter Pocklington rather than owners with the class of Jim Balsille and Paul Allen.'

    Balsille is exposing Bettman's vision of the NHL, and that is a league with franchises in major American markets that can pick up the crumbs from the other sports teams.

    Bettman does not view the NHL in the historical or cultural context of Canada. It is irrelevant that the largest group of talent comes from this country or that a team in almost any location would sell out. Canadian teams do not translate to American revenue ... or the potential for revenue.

    And the owners love Bettman for raising league revenues from $400 Million in 1993 to $2.2 Billion in 2006/07.

    Bettman brought NBA marketing with him and he introduced the cap system, as he did in the NBA, to control talent dispersal with one big exception. In the NBA, he allowed a 'soft cap' with the Larry Bird exception where a team that develops and keeps a star is allowed exemptions for that player .... Jordan, Magic, Kobe, Lebron, etc.

    What Bettman has done is make the NHL into an American marketing franchise that he controls.

    He will allow no further teams in Canada, and will use the cap to control talent on the existing teams.
  42. Dick Smith from Canmore, Canada writes: Owner/Board of Governors: Please relieve Gary Bettman of his duties. This is the only hope for the NHL.
  43. Crusty Curmudgeon from Ottawa, Canada writes:

    Bettman is a sham, the refrereeing is a disgrace. The rulebook is useless.

    Why does he choose to enforce this rule when they ignore every other written rule of the game?

    Hockey really needs to clean up its act -- and, as they say, a fish starts to stink from the head -- and that means Bettman.
  44. Hunkered down in the land of never ending promises from Canada writes: From the look on his gob it would appear that the little dictator is pi$$ed.
  45. Springbank Dave from Calgary, Canada writes: Clearly, Bettman hates Canada and will do what ever he can to make sure that no teams go back to Canada and as many teams as possible leave.

    What should Canadians do, when their national sport league is lead by a man who hates their country?
  46. Frank Pyka from London, Canada writes: Hey Gary. Winnipeg called. They want their team back.
  47. j j from Canada writes: Not sure if it's been mentioned above, but for a good laugh at bttman's expense try the Canadian movie 'Good cop, bad cop'. My wife is only interested in hockey because of Sydney Crosby but she liked the movie so she understands what this whole bttman thing means to so many other Canadians.
  48. Pious Conservative from Toronto, Canada writes: I love Gary Bettman. His nastiness and stubborness remind me of Prime Minister Harper, which I intend as a compliment of both men.
  49. Mark S from Calgary, Canada writes: The only sham here is the little man Bettman. It was okay to move Quebec Nordiques and the Winnipeg Jets out of Canada. Just don't expect to relocate a money losing franchise from the USA to Canada.
  50. Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: Josh Taylor from Dublin, Canada writes:

    'Perhaps Balsillie should address the GTA concerns directly: if you can prove a loss of attendance on behalf of the leafs or sabres after the new team, then there could be some compensation, because I doubt there will be any drop at all...'

    The issue of encroaching on the Leaf's and Buffalo's turf is a red-herring.

    The solution as you pointed out is compensation. It has occured many times with the NFL and other leagues.

    Bettman and the owners simply don't want a hockey version of Mark Cuban in their boyz club.
  51. Bruce Reid from Canada writes: Never trust anyone who can use a word like 'effectuated' without blushing.
  52. Harvey Mushman from cambridge, Canada writes: My guess is Gary Bettman's biggest problem is the thought of relocating an NHL team to Hamilton (or anywhere else in Southern Ontario) and miss out on the ga-zillion dollars he would charge an expansion team to start there.

    I can't see how the NHL has a leg to stand on legally to try and stop Moyes from putting the club in bankruptcy...after all he is a creditor and any creditor can put a company into bankruptcy. What happens after that....will be very interesting. Most likely the NHL will have to take over the franchise lock stock and barrel. Let's see how long other owners like keeping Gary at the helm when their own dollars are continually used to prop up failed Southern US teams.
  53. J.C. Davies from Canada writes:
    'Springbank Dave from Calgary, Canada writes: Clearly, Bettman hates Canada and will do what ever he can to make sure that no teams go back to Canada and as many teams as possible leave.'

    No, it's simply a prudent business decision that reflects the wishes and interests of the majority of the teams owners. The US teams have a harder time selling tickets for games where Canadian teams are the opponents, particularly if the Canadian team is from a community with low
    name recognition. Selling tickets in LA for Kings v. Coyotes game is easier than selling tickets for a Kings v. (Kitchener/Hamilton) Blackberries.
  54. Anordinary Guy from Canada writes: Lets be honest here...it all comes down to $$$

    If Balsillie gets the team and moves to Hamilton, the NHL is out the whatever million new franchise fee that would normally be paid if Mr. Blackberry came in through the front door. Each owner gets a share of this fee and they don't have to share any with the NHLPA. The little New York lawyer that runs the NHL must get the best deal possible for the existing owners. Hockey fans in southern Ontario don't even register on his radar.
  55. Al Public from Southern Ontario, Canada writes: Bettman is doing the NHL about as much good as Buzz Hargrove did for the CAW...that little weasel has got to go.
  56. Blake Johnston from Vancouver, Canada writes: Let's cater to the uninterested and deny the interested. Go NHL GO!
  57. GK cheese from Toronto, Canada writes: The NHL doens't seem unlike the Mafia or a Biker organization.

    Too bad we Canadians are too complacent to organize a boycott. Everyone turn off the games from your TV for the next two weeks. No Canadian teams are left anyway.

    Kill all the lawyers.
    Shakespeare
  58. Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: Honestly the conspiracy theories about Bettman are ridiculous.

    Bettman doesn't hate Canada.

    Bettman doesn't want to see teams leave Canada.

    Bettman is a business man and pragmatic; something more Canadian fans need to wrap their head around.

    Canada could support 1 or 2 more teams from a fan base perspective. However more teams in Canada won't increase league revenue considerably.

    SoCal has almost the same population of all of Canada. They need to capture 10% of the market to equal the entire population of AB or BC.

    From a growth perspective the US offers far more opportunities than Canada.

    Canadians need to quit being so small minded and a little more pragmatic.
  59. Erik Richards from Winnipeg, MB, writes: j q from Canada writes: 'Every marketable brand which has franchises controls its regional location rights not the individual owners of the franchises.

    Tim Horton's is a great example. If you want to put up a donut shop next to an existing Tim Horton's, you are free to do so, but you can't call it Tim Horton's.'

    Really? Have you ever been to London Ontario, or any one of a dozen other Canadian cities that practically have Tim Horton's stacked on top of each other?

    Tim Horton's franchise controls must be there can't be any more than 2 per city block.
  60. Derek Holtom from Swan River, Canada writes: Rick C from Calgary
    at the same time, I think Bettman's attack on this is hurting him, and the game, in Canada.
    I also think they've tried their best to grow the game in the southern US, but when repeats of poker games draw better ratings than NHL hockey, I think we can all agree the NHL will never be a television draw in the south
  61. Norman Petit from Calgary, Canada writes: What the league wants is a billionaire to buy the Coyotes as a tax writeoff and keep them in Phoenix to preserve its 'reputation' as a company whose business units stay operating no matter how many millions of dollars it flushes down the toilet every year. Pride? What pride?
  62. various degrees from Hamilton, Canada writes: Stop! you're breaking my heart. Read it and weep. You can make all the insults, accusations and challenges you want. The fact remain Balsillie has tried to wiggle around the rules before. Does anyone really believe this guy is trying to get this team because he loves hockey? Does he care that Hamilton's excuse for a mayor whose city is in dire need of money for several worth while projects says maybe we can use taxpayer money ? He has changed his mind at least twice as to how much money he wants to put into the dump they pass off as an arena in the middle of a disaster they call downtown. He's in it for the money and what he can get out of it . Never mind these rabid so called hockey fans who think the world revolves around sports. Half these clowns would have to take a collection to get enough gray matter for one brain. This is indeed a scheme which is doomed to failure as it should be,
  63. ed ncda from Calgary, Canada writes: Only G.B. could call $200 million a 'sham'.
  64. Patrick Nash from Canada writes: GOOD! Learn some manner Balsilie.
  65. Jockey T from Bend of the River, Canada writes: Oh say can you see
    by the dawns early light
    another NHL hockey team in Canada

    In the coming yearrrrrr???

    Oh no oh no forget it
  66. R. M. from Regina, Canada writes: I thought Southern Ontario was being decimated by the recession and now many think that Hamilton, an economically fragile city at the best of times, that can't even support a football team without a sugar daddy to pay the bills can also handle an NHL hockey team with their ticket prices? Expensive toys for boys!
  67. Craig ! from Republic of Newfoundland, Canada writes: All you have to do is look at the amount that the owner of the Bulls and White sox was going to pay for that team with Betmans approval. 110 Million. Basille offering 212 million. What owner in the NHL in their right mind would want the franchise sole for almost half of what they could get and recoup some of their money.

    Add to that Balsille has already given Moyes 18 Million dollars in Bridge financing to operate the team under bankruptcy. That loan has to be paid back before all others. So if the team is sold for 100 million and 18 million of that has to go to Balsille the league is left with about 90 million dollars for the franchise that thya have put 50 million dollars into.

    What a joke!
  68. Ed Long from Canada writes: Rick C .... All of your comments are correct.

    But, how does the potential fan base and market size of SoCal benefit the Canadian hockey fan?

    Your arguments can easily be applied to any international corporation. Market size dictates service or product placement.

    Let's be honest, from a rational view only SoOnt, Quebec and the Fraser Valley/Vancouver justify a major league team. Sorry, two teams in Alberta are not rational. ( I once did a market analysis for a large international service corp. and in the big scheme, Alberta barely makes the line ).

    However, in Canada, hockey surpasses religion, politics and almost everything else. Therefore rational analysis goes the way of the Green Bay Packers, in football crazy sports starved Northern U.S. or Darlington NASCAR track in car crazy sports starved Souther U.S.

    Your apparent rationalizations are simply more American genuflecting from an obvious wannabe.
  69. Richard Keho from Canada writes: J M from Canada writes: The league it has the 'fundamental right to decide who will be members of the venture and where franchises will be located'

    Obviously there are back room shenanigans to keep the old boys club strong.
    ______________________________________________________

    You're right. Best example is the Preds deal. Boots the con ends up with that team. You would think Buttman would have done a background check. Then the former Preds owner for taking a haircut ends up in Minny. In this situation I think Balsillie wants to head them off at the pass before Reinsdorf can get in on the cheap. I'm sure he'll keep them in Phoenix for a year but I wouldn't be suprised to see them go to Vegas, or maybe a second team in Chi Town. It's all a croc, and Balsillie is trying to bring it to light. It may be more exciting than the playoffs.
  70. Jeremy K from Burnaby, Canada writes: What's amusing os the sports league selective enforcement of the rules. The NBA went against their own rules and promises when they relocated Vancouver because it suited them but now the NHL is willing to fight tooth and nail to enforce the rules because it suits them

    lol
  71. Anordinary Guy from Canada writes: Rick C - you are so correct. Most of the comments here come from rabid hockey fans, who are writing from their hearts, not their heads. GB is a businessman, nothing more, nothing less. He would do the same if he was running Tim Hortons, Second Cup or any other franchise organization. He knows who he works for. If he could increase league revenues by locating in New Dundee he would do so. Unfortunately, hockey fans need to see this through the eyes of the (majority) U.S. owners.
  72. Reasonable Man from Toronto, Canada writes: Rick C.: You are right - we need that type of cold analysis of the numbers... Based on your theory, it is amazing that neither the Australian Rules nor the Pakistani Cricket leagues have opened up shop in Southern California.

    Put hockey teams where the FANS are, not where the (uninterested) population is highest. There are over a billion people in both China and India; by your logic, THOSE are the places in which the NHL should be expanding.
  73. notaliberal invaughan from Canada writes: Why doesn't he just start his own Hockey league and compete with the NHL...I'm sure it will do very well if it is marketed properly, That will get Bettman's pantyhose in an uproar.....lol
  74. Evan Poll from t.o, Canada writes: In 1980, NFL owner Al Davis attempted to move the Raiders to Los Angeles but was blocked by a court injunction. In response Davis filed an anti-trust lawsuit against the NFL. In June 1982 a federal district court ruled in Davis' favor and the team officially relocated to Los Angeles for the 1982 NFL season.
  75. Ghost Rider from Canada writes: J M from Superduperhockeyville, Canada writes: Is there a single US NHL team that deserves to have a franchise? We need to bring the game back to it's original roots and keep it Canadian and Canadian only.
    _____________________________________________________
    Because you would end up with another CFL, struggling with half empty areas. The team in Winnipeg left because no corporate support and Quebec left because they could not get a taxpayer funded area. Why should S.O tax payers pay for a Hamilton Team...let Hamilton pay for it. If I was the NHL I would tell the rim guy to take a hike, the league consists of Clubs and Membership is the right of the NHL no one else. and BTW S.O is not a sports town ask the Marlies, Bulldogs, Icedogs, Majors,Battalion, Bluejays,Raptors, etc. this area is mostly a LEAF town.

    The minute the novelty wears off, any new S.O team, they would play in front of a half empty area, if the NY Metropolitan area with a population of 18,815,988 which is 3x more than Ontario cannot succeed with 3 teams, what makes you think it will work here, think about it in a business sense not a patriotic one. My opinion is the league should contract by at least 4 teams.

    Cheers
  76. Serenity Now from Canada writes: I can't imagine what is more unsavoury than bankruptcy.

    Perhaps if the leader of the NHL would stake his job on the success of the Coyotes under their helm, they could keep it.

    But sorry NHL, in the rest of the world this is called a 'Business' and in business we are required to actually 'make money', and....oh...what is it called again....oh yes....turn a 'profit'.

    It seems to me the entire NHL has gone to the dogs since this lilliputian wonder took over and moved it to New York.
  77. John Simmons from Canada writes: 'Apparently, Balsillie does not want to face the scrutiny that come with the NHL Board of Governors' standard review and approval process,' [Daly] said.

    You mean the process that allowed Boots Del Biaggio, Bruce McNall, Henry Samueli, John Rigas... into the league?

    The NHL did this to itself with its greed and incompetence.
  78. buzz fazbert from Canada writes: President Gary is the SHAM. His U.S.H.L. is his flagship. Hanging from the yardarm is Phoenix, Nashville, Floridax2, Carolina, etc. He is willing to beggar the real NHL to ensure that his wet dream comes to life. And for you apologists who didn't witness the officiating travesty that was the Vancouver/Chicago series don't expect to see a Canadian team win the cup in the near future. What would give Gary an intellectual orgasm would be a Phoenix/Nashville cup final in 2010.
  79. Reasonable Man from Toronto, Canada writes: Anordinary Guy: The NHL is not a business like Tim Hortons. Demand for coffee and other consumer products does not vary from location to location to the same extent as demand for hockey. Bettman may understand business, but he clearly does not understand the consumer dynamics related to marketing the NHL and hockey generally. Obviously, it is not enough to simply drop a team into a large enough population to expect it to thrive.

    Yeah, I'm sure the new franchise fees would be nice. But it makes the league look really bad when, 5 years later, the new team has to file for bankruptcy protection. Long term growth for the league depends on cultivating fans, not collecting big up front fees.
  80. Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: Derek Holtom from Swan River, Canada writes:

    'Rick C from Calgary
    at the same time, I think Bettman's attack on this is hurting him, and the game, in Canada.'

    Really? How so? I'm not going to watch more or less Oilers games next year depending on whether or not Balsillie gets to move a team to southern Ontario.

    Honestly the remarks from many Canadian fans remind me of people with small-man syndrome.

    Not to mention they indicate incredibly poor business sense.

    There is very little room for growth in Canada. Sorry that is just reality.

    'I also think they've tried their best to grow the game in the southern US, but when repeats of poker games draw better ratings than NHL hockey, I think we can all agree the NHL will never be a television draw in the south'

    I disagree. It's no different that growing the sport of soccer in Canada.

    It isn't going to happen overnight. In fact it might take more than a generation to see significant progress.

    However my bro works in San Jose and grass roots hockey is growing.

    Canadians need to get over their insecurities that someone is trying to steal our game.
  81. Serenity Now from Canada writes: Shouldn't he be up a tree making cookies?
  82. Erik Richards from Winnipeg, MB, writes: Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: 'SoCal has almost the same population of all of Canada. They need to capture 10% of the market to equal the entire population of AB or BC.

    From a growth perspective the US offers far more opportunities than Canada.

    Canadians need to quit being so small minded and a little more pragmatic.'

    Pragmatic? You want pragmatic? How many butts in the seats do Southern U.S. teams get compared to Canadian teams. I'll tell you - 14% more. If you look at the 6 (of 8) most popular NHL teams in the U.S. south, those teams combined have an average attendance of 100,764. In Canada, the average for our 6 teams is 114,292.

    What growth opportunities do you see in an area that isn't interested in hockey? Go to ESPN and check out the statistics on attendance and with one or two exceptions (New Jersey in particular) the most poorly attended teams are the ones in the U.S. south.

    Now, I suppose if your business is to take a loss, then having an NHL team in the sun belt makes perfect sense. But a lot of governors in the north must wonder why they are subsidizing teams that will never grow in popularity.
  83. stacey haggerty from london, Canada writes: Bettman is simply a little Napoleon who cannot and will not admit that any suggestion not of his making may have merit. Additionally, he would rather stay in a losing market than admit 'oops we made a (gasp) mistake'. Personally, I would welcome another NHL team in Southern Ontario since I would be able to then take my children to games which we aren't able to do with the Leafs.
  84. Serenity Now from Canada writes: It's fine, hey if they keep it we can sit here...napkins patiently folded for the bloodbath as they Coyotes go under, and the blood sprays as creditors go after the NHL.

    Frankly, if the NHL can guarantee those loans, then fine keep the team...but if you cannot pay the debt...like ANY company...they sell it...it should be that simple.
  85. brm 2000 from Hogtown, Canada writes: All of this is very interesting, but i would like to have an legal opinion. Who actually owns the team? Do the owners own the team and the NHL owns the rights to use the NHL logo and such? Or does the NHL own both? I would say that if the owners get a share of the profits and negotiate with stadiums and other revenue sharing vehicles like advertising, then they own the properties. In other words, if they profit, then they lose as well. So there can be no covenant dis allowing them to move the team, as they own it. It would be nice if a lawyer was to comment on this.
  86. Another Option canada from Canada writes: How many teams are in New York . And area.. So why can there not be 2 teams in our area.. this is crazy.. Seems more like a the NHL is just upset that There will be a state with-out a team.. They didn't do much to save the team in Winnipeg. So they have already establish that they have no real guide to how they plan out where the teams are. Besides in the media NHL org likes to call it sport and in the Board room it is called product and entertainment. This should make for a good court case.
  87. Craig ! from Republic of Newfoundland, Canada writes: Erik Richards from Winnipeg, MB, writes: Pragmatic? You want pragmatic? How many butts in the seats do Southern U.S. teams get compared to Canadian teams. I'll tell you - 14% more. If you look at the 6 (of 8) most popular NHL teams in the U.S. south, those teams combined have an average attendance of 100,764. In Canada, the average for our 6 teams is 114,292.

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

    Are you talking about per game? Because montreal had attendence of 872,398 fans last year for 41 regular season home games. 21,273 per game. It takes some teams in the US market 3 games to get 21,000 fans
  88. BCer in Mtl . from Canada writes: Apropos that Bettman chooses to use that word, as he reminds me of the 'Sham Wow' guy
  89. Celine Brown from Canada writes: Yeah, it must be really complicated to relocate a team.

    Phoenix in the schedule should read Hamilton.

    Yeah, that's complicated all right.
  90. Hockeydad London from Canada writes: Why is the NHL so obstinent? 1. It want to control the process so 2. The owners can collect a $400M expansion fee. Bettman has been successful because the value of the teams have risen. Short term cash losses, funded from other businesses, which are a tax write off, pale in most cases beside the increase in team values. Part of that is the potential for expansion fees, part from the still faint hopes of other sources of income such as tv. The NHL is owned and controlled by Americans. They are looking primarily at their own market. No real surprises there. Perhaps, as Canadians, if we truely love hockey, we will ingnore the NHL version of the pro game and just go to a rink on Saturday night and enjoy the local Jr B or whatever version of it is nearby. Skip the NHL and take back our game at the grass roots level.
  91. brm 2000 from Hogtown, Canada writes: Or to put it another way, the owner of the team can sell the team, the players the physical assets, but the NHL owns the rights to use the NHL logo and play in the NHL. Or does the owner become part of the NHL when they buy a team. The players are 'free' agents, they can play on any team and their value is derived by their playing ability, (Sidney Crosby) or their notoriety. If the owners could sell the assets of the team piece by piece, they could profit and stop losses. The NHL could control who gets what. Whether one likes the NHL, they control the NHL. However. Baisallie, with his billions could set up an alternate Canadian only league. I guess the value of the franchaise is whether NHL controls it and to what extent.
  92. Apu Nahasapeemapetilon from Vancouver, Canada writes: Cannot wait for the NHL Draft and the reception that Mr. Bettman and Mr. Gretzky will receive. The sounds of booing will be very enjoyable.
  93. Benjamin Rulmoney from Ottawa, Canada writes: Go Jim Go!!

    The NHL is a rotting fish that stinks from the head. Once again, it's playing politics preventing a team to not only survive, but thrive. I'm just not sure why 'Canada's Sport' is controlled so tightly by those south of the border.
  94. mkw h from Canada writes: Jim Balsillie is founder and co-CEO of a company with over $11 billion US in revenue and a net income of $1.89 billion. Gary Bettman and the NHL run a league with total revenue of less than $3 billion with several franchises on life support. Who do you think is in a better position to run the Coyotes franchise?!

    Obviously it goes beyond that but an interesting perspective on things.
  95. mkw h from Canada writes: 'Jim Balsillie is founder and co-CEO of a company with over $11 billion US in revenue and a net income of $1.89 billion. Gary Bettman and the NHL run a league with total revenue of less than $3 billion with several franchises on life support. Who do you think is in a better position to run the Coyotes franchise?!

    Obviously it goes beyond that but an interesting perspective on things. '

    Whoops, not found, that would be Mike Lazaridis.
  96. Bones Monseki from Ottawa, Canada writes: Ed Long from Canada writes: ...However, in Canada, hockey surpasses religion, politics and almost everything else. Therefore rational analysis goes the way of the Green Bay Packers, in football crazy sports starved Northern U.S. or Darlington NASCAR track in car crazy sports starved Souther U.S.

    Thank you, fine sir. You took the words right out of my mouth
  97. Jeffrey 93 from Canada writes: Gerald Carpenter....if the league can block a move....why would they have put the stipulations on the Penguins deal? They wanted the Penguins anchored to Pittsburgh by way of a condition on the sale.

    If you can block any attempted move....why put that condition on the sale?

    I'll tell you why...because once you own a team you can move it wherever you want. Short of revoking the franchise (which would NEVER happen) the league has only a formaility of control over relocation.
  98. Master T from Burlington, Canada writes:

    NHL = Fraternity of old retired dorks.

    'Apparently, Balsillie does not want to face the scrutiny that come with the NHL Board of Governors' standard review and approval process,'

    That's because the NHL has already made it clear that economics and attendance mean nothing in their decision making and adhering to some 'yet to be defined' set of 'make 'em as you go' rules is how the NHL operates.

    Why else would they fight economics and keep a bankrupt team in the same fan-less location that bankrupted them in the first place?

    Who would want to submit themselves to that scritiny??

    Basillie should just start a team of his own and stage a bunch of 'demonstration' games with other NHL teams at his own arena.
  99. Steve Church from Canada writes: So basically the majority here think JB should be allowed to conspire against the NHL; break its rules and covenants; get a Hamilton franchise for half price; squeeze $120mil of public money to fix up Copps; leave every future sports-franchise decision citing the pillage of Phoenix; end franchise territories in every sport; give every team in every major sport the right to move where it wants when it wants without compensation or permission - regardless of that League's charter. And Buffalo can basically go screw itself. This is supported because 1. economic pit Hamilton should have a franchise now; 2. You don't like the Bettman; 3. You don't like the rich arrogant owners; 4. You don't like the poor arrogant owners; 5. You don't like Americans. Good day, fools. You'll bring the whole house down when you win.
  100. B.C. Expat from Ottawa-Hull, FCR, Canada writes: Nice photo of Bettman, Globe. Why not just draw devil horns on him and play menacing music when you open the page?

    The Canadian media are so transparent sometimes.
  101. Joseph Muller from Hamilton, Canada writes: 'I, Alafrate from Canada writes: All that matters at the moment is the third last paragraph, where the NHL grudgingly admits the move may be technically permissible (now matter how unsavoury some may find it).'

    Harry Buttman (thank-you, Bon Cop, Bad Cop) appealing against those things technically permissible (i.e. the law) in favour of ethics and good conduct: Now there's something you don't see every day.
  102. Cassandra from Ottawa from Canada writes: All the personal attacks on Bettman are absurd. He helped to keep the Oilers and Senators and Flames in Canada.

    He could not do so with the Jets or Nordiques becuase there was no
    proper arena and no one wiling to build one in those cities.
    Despite all the cries about bringing the Coyotes to Canada, the team was in Canada and coudn't make a go of it here.

    There is no sports league that would permit a new member who
    pulls the shnaigans that Mr Balsillie has pulled three times now.

    All this Bettman hates Canada stuff is bogus. He is doing what he should and what the BOG expect him to do, protecting the interests of the league.

    If he were permitted to go ahead and the Hamilton team failed,pulling down the Sabres with them, then all the fans and sports writers who are cheerleading Balsilie would say woops, and move on. But he wouyld be remiss in his duties to take such a risk.
  103. GrinTo Toronto from Toronto, Canada writes: Time for a CANADIAN based and managed hockey league!
  104. Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: Ed Long from Canada writes:

    'Rick C .... All of your comments are correct.

    But, how does the potential fan base and market size of SoCal benefit the Canadian hockey fan?'

    It doesn't Ed.

    However the Canadian hockey fan is not the be all and end all of the sport.

    I don't say that to belittle Canadian hockey fans; I am one myself.

    Gary Bettman wasn't hired by the owners to cater to Canadian fans.

    He was hired to grow the sport.

    There simply isn't much room for growth in Canada. Not to mention he really doesn't have to do any work to sell the game here.

    All he has to do is ensure the Canadian franchises can remain viable. Which is what the salary cap has done; for now.

    Canadian fans seem to forget numerous Canadian teams required 'Save the (insert team name here)' campaigns to prevent them from going t!ts up less than 10 years ago.

    I support putting a franchise in southern Ontario; however this petty notion that some Canadian fans have that the game should only be played in hockey mad markets is childish.
  105. Metro Man from Toronto, Canada writes: Jim Ball-silly - Businessman???

    Jim Ball-silly - Playground bully - nothing more, nothing less.

    Bettman is protecting the rights of the owners - the people who appointed him their leader - nothing more, nothing less....

    And to those of you who believe that MLSE isn't calling ALL the shots here....well there's a Stanley Cup coming your way very soon too....NOT!

    If someone else wants to pony up 212 million bucks to Moyes, take over the franchise, THEN get into a back room with MLSE and possibly the Sabres to discuss the possiblity of moving a failed franchise into their backyards, my bet is that Bettman and the rest will say yes, by all means come into our league and play nicely.....But Balsillie has never so much as even attempted to play by the rules that were developed by these 30 owners....From day one he has been saying screw you and do it my way or take the highway....Hey Jimbo ya catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar!!!!
  106. Master T from Burlington, Canada writes:

    B.C. Expat from Ottawa-Hull, FCR, Canada writes: Nice photo of Bettman, Globe. Why not just draw devil horns on him and play menacing music when you open the page?
    ............................................................................................................

    Oh, did Bettman have his horns removed? I didn't notice....
  107. Gerald Carpenter from writes: 'Reasonable Man from Toronto, Canada writes: Anordinary Guy: The NHL is not a business like Tim Hortons. Demand for coffee and other consumer products does not vary from location to location to the same extent as demand for hockey. Bettman may understand business, but he clearly does not understand the consumer dynamics related to marketing the NHL and hockey generally.'

    Are you kidding me? Do you even have any clue what you are saying? Do you actually think that demand for Tim horton coffee is the same at the end of Highway 6 in Caledonia is the same as it is at Bay and Adelaide? Get with it. The discrepancy is probably about the same as it is for NHL hockey in TO as opposed to PHO. And then you have the temerity to talk about Bettman's understanding of consumer dynamics. Thanks for that laugh; it brightened my day considerably.
  108. paul kazimer from Milton, Canada writes: It's time to start some boycotts of NHL Hockey in Canada to get our
    point across to Butthead that Southern Ontario wants a team or two.
    How about rotating boycotts of NHL Hockey games. It's a big
    cost to season ticket owners I know but boy would it get the attention when no-one would be in the stands watching the leafs.
  109. Ian Cairncross from Cantley, Canada writes: Balsillie once again touts any respect for established rules and regulations in the belief that money can buy anything. Not only has he touted SEC laws for which he was fined a heavy amount in penalties, here in Canada he was also fined by the TSE. In yet another precedent several years ago, he made an outright take over one of the oldest and most respected institutions in Canadian politics, the CIIA (Canadian Institute for International affairs), changed its name to CIC, and appointed himself Chairman. One has to ask oneself what hockey teams and Canada's foreign policy have in common, and what expertise Mr. Balsillie has to contribute to either. Selling blackberry's can generate money alone, it cannot buy either hockey teams nor prestige.
  110. Master T from Burlington, Canada writes:

    Ian Cairncross from Cantley, Canada writes: Balsillie once again touts any respect for established rules and regulations in the belief that money can buy anything.
    ......................................................................................................

    For rules to be respected, the rules should first be respectable...
  111. Another Opinion from Toronto, Canada writes: For Cassandra: 'All the personal attacks on Bettman are absurd. He helped to keep the Oilers and Senators and Flames in Canada.'

    I'm so tired of hearing this!

    I know the NHL helped Ottawa make ends meet when they declared bankruptcy.

    To my knowledge, Calgary stayed afloat by appealling to its fan base to sell ticket until the dollar went back up in value.

    I have no idea what Bettman or the NHL did for Edmonton.

    What, SPECIFICALLY and TANGIBLY did the NHL do for the clubs in Calgary and Edmonton, and don't give me stupid things like the collective bargaining agreement or moral support. WHAT DID THEY DO?

    As far as I know, the rising dollar is what provided the most support for the six remaining Canadian teams. The NHL just watched and said nice things.... which is of course exactly what they did before moving away the Jets and Nordiques.
  112. Trevor Wiens from Canada writes: It amazes me at how two faced the NHL can be. When Balsillie tried to purchase the Penguins, the BOG unanimously approved him as an owner, but Balsille pulled out of the deal when Bettman tried to put unreasonable conditions in the offer to purchase at the last minute. When he tried to buy the team in Nashville, Balsillie went through the front door of the league, offers way over market value and took season ticket deposits in Hamilton to show the city could support a team, and then Bettman comes in and somehow convinces Leipold to sell for less money and then he miraculously ends up owning the Wild. I think Balsillie would play by the rule, but the NHL keeps changing them to suit their own purpose.
  113. Seasoned Warrior from Canada writes: I am baffled. Why are they so determinedly against Jim Balsillie having a franchise? What is the big deal? More competition actually means more audience. This doesn't make sense to me.
  114. Shawn Bull from Canada writes: Bettmen is pure evil. If this were a Canadian team in trouble he would yank it so fast and put it in the US but when the rolees are revesed...no way.

    Keep trying Gary maybe one day the deep south population will start strapping on skates cause there are just so many rinks down there.
  115. ente EighteenEightyEight from Canada writes: It's funny to be that JB continues to desire an nhl team so badly that he's willing to have his name dragged through the mud by the politics of the petty little gary b and his clique of dum-dums.

    It's equally funny to me that NHL owners (at least those with any cash on hand) will back up the commissioner when JB's buying of the team means more money for all (both in terms of franchise valuation and cash being burned to support teams via 'revenue sharing').

    If I was JB, I'd let this run its course and if I lose, I'd wait until several nhl franchises fold in those southern markets (including pheonix) and let the nhl come crawling to me when their product has been proven to be the sham/scam it is.

    Or else, as has been suggested, I'd buy the sabres and move 'em to hamilton to ensure the territorial rights issue is pre-settled.

    As for MLSE, there's only 1 question. Did a team in Ottawa help create more money for you? What's that? yes? then what's the problem?
  116. Sonny Crockett from Canada writes: Bettman is the sham. He reserves the right to force-feed phoenix arizona with a hockey team despite their obvious lack of interest, yet refuses to supply hockey to the starving southern ontario market. It's like refusing to a move a beach volleyball team from alaska to california. What a complete joke of a commissioner.
  117. Jondas McHooter from Canada writes: I think that Ballsille is under the impression that there was no way he was going to get a franchise under 'normal' circumstances, and he say what he thought was a loophole and went for it.

    Unfortunately I don't think it will work, and this will keep what I think would be a great team owner out of the NHL for many years to come. For sure until after Bettman and his crew are long gone.

    Gerald Carpenter:
    In reference to the Tim Horton's analogy, while it is true that demand for Tim's is different depending on the location, I am sure it is also very true that if there was a location lagging far under expectations, they would move the franchise to somewhere more profitable. That is the difference.
  118. Seasoned Warrior from Canada writes: Maybe its time for a CHL and just forget the Americans. We have great players here and no doubt we could have a great Canadian Hockey League with teams in all of our major cities. I suspect that if the Canadians pulled out and just formed their own league, that the American NHL would suffer greatly and the CHL would prosper. The Americans would have to rely on their northern teams - Chicago, Detroit and New York to keep their whole league afloat.
  119. B.C. Expat from Ottawa-Hull, FCR, Canada writes: The Canadian inferiority complex raises its ugly head again. Why is it OK to kill the Sabres, just as it would have been OK to kill the Penguins, two of the older U.S.-based franchises? The issue is simple: the anti-Americanism that pervades this readership is embarrassing.

    Mark S from Calgary, Canada writes: The only sham here is the little man Bettman. It was okay to move Quebec Nordiques and the Winnipeg Jets out of Canada. Just don't expect to relocate a money losing franchise from the USA to Canada.

    I notice how you gloss over the fact that the NHL likewise did nothing for the Minnesota North Stars or Hartford Whalers. The difference here is time and CBA, not geography.
  120. Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: Erik Richards from Winnipeg, MB, writes:

    'Pragmatic? You want pragmatic? How many butts in the seats do Southern U.S. teams get compared to Canadian teams. I'll tell you - 14% more. If you look at the 6 (of 8) most popular NHL teams in the U.S. south, those teams combined have an average attendance of 100,764. In Canada, the average for our 6 teams is 114,292. '

    Wow...a 14% difference. What on earth are they thinking when they only average 100,764 in a market 5 times the size of all of Canada?

    You don't own or run a business do you?
  121. Another Opinion from Toronto, Canada writes: For Rick C: 'All he has to do is ensure the Canadian franchises can remain viable. Which is what the salary cap has done; for now.'

    Yeah, whatever. And, of course, the Canadian Dollar rising above the US Dollar had NOTHING to do with it, right?

    'this petty notion that some Canadian fans have that the game should only be played in hockey mad markets is childish.'

    Of course. How ridiculous of people to suggest that a product be sold to people who WANT it. 'Growing' the game may be a reasonable goal, but that's not what is happening!

    Many of the Southern US teams are struggling, only to be supported by those whining Canadian fans whose ticket sales keep the Coyotes out of bankruptcy.

    In a league that relies heavily on gate numbers, it's the height of irony that the NHL seems determined to put teams in places where NOBODY SHOWS UP!
  122. Yappa Ding Ding from Waterloo, Canada writes: Jim Balsillie might not win this one, but he's chipping away at Bettman. He may lose the battle but he won't lose the war. There will be many opportunities for him to (try to) buy a team and (try to) move it to Ontario.

    What's needed now is for hockey fans in southern Ontario to start rallying behind Balsillie and giving this idea some real support. In particular, the citizens of Waterloo and Hamilton should get into the act. (Waterloo is outside the competition zone and it has a big population; it's the perfect location for the seventh Canadian team.)

    Go Jimbo!
  123. Patrick Nolan from Perth, Australia writes: The Winnipeg Jets were sold to an owner who had no city and no building to put the team in. He tried St. Paul and then settled on Phoenix as a second choice. Where was Bettman then? Did he stand by Winnipeg? This is exactly then same situation. Exactly. The difference is it's Canada. This is an outrageous attack on all Canadian hockey fans by the NHL and Bettman.
  124. Roger Simpson from Toronto, Canada writes: This is really starting to turn me off the NHL.
  125. Ottawa Rocks from Ottawa, Canada writes: I think criticism over Bettman is over the top. I think Bettman is an individual that has a control freak persona to him and as such would appreciate the rigours of NHL process being followed. I don't he's against SOnt team, but does not want to weaken his SoUS presence & future SoUS mkt potential. Rather than move I believe he would like to grow it, but not in a rushed, chaotic, haphazard manner. He's saving the US cities, but he did try to keep Cal, Edm and Ott preserved when they were going thru their crises as well.
  126. Edward Franko from Toronto, Canada writes: 'Apparently, Balsillie does not want to face the scrutiny that come with the NHL Board of Governors' standard review and approval process,' he said.

    Bill Daly said this with a straight face....this from a league that let the Nashville debacle happen with messed up owner! If they apply the scrutiny they did in the Nashville case, Basillie should get 5 franchises!

    This is getting absolutely ridiculous
  127. The Spangler from Canada writes: Bettman is an arrogant jackass, given how they are treating southern Ontario and Balsillie I think I may just start boycotting the NHL, OHL and WHL all the way!
  128. jack sprat from Canada writes: If Balsillie is allowed to make this transaction by circumventing all the rules what faith can you have that some richer guy won't come and buy the team and relocate it in another 2 years or so. Such a precedent would also apply to NFL, NBA, etc. So the Raptors, NFL teams, etc. could simply accept offeres from anyone and move their teams. Obviously this would craete havoc with all the sports leagues. It may be a nice thought to have this team in Southern Ontario, but if balsillie played by the rules, you would probably have it by now. But no league, no owners and no law should allow professional franchises to be treated like used cars. Think of all the ancillary businesses that woud lose if any team could be sold and gone at any minute.

    Teams like calgary and Edmonton would have been long gone without the exchange rate adjustment allowances brought in by the league years ago also. These teams cannot compete with even mid-size US markets when they pay salaries in US dollars.

    The leagues bring order to these types of situations and are there to ensure the health of the league, not just a market in Southern Ontario.

    Get beyond the emotion and you see that the NHL is right and balsillie should simply accept the process that is in place.
  129. Steve is a warmongering neanderthal and loving it! from Canada writes:

    I am always IN for another Canadian team.
    Bettman needs to leave the notion of southern cities and hockey.
    In those parts of the US NASCAR rules and hockey has always been an oddity.
    Northern US cities could also host more teams. I would love to see a return of the Hartford Whalers in some form.
    Illinois could easily be the hockey version of the Cubs and White Sox and so on.

    But I still want a Canadian team, just not in Winnipeg.
    I remember the ding-dong Winnipeg mayor at the time ranted about not wanting to support millionaires. She was NDP I believe. That is NDP territory anyways and why give them the satisfaction of bailing them out of their stupidity.
    Obviously she had no clue of hockey being a community unifier, travel destination and source of income for that city.
  130. Gerald Carpenter from writes: Jeffrey93, to answer your question, the Pittsburgh provisions were not to prevent movement for seven years, but rather to refrain from requesting a relocation for seven years.

    I hope that clears it up.
  131. An Observer from Canada writes: If the NHL wants to keep the franchise and control where it goes they should be forced to buyout the team ie the remaining owners pay up and pay off the creditors.
    The NHL should not have it both ways; keep the rights to the franchise and walk away from liabilities.
    A common tactic in franchise businesses.
  132. Richard Jang from writes: 'And the owners love Bettman for raising league revenues from $400 Million in 1993 to $2.2 Billion in 2006/07.'

    The only reason, and a huge one, for Bettman to keep his job. I applaud him for that revenue gain.

    I wonder how they propose that certain teams, like the Coyotes, Panthers, Predators, will be able to sell for a profit, let alone generate profit in their respective markets. I do not think that teams in those markets is the best idea. I'm assuming the only reason why the profit-gaining owners don't care about changing anything is because their teams are worth a ton, now. Even if they have to submit to profit sharing, who cares if their franchise value goes up huge. Heck, I wonder if any money given towards other teams (because of profit sharing) can be a tax write-off, anyways.
  133. Louis Elias from Canada writes: Phoenix and some of the other U.S. teams are the equivilent of G.M and Chrysler.
  134. B D from Saskatoon, Canada writes: I think that I want to move to Phoenix .... it's snowing here in toon town... I'd become a Coyotes fan...It's May 14th

    I wonder how much they'll pay me to attend games?
  135. B.C. Expat from Ottawa-Hull, FCR, Canada writes: Man, I hope a similar 'protest' movement springs up in, say, Indianapolis to move the Toronto Blue Jays there on the basis that 'Canadians [sic] don't care about baseball and never will', just so the jingoists here can know how it feels.

    Again, none of you had crocodile tears for the North Stars or Whalers.
  136. jack sprat from Canada writes: Rick C, do you own a business? Would you go only be attendance without considering costs at these franchises. By using attandance only, you are making an assumption taht everything else is equal with regard other items like parking, concession expenditures and margins, merchandise sales, etc. then there are excahnge rate issues and business taxes, stadium delas, etc. A|ttendance is a small piece of a big puzzle. In additon, the Canadian teams attendance is assisted by these teams just because they exist and make the league more appealing as each game means more in the regluar season with only half the teams making the playoffs.

    Attendance in the regular season would be much worse if almost every team was guaranteed to make the playoffs. There is no room for 6 teams in canada (probbaly only room for one - maybe - and that would be in southern ontario, so having more teams in the US makes the league stronger. More effort needs to be made to make such teams stronger rather than whisk them off to marginal or small markets where they will definitely die out.
  137. joe kelly from Canada writes: jack sprat from Canada, your arguements are self-defeating.

    First, the NFL already had its rules challenged --- and lost. They played musical chairs (remember the Baltimore 'Colts'? etc) as a result and there is now a certain equilibrium. It did not 'disrupt' the game.

    Secondly, if anything, Alberta could gain a team as typically (outside of the parallel surreal reality of the NHL) capitalist owners would gravitate toward strong markets, not away from them.

    Third, there are a finite number of urban areas in North America that can support one NHL team, let alone 2. So the musical chairs if the so called 'orderly rules' are overturned will be very limited. But I would bet that in a 'free market' not only will Southern Ontario get another team via relocation but Quebec City and quite possibly Winnipeg too.

    Let's stop confusing the granting of NEW franchises with the moving of EXISTING franchises. The NHL are already doing their best to seed such confusion.
  138. tired of governments everywhere from Canada writes: The easiest way to show Mr. Bettman and Mr. Daly how much you disapprove of the way they do business is to stop buying their product. That means no more buying hockey tickets, no more watching the games on TV, no more buying team products, etc.

    Having seen the fan base diminish after the lockout, NOT, I don't think he's really going to care, because there isn't enough people here to have any impact.

    It's been stated many, many times that Mr. Bettman did NOTHING to stop the Nordiques and the Jets from moving south. Go ahead, call him a hypocrite, because he is. But he won't change, and, I hate to say it but, a new hockey team won't be in Canada any time soon.

    Mr. Bettman doesn't have the cahones to meet with the Canadian fanbase one on one, because he knows he'll get slaughtered. Instead, he'll do what he wants, when he wants and he doesn't care about what you, the fan, wants.

    Now, run along, buy your seasons tickets, and oh look, a new, minutely altered 3rd jersey that you really should have. Oh, and look, (insert Team Name Here) TV just got a new facelift, better order that!
  139. ron from hamtown from the strat, Canada writes: Wouldn't everyone be better off if the NHL just sold Balsillie a brand spanking new franchise in southern Ontario. Doesn't everyone win in that scenario? So, Mr Bettman and Daly, why isn't that happenning? Are you holding out for some bankrupt real estate developer to come along and put a team on some farmland in Newmarket?????
  140. Tribe of Ben from Canada writes: Bettman is easy to dislike, but aren't the real villains here the other owners? All he does is represent their interests. Its the owners who either a) don't want to move a weak team into a solid Ontario market, or b) don't want Balsillie part of their club.
  141. Patrick Nolan from Perth, Australia writes: BC Expat, your missing the point. It's not anti-Americanism. We would all love the teams in the south to do well. They are not. It's the NHL policies that people are fed up with, not our American friends.
  142. Gerald Carpenter from writes: 'The only reason, and a huge one, for Bettman to keep his job. I applaud him for that revenue gain.'

    Right. Beside the obtaining of cost certainty through a labour battle with a tough union, the foging of a more cooperative relationship with the players, helping three teams with bankruptcy issues (two of which were entirely due to outside non-hockey circumstances), helping several franchises leverage their way into more favourable leases, creating an actual professional office within the NHL (which for instance didn't even HAVE a marketing department under previous commissioners), negotiating a Canadian Assistance Plan when the exchange rate threw the CDN teams for a loop, developing an actual revenu sharing program among NHL teams for the first time EVER, then yeah the 5.5-FOLD REVENUE GAIN is his only accomplishment.

    Groan.
  143. Henry Allen from East Bank, Don River, Canada writes:
    I'm betting the bankruptcy court will rule that the NHL prevails as acting owner of the Coyotes because Moyes forfeited his rights as an owner in a written contract and, therefore, did not have the right to declare the Coyotes bankrupt. I believe Balsillie will fail in his attempt to buy the Coyotes and move the team to Hamilton.

    That's the logical part of me. Here's the Canadian hockey fan part of me.

    Gary Bettman is quite likely the worst commissioner of any major sports league in the world. His obnoxious, patronizing, gabby style is only made worse by his lack of realistic vision. At heart, he is an autocrat who keeps owners in line with rules and a revenue sharing system. This revenue sharing formula has Canadian clubs, while 20 percent of the league, paying 35% of all contributions to keep alive his Don Quixote dream of southern US expansion. It is not likely he will be fired by these money dependent US owners.

    Despite the love hockey fans feel for this great game, the NHL continues to operate like a Mickey Mouse league, fractured and incapable of getting through any year without generating bad news stories. Bettman carries considerable responsibility for the ongoing train wreck that is the NHL. But, he is not likely to be fired any time soon. I want to vomit.
  144. Sonny Crockett from Canada writes: 'B.C. Expat from Ottawa-Hull, FCR, Canada writes: The Canadian inferiority complex raises its ugly head again. Why is it OK to kill the Sabres, just as it would have been OK to kill the Penguins, two of the older U.S.-based franchises? The issue is simple: the anti-Americanism that pervades this readership is embarrassing.

    Mark S from Calgary, Canada writes: The only sham here is the little man Bettman. It was okay to move Quebec Nordiques and the Winnipeg Jets out of Canada. Just don't expect to relocate a money losing franchise from the USA to Canada.

    I notice how you gloss over the fact that the NHL likewise did nothing for the Minnesota North Stars or Hartford Whalers. The difference here is time and CBA, not geography.'

    And you, sir, gloss over the fact that those american franchises were moved to other cities within the U.S.A. This is vitally important, as Mark S was clearly making the point that teams are quickly relocated across the border from north to south, but not the other way, like a selectively permeable barrier with Gary Bettman as it's tyrannical overlord.

    As for the inferiority complex, you must have missed many of the last hundred contests between Hockey Canada and USA Hockey (for the latest example: see world championship results) where Canada consistently force feeds team USA their lunch. Inferior? no. furious? YES. Canada has a furios-ity complex with the clear anti-Canadian governing policies of the NHL, and Balsille has generously sparked the match that has ignited this inferno.

    I agree with Seasoned Warrior. CHL. Let the American NHL wither on the vine while Canadian hockey prospers. The CHL logo could be Gary Bettman's face, painted as a clown, weeping.
  145. ken kolthammer from Canada writes: The Judge hearing the proceedings has the last word. Stay tuned.
  146. Christopher Kiely from Canada writes: Yappa Ding Ding from Waterloo, Canada writes: Jim Balsillie might not win this one, but he's chipping away at Bettman. He may lose the battle but he won't lose the war. There will be many opportunities for him to (try to) buy a team and (try to) move it to Ontario.

    _______________________________________________________

    Yep and every time Bettman is going to look worse and worse until eventually he will just end up laying on the ground in a full blown hissy-fit.

    Bettman is too stupid and/or arrogant to realise he is in a losing game. He has made an enemy who has nothing to lose so Jim Balsillie will just keep on trying. Bettman is the one with everything to lose. He is playing a very dangerous game that even the most thick-skulled of observer can see has more to do with personal feelings than it does the successful operation of a sports league.
  147. Gravol Insomnia from Gatineau, Canada writes:
    This will be Bettman's Waterloo.
  148. Patrick Nolan from Perth, Australia writes: Rick C from Calgary, you are misguided. Take into consideration that hockey in the US isn't even the number four or five sport. MLS is going to outdraw the NBA and NHL this year. There is no room left. There are not enough sporting dollars to go around and the fact that the NHL is not a mass media sport makes it an even tougher sell. Be careful when you compare populations. In Canada, hockey is number one. The Winnipeg fan draw could easily compare to Pittsburgh or Columbus where hockey will always be behind all the other sports.
  149. Gronck the realist from Canada writes: this should be a metter for anti combines and anti trust. NHL is restricting trade and hurting consumers
  150. Hockey First from Canada writes: ron from hamtown - the only problem with your suggestion is that the NHL will still have money hemoraghing teams in markets that don't make sense. I'm all for expansion into good hockey markets - but only following contraction from poor markets. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it seems as though that's the only way it will happen - or at least it's the only way Bettman and the BoG will allow it to happen. It is a continuance of their policy of running their business in a way that flies in the face of conventional wisdom. For instance, the NHL is a gate-driven league, and Bettman has refernced the '14,000 plus fans' that the Coyotes drew this year ... of course, those numbers are wildly inflated by free or extremely cheap seats. I went to a game in Phoenix in February. I was going to buy tickets until a friend told me it was a waste of money - if I wanted to go, all I had to do was buy a bottle of vodka and I got 2 free tickets. SERIOUSLY!
  151. Ron Shaw from Toronto, Canada writes:
    Jim should wipe Mr. Bettman's BlackBerry.
  152. Rain Couver from Canada writes: This proves that NHL hockey is now nothing more than corporate entertainment rather than a passion.

    Any more of this legal back and forth and fans will tune into the fact that NHL hockey should be taken no more seriously than WWE wrestling.
  153. Wayne Morrison from Toronto, Canada writes: I was onside with Balsillie until I read he wants upwards of $150 million from the Canadian taxpayers in order to renovate Copps Collosseum in Hamilton.
    Let's see, he pays $213 million for the franchise, moves it to Ontario, gets $150 million from the public purse and the franchise is now worth [according to the Toronto Star] $400 million. Thanks, but no thanks.
  154. Sonny Crockett from Canada writes: 'jack sprat from Canada writes: If Balsillie is allowed to make this transaction by circumventing all the rules what faith can you have that some richer guy won't come and buy the team and relocate it in another 2 years or so. '

    Except that Balsille was only able to make his pitch because the team filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy and he offered financing. If a team is bankrupt and has to be sold, the new owner should have influence over it's final destination. Under no circumstances in any professional sports league would your proposed scenario of simply purchasing a viable team at any given time be accepted. That would create chaos as you say, but that is not at all what has happened with the Coyotes/Balsille.
  155. muriel martin from Canada writes: Every person around this site seems to be against the NHL and the president. Not to be rude but may I put a different perspective on the subject. How can the NHL condone an individual who goes around acting like a loose cannon. Two examples; sells seats to games for a team he doesn't even own, then makes lease arrangements for an arena and he doesn't even own the team. I can understand people in Hamilton wanting a team, but.....who else in the country cares. We already have a horrible team in Toronto, why would one want another.
  156. Francis Soyer from Canada writes:
    I'm 100 percent behind anything that p!sses off the NHL and Bettman.

    Time to let consumers decide what's best for them.

    Unfortunately, I think the NHL has the legal upper hand here.
  157. Derek Holtom from Swan River, Canada writes: Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: Derek Holtom from Swan River, Canada writes:

    'Rick C from Calgary
    at the same time, I think Bettman's attack on this is hurting him, and the game, in Canada.'

    Really? How so?
    ---
    Not scientific data, but my reporter had a hard time finding someone to comment on the Cup playoffs for the streeter.
    the more teams from down south that play, the less interested Canadians are, I think.
    Maybe the NHL should worry about losing their current market here in Canada
    You might think hockey will catch on down south. I disagree. We're of two minds, apparently.
  158. Wayne Morrison from Toronto, Canada writes: On another point. Bettman is only doing the bidding of the NHL owners [his employers] so if people want to dump on someone, pick the owners. Additionally, nobody [especially the players] wants an all-Canadian league. This is about money, folks, and without the Americans there is none.
  159. Midtown Bob from Canada writes: If the team failed in Arizona then the obvious next best place to relocate would have to be Cancun.
  160. J S from Canada writes: The NHL would be fools to block ANOTHER attempt at a Hamilton franchinse. Is the ghost of Harold Ballard still lingering in their offices? New York can have two teams but southern Ontario where there are more hockey fans than Arizona and Atlanta combined can't. Atlanta has now had 2 failed franchises on their record - the first one now playing in Calgary - remember the Altanta Flames? Hamilton is a hockey town. Stop denying the people what they want. Toronto will continue to sell out every game every night whether they win or lose. Hamilton will provide an outlet to all the fans that would love to see a game but don't know any Toronto season ticket holders, do not have access to corporate tickets or haven't won tickets in some type of lottery or auction. In the end, if the NHL denies it again I'll continue to go to Hamilton Bulldogs games. I find the fans in Hamilton a lot more fun and more enthusiastic than Toronto Marlies fans. Maybe someday when I'm in the right place at the right time, the moon, stars and planets are all in alignment and my wallet is bursting with cash I'll go to another Maple Leaf game. Until then, Hamilton is the hockey town of southern Ontario!
  161. Keiffer N Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: Hockey USED to be our game. Then we sold it to the Americans. Bettman wants to be a Big Deal IN the U.S. But Americans are not, and never will be, big hockey fans. Especially those in warm / humid / desert climates. Stop trying to be a Big Deal in the U.S. Bettman -- Hockey is a 'religion' in Canada - and that's where it belongs. Wake up to the realities man - your anger and ego are maddening. Be a winner up North instead of a nobody down South.
  162. Gerald Carpenter from writes: Jondas McHooter from Canada writes: In reference to the Tim Horton's analogy, while it is true that demand for Tim's is different depending on the location, I am sure it is also very true that if there was a location lagging far under expectations, they would move the franchise to somewhere more profitable. That is the difference.

    You're darn right that is the difference, but not for the reason you think. You know why? It is because, in that scenario, TIM HORTONS DECIDES where the franchise is moved to - not the franchisee. If a franchise is laggin, the franchisee in a poor location cannot simply relocate it to Bay/Adelaide or Yonge Street.

    Thanks for making my point for me.
  163. P LaLande from OWEN SOUND, Canada writes: Everyone should do what I did many years ago. I loved watching NHL hockey as a kid but after they expanded and expanded it just made me nauseous and I simply totally lost interest in it. Pick another sport where the talent pool is not totally diluted and teams are in places that support them and make sense to the locals, like Major League Baseball. What are hockey teams doing in the desert or the sunbelt of the US? The NHL has sucked for decades.
  164. youreapwhat yousew from Leftside, Canada writes: Betman is an idiot, seems to me that good business practice would be that you see someone who obviously wants a franchise, has the resources, You would try and make a deal, and keep this garbage out of the media. Betman obviouosly has an issue with Balsillie, He seemed to have the same issue with Paul Allen, after Betmans track record of the quality of the owners he has given franchises to, I don't really think he is in a position of saying who is best to run anything. Maybe Betman is afraid that all the crap he spewed when he was selling the rest of the owners on the benefits of a franchise in Florida over Hamilton he will be seen for what he is, a used car salesman at best.
  165. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: So interesting to see the two sides totally speaking past each other in this drama.

    The emotional 'this is Canada, and we deserve another NHL team' (Forgetting that there are more than enough hockey 'fixes' available, peewee, junior, senior, etc)

    The Rational - 'it is our business/league, and we will run it any way we chose. Oh yes, one of our key members (MLSE) will suffer real material losses, if we allow anyone in it’s' territory'.

    We know who has the keys to the barn. They will win. For the peasants to triumph, all they have to do is pull a Gandhi - stop watch, stop buying, and perhaps the hardest, stop worshiping.
    Yes, hockey is Canada’s game, but the NHL is not Canada’s business. Blind support, of it, has given it strength here.
    Besides, my belief is that everyone thinks another team will up the odds of returning the cup to its’ native soil. The facts simply do not support it. Since 1990, Canada with 1 ½ MLB teams, has won more World Series, than Stanley Cups.
    More teams will not mean more Cups. Really.
  166. mario hammer from toronto, Canada writes: I own a Mcdonalds franchise in Alaska, it loses lots of money but it cost me a lot less that in major markets.
    I think I'll go to the courts and have them force a relocation to Manhattan.
    Balsillie needs better legal advise, he has slim to no chance of winning.
    I love those who think if you get rid of Bettman everything will be OK.
    How about getting a clue, who do you think runs the NHL?
    Get rid of Snyder, and the Wirtz, and Jacobs et al
    those are the peolple who control the league.
  167. Pete H from Canada writes: Wayne Morrison from Toronto, Canada writes: I was onside with Balsillie until I read he wants upwards of $150 million from the Canadian taxpayers in order to renovate Copps Collosseum in Hamilton.
    Let's see, he pays $213 million for the franchise, moves it to Ontario, gets $150 million from the public purse and the franchise is now worth [according to the Toronto Star] $400 million. Thanks, but no thanks.
    Balsillie won't own Copps, it's the city's asset. If the franchise were worth $ 400 m it would be based on it's revenue generating capacity and while it's true that an improved Copps could increase the teams revenue generating capacity it will also increase the city's rental revenue for an underutilized facility.
  168. Zarko Budisavljevic from Canada writes: The NHL belongs to the owners, not to their hired autocrat, count bettman......let the owners vote NOW and see if they want jimbo in their club.....ps, also vote to see if they want gary to continue to speak on their behalf......reminds me of moses znaimer pretending to own citytv all those years that it was owned by the waters family....LOL
  169. Marc L from Ottawa, Canada writes: Fire that loser Bettman. His being the Commish of the NHL is akin to myself being commish of a cricket league. I know nothing about cricket just as Bettman knows nothing about hockey or it's roots. Fire this dumb**s...
  170. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: One thing the NHL may be doing a PR disservice to themselves, is keeping quite on why no other Southern Ontario teamis going to happen. My guess is that any reasons they give, will only change the debate to the issues that they would address. They still do not owe anyone an explanation.
  171. Jondas McHooter from Canada writes: Gerald, no problem for helping out. I just wish the NHL would stop forcing the game into places that won't work. However I am afraid the next stop will be Vegas or another site that will offer large dollars up front but nothing long term.

    The NHL has to admit their mistakes and correct them.
  172. Marty Dettweiler from Canada writes: Bettman has lots of support from US franchise owners who are committed to building hockey in the US. Anytime a Canadian team enters a US hockey stadium, fan interest wanes - that is part of US culture...they couldn't care less about a team from Winnipeg or Quebec and that's why those teams were easily sacrificed. Meanwhile, the NHL wants to stay in Phoenix which is a pathetic hockey market. How many times will you see kids in Arizona playing street hockey donning their favourite NHL team jersey? I disagree that the NHL should be able to strictly and unreasonably control a team from moving to a Canadian market in order to stop losing money, which is what will irretreivaly happen if they are forced to remain in Phoenix.
  173. Nick Be from Toronto, Canada writes: Go find another job Bettman
  174. Ray Luft from Mississauga, Canada writes: it is a matter of indisputable fact and law that the NHL rather than [Moyes], owns any franchise opportunity in Southern Ontario

    How does an American court get to decide who owns what in Canada? Does the NHL have a receipt for the transaction by which it acquired this ownership? It is to be assumed that they own the six nations reserve, as well?

    If the US judicial system isn't a pile of crap, what is it?
  175. B.C. Expat from Ottawa-Hull, FCR, Canada writes: Patrick Nolan from Perth, Australia writes: BC Expat, your missing the point. It's not anti-Americanism. We would all love the teams in the south to do well. They are not. It's the NHL policies that people are fed up with, not our American friends.

    Almost all the teams in the South right now are bad, hence they don't draw well. As seen in Dallas, Tampa, San Jose, Raleigh -- when warm-weather cities have a good team, the attendance is up. Just like everywhere else outside of Toronto and New York. The Canadian teams have also drawn poorly when their team is bad.

    Is there more elasticity in the U.S. markets? Probably, yes. That makes sense. But that's where the whole 'growing the game' vision comes in. I'm not saying it's the best strategy in the world, but the endless 'Gary hates Canada!' rhetoric really doesn't contribute to the discussion.
  176. Louis Elias from Canada writes: Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: Honestly the conspiracy theories about Bettman are ridiculous.

    Bettman doesn't hate Canada.

    Bettman doesn't want to see teams leave Canada.

    Bettman is a business man and pragmatic; something more Canadian fans need to wrap their head around.

    Canada could support 1 or 2 more teams from a fan base perspective. However more teams in Canada won't increase league revenue considerably.

    SoCal has almost the same population of all of Canada. They need to capture 10% of the market to equal the entire population of AB or BC.

    From a growth perspective the US offers far more opportunities than Canada.

    Canadians need to quit being so small minded and a little more pragmatic
    --------------------------------------
    I understand what you are saying. But would you not cencede that, if he is a GOOD business man that has the intention of growing the NHL in Arizona is a failed experiment...almost stupid in the first place?

    Would you also not agree with the FACT that if Canada can indeed support a few more teams, although the revenue streams would not be as great as a success in the US, would still induce a profitable organization and therefore be deemed a success?
  177. james roach from Timmins, Canada writes: Really, another team in Southern Ontario that 'regular folk' won't be able to afford to see... who cares. I love hockey, I love NHL hockey, but really, Phoenix, Dubai, or Hamilton, at $200 a seat who cares.
  178. David Pancoe from Grimsby, Canada writes: What are the franchises in the NHL really worth? I would have to think creditors of any franchisee are shaking in their boots right now since it seems likely that the NHL finds no problem with cutting the value of the entire NHL by 40%. The NHL is arguing that they control all of the franchise locations, and that in their current locations the best any bankrupt franchise is worth is $130MM. Let the franchise move and creditors can count on $212.5MM as their current value. Gary is playing around with about $2.5B worth of his current boss's money. Groups like the OTPP, and creditors are going to demand a higher risk premium on their investment now. Ticket increase anyone?
  179. Erik Richards from writes: Craig ! from Republic of Newfoundland, Canada - Sorry, yes, I left off that crucial bit of information. The stats I gave are average attendance per game in 2009.
  180. Oswaldo I from Canada writes: The Competition Bureau actually found that the league must have a vote on relocation and that no one team could veto. This would mean that neirther the Leafs or Sabres could demand territorial fees for moving into Hamilton. Let the teams vote and make the vote public.
  181. Zarko Budisavljevic from Canada writes: louis elias...are you serious????so cal???? it doesn't matter how BIG a market is if it is not predisposed to the sport being sold....do you really think a visiting phoenix would be a bigger draw in chicago then a team from hamilton?? it's the quality of players that are the draw....but teams who are in the wrong market cannot generate enough revenue to afford good players.....i'd like to see what the lucrative television deal bettman has with tv stations in arizona...LOL....or do any even carry the games?? overall league revenue would increase if a team was in hamilton, both with gate and tv cash
  182. matt s from Canada writes: It's obviously more important to Bettman that he serves the 4 million person Pheonix t.v. market and cater to the sports books and gamblers rather than make the best decisions for the game. Is Bettman a basketball fan or a hockey fan? My guess is neither......
  183. Mr charlemagne from truth, Canada writes: Now this is an issue worth storming the Gardiner over!
  184. Erik Richards from Winnipeg, MB, writes: Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: 'Wow...a 14% difference. What on earth are they thinking when they only average 100,764 in a market 5 times the size of all of Canada?

    You don't own or run a business do you?'

    Whether I own or run a business is irrelevant (I don't, btw). You said that the U.S. south was the place to grow a business. And yet in, what, 20 years?, the NHL in the southern U.S. has not been able to even COMPETE with Canadian teams, let alone exceed. If the U.S. south was really the place for growth they would have 20 teams, each one doing as good or better than the teams in Canada.

    Look at the numbers for Calgary and Edmonton - much better than most of the southern U.S. teams, with a significantly smaller population.

    If I was a businessman, I should wouldn't want to keep losing tens of millions of dollars each year, simply because there are a bunch of people down there. If they're not interested in the sport, I'd move to where there are fans. I don't know what it's like in Calgary, but in Toronto there are people lining up to see an average team. Guaranteed that another team in Southern Ontario would be a sell-out every night, if only to handle the Leaf's overflow of interest.

    Honestly, if Alberta can handle two teams, it's a given that the GTA can handle at least two. All but the most myopic person can see that. The question needs to be asked: why does Bettman really not want a team there?
  185. joe kelly from Canada writes: Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: 'Honestly the conspiracy theories about Bettman are ridiculous.

    Bettman doesn't hate Canada.

    Bettman doesn't want to see teams leave Canada.

    Bettman is a business man and pragmatic; something more Canadian fans need to wrap their head around.'

    Mr Bettman is a capitalist genius. His Southern USA strategy was inspiring. In fact the new President of the Canadian Curling League (TM) is going to emulate Mr. Bettman by shutting down rinks across Canada and decamp for California because as you correctly point out, the population down there is way bigger than up here and that, after all, is all matters. Right?

    I can see it now --- mini-bonspiels during half-time at a Lakers game.
  186. Sonny Crockett from Canada writes: Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: 'Bettman doesn't hate Canada.'

    That statement is severely contradicted by his performance as a commissioner.

    If you would like, you could revise the statement to 'Bettman/The NHL owners don't hate Canada.' but that would still be wrong.

    Imagine if we started moving NFL teams one at a time to Canada, putting them in nunavut, labrador, baffin island and they began losing millions of dollars, and when an american group tried to buy a bankrupt team and move it back to atlanta, the league blocked it for their own 'interests'. How completely absurd that sounds, yet it mirrors the current state of the nhl.

    If Bettman doesnt hate the nhl, then he has a dangerous infatuation with the USA. Which one is it.
  187. I, Alafrate from Canada writes: Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: Erik Richards from Winnipeg, MB, writes:

    'Pragmatic? You want pragmatic? How many butts in the seats do Southern U.S. teams get compared to Canadian teams. I'll tell you - 14% more. If you look at the 6 (of 8) most popular NHL teams in the U.S. south, those teams combined have an average attendance of 100,764. In Canada, the average for our 6 teams is 114,292. '

    Wow...a 14% difference. What on earth are they thinking when they only average 100,764 in a market 5 times the size of all of Canada?

    You don't own or run a business do you?

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Forget the average attendance, it's a red herring, since that number doesn't factor in the cost of seats. It's been well documented that the Panthers had a promotion that included free parking, two tickets and all you can eat concession food for $37.

    Those same two seats in Toronto, plus parking, concessions and whatever, are easily approaching $150 for cheaper seats, and could run as high as $800 for the same deal in a pair of platinums at face value. (I don't care if corporations own them, it's not important for this conversation).

    So, even though Canadian attendance is only 14% higher, the revenue is probably at least 200% the revenue of those same seats in the US, even factoring in the exchange rate.
  188. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: So let me get this straight.

    Alberta with a population of 3.2 million has enough market for two teams but Southwestern Ontario, with a population of 2.8 million doesn't?

    In a country built on hockey?

    Riiiiight.
  189. Hoo Boy from Canada writes: Love the photo! Nothing like a good legal fight to get Bettman's 'Irish' up!
  190. Malone Sumself from Canada writes: Daly's reference to 'Balsillie' instead of 'Mr. Balsillie' is clear indication of the lack of respect the league has for this potential investor. The writing is on the wall and it says Mr Balsillie will be unsuccessful in his bid.

    Time for a WHA II -- time to take our game back from Bettman and his American dream
  191. Sonny Crockett from Canada writes: I wrote: 'If Bettman doesnt hate the nhl, then he has a dangerous infatuation with the USA. Which one is it.'

    Typo

    'If Bettman doesn't hate CANADA, the he has a dangerous infatuation with the USA'
  192. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: Funny how with all those US teams the majority of players are still Canadian eh?

    Or European.

    I mean really.
  193. joe kelly from Canada writes: I, Alafrate; Thanks for stating the basic tenet of capitalism for the 'businessman' Rick C.

    It is no coincidence that the highest valued NHL franchises (Forbes, etc) are teams that --- wait for it --- command the highest ticket prices. And wait for this one too: Such teams are overwhelmingly in the NE USA, Chicago and Canada. Duh.
  194. matt s from Canada writes: Wayne Morrison from Toronto, Canada writes: On another point. Bettman is only doing the bidding of the NHL owners [his employers] so if people want to dump on someone, pick the owners. Additionally, nobody [especially the players] wants an all-Canadian league. This is about money, folks, and without the Americans there is none.

    ----------

    The Owners keep trying to dump their money losing teams first chance they get!! Instead of selling the Predators to Balsillie, Bettman forced the sale to a bunch of criminals. The new owners are more of a train wreck than the previous owners!!

    Move Pheonix to Hamilton, Nashville to Seattle, Atlanta to Portland. Done deal.
  195. Bill Smith from The Wilds of the GTA, Canada writes: The one question rolling around my brain, why is the National Hockey League so hell bent on keeping money losing franchises in markets that have not history or interesting in supporting an NHL team.

    If Balsille moves the Coyotes to say Hamilton or Kitchener Waterloo, they can draw on a market from Western Greater Toronto to about London. It's not about the Leafs and everything to do with the Buffalo Sabres, it is the team with the most to lose as their fan base draws across the border into Hamilton.

    Can Southern Ontario support another hockey franchise, a quarter of Canada's population lives within a two hour radius and that should answer the question.
  196. Point Blank from Vancouver, Canada writes: The NHL stands to receive $400-$500M directly from the sale of a new franchise in Southern Ontario. They would prefer to allow the Coyotes go bankcrupt and be forced to stay in Phoenix rather than allow the change of hands of the Coyotes and then have it moved. It's just corporate greed, plain and simple.
  197. Spiny Norman from Canada writes: Point Blank from Vancouver, Canada writes: The NHL stands to receive $400-$500M directly from the sale of a new franchise in Southern Ontario. They would prefer to allow the Coyotes go bankcrupt and be forced to stay in Phoenix rather than allow the change of hands of the Coyotes and then have it moved. It's just corporate greed, plain and simple.
    ________________

    exactly
  198. Al Wilson from Christchurch, New Zealand writes: 'effectuated' ? Bettman, please send this guy a dictionary. Does the G&M have one?
  199. Sober Second Thought from Toronto, Canada writes: As good as the playoffs have been, if Betman screws this up by twarting Balsille- my TV is going to be turned off.
  200. Hugo Hall from Calgary, Canada writes:
    Hearing Bettman talk about expansion in Canada is like listening to the Liberal Party's line on Senate Reform. We need to do things right rather than ad-hoc, follow the proper process, etc...in other words, delay, obstruct, prevent. Both result in the same thing - namely the status quo.
  201. Sue City from Ottawa, Canada writes: 'effectuated' - to bring about.

    What's the problem, Hugo?
  202. No Name Necessary from Canada writes: can anyone tell me why there can't be a team in Hamilton, but it's ok to have New Jersey, New York Rangers, NY Islanders and Buffalo ????
  203. greg middleton from Canada writes: NHL is a sham. Just like Colin Campbell's uneven discipline suspensions. It would not surprise me if we found out some games were rigged in 10 years.
    Fans have control if they would only show some unity and cancel tickets.
  204. Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: Louis Elias from Canada writes:

    'I understand what you are saying. But would you not cencede that, if he is a GOOD business man that has the intention of growing the NHL in Arizona is a failed experiment...almost stupid in the first place?'

    The Coyotes problems have as much to do with where they built their new arena and the lease they signed.

    Arizona, SoCal, Florida etc are not going to have to the same rabid fan base as Canadian cities do.

    That's just reality. It doesn't mean franchises can't be viable.

    'Would you also not agree with the FACT that if Canada can indeed support a few more teams, although the revenue streams would not be as great as a success in the US, would still induce a profitable organization and therefore be deemed a success?'

    Of course. I've already stated I support a team in southern Ontario.

    I don't think Gary has a problem with another team in southern Ont. either.

    The Leafs do. MLSE is the most influential ownership group in the NHL.

    Gary's problem is with Jim Balsillie; and the only reason Gary has a problem with Balsillie is because the rest of the owners don't like Balsillie.
  205. Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: Sonny Crockett from Canada:

    There is only one problem with your analogy...Baffin Island, Nunavut etc don't have a combined population of over 100 million people.
  206. Hockeydad London from Canada writes: Gerald Carpenter, you are the lawyer, and appear to either have access to or, wonder why, have reviewed all the documents involved in this and the NHL. Lots of comments on the documents by you. Yet, you refer to the NHL as a franchise. Isn't a franchise where the franchisor owns the brand and dictates the manner in which you do business to the franchisee who buys the rights to the name and process? Here the 'franchisor' is owned by the various 'franchisees', the NHL owners, so are they not one and the same. Your Tim Hortons analogy therefore does not hold up. Here the franshisees, the NHL owners can in fact change the rules at any time, in fact, which they did to JB in his attempted purchase of Pittsburg. Regarless of how you couch the terms, it was a last minute addition to a deal. Further, didn't the NHL already approve JB for that purchase? If I am incorrect, enlighten me please.
  207. Sean Malone from Canada writes: Remember how Quebec's team was lifted from the fans in a shaddy
    unethical way?...hmmm this feels a lot like Carma to me; ain't it a b..tch Gary. Go Blackberry Go!
  208. Chris G in Waterloo from Waterloo, Canada writes: I agree with the other posters here. The league management is long over due to new blood. Get rid of Bettman et al. Get people who are at least interested in hockey.. even Batman would do a better job.
  209. John Zimmerman from victoria, Canada writes: 'effectuated' ha ha ha ha ha
  210. chris columbus from Toronto, Canada writes: Err, I think one point that's been missed is WHO'S GOING TO BACK THIS TEAM?!

    Its not like Leaf fans are going to abandon the leafs. Ottawa fans could care less.... Where are you going to get the fans from to buy tickets, jerseys, helmets, horse pucks and whatever else it is that makes these teams money?
  211. Louis Elias from Canada writes: Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: Louis Elias from Canada writes: 'I understand what you are saying. But would you not cencede that, if he is a GOOD business man that has the intention of growing the NHL in Arizona is a failed experiment...almost stupid in the first place?' The Coyotes problems have as much to do with where they built their new arena and the lease they signed. Arizona, SoCal, Florida etc are not going to have to the same rabid fan base as Canadian cities do. That's just reality. It doesn't mean franchises can't be viable. 'Would you also not agree with the FACT that if Canada can indeed support a few more teams, although the revenue streams would not be as great as a success in the US, would still induce a profitable organization and therefore be deemed a success?' Of course. I've already stated I support a team in southern Ontario. I don't think Gary has a problem with another team in southern Ont. either. The Leafs do. MLSE is the most influential ownership group in the NHL. Gary's problem is with Jim Balsillie; and the only reason Gary has a problem with Balsillie is because the rest of the owners don't like Balsillie. --------------------------- Fair enough. Totally agree about MLSE as well. Buttman answers mostly to them I imagine. Wouldn't it be nice ig Balsille won, dropped the ticket prices so that normal people could go and actually cared if the product on the ice doesn't suck a$$?? One can dream....
  212. Nick Sutherby from Vancouver, Canada writes: Bettman is a weasel. The NHL will be better the day his reign is over.
  213. Hockey First from Canada writes: Rick C - I agree with most of what you say. I really think it's ridiculous to frame this up as 'Bettman hates Canada'. However, Phoenix has been in existence for 13 years (with the majority of the games being played in their old arena - which wasn't as inaccessible as the new one) and has never once turned a profit. They've lost over $100m dollars in the past 4 years, and have required a bailoit from the league just to pay the bills. From a pure business perspective, keeping the team in that market makes no sense - it's costing the league, the owners and the players money, while conversely earning them nothing. Population means almost nothing in this case - Phoenix is the 5th largest American city, I believe, and are in the bottom 5 for attendance (and have been pretty much the entire time - even when they had a good, playoff bound team). I don't propose that the team NEEDS to move to Canada, but keeping it in Phoenix makes little sense. Also, from a purely business sense, framing an offer of $110M as more viable than a $212.5M offer is nonsense as well. These are my issues with this fiasco. Quite frankly, Poker rebroadcasts have done better in TV ratings then playoff games ... the league needs to acknowledge this as a problem and not hide behind the argument that attendance is up (especially when attendance figures include free tickets).
  214. Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: Louis Elias from Canada writes:

    'Fair enough. Totally agree about MLSE as well. Buttman answers mostly to them I imagine. Wouldn't it be nice ig Balsille won, dropped the ticket prices so that normal people could go and actually cared if the product on the ice doesn't suck a$$?? One can dream....'

    Gary doesn't call the shots; the owners do. Gary does their bidding.

    MLSE is the owner with the biggest stroke by a country mile.

    Unfortunately you are dreaming if you think Balsillie would drop tickets prices. He will do what every other owner in a saturated market does...charge the highest ticket prices possible while still maintaining sell-outs.

    Contrary to what Balsillie might want Canadian fans to think he isn't trying to relocate a franchise to southern Ontario to be philanthropic. He is doing it to make money.

    Forbes estimates a team in south Ontario would be immediately worth $350 million. Not a bad return if you buy the team for $212.
  215. Tony . from Waterloo, Canada writes:
    Bettman and the NHL just aren't making any sense at all here. They have a team (actually several of them) that are losing BILLIONS each and every year. They have a willing buyer and an opportunity to move the team to a market where it will become very profitable but they are fighting against it tooth and nail.

    It's like the NHL likes losing money!
  216. Ric S from Canada writes: Rick C from Calgary you are sadly mistaken, as you are the one with small man's syndrome, as you obviously have issues. All you really do is re-write everyone's comments. I guess you're the only one who is correct. You must be a real treat to work for or with, always right, the Mr. Know It All...every place has one...annoyance!! You better go though Bettman-Lover, as you'll be late for your next psychiatric treatment.
  217. Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: Erik Richards from Winnipeg, MB, writes:

    'The question needs to be asked: why does Bettman really not want a team there?'

    Because his bosses don't want it.

    I mean really...do you people honestly think Gary is the one making decisions?

    HE IS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE NHL OWNERS; OWNERS WHO DON'T LIKE JIM BALSILLIE.
  218. Tony . from Waterloo, Canada writes: chris columbus from Toronto, Canada writes: 'Err, I think one point that's been missed is WHO'S GOING TO BACK THIS TEAM?!'

    Maybe some of the 3 million people that live in Southern Ontario outside of the GTA? There are nearly a million people in the Hamilton area, another 500,000 here in the Waterloo Region, 500,000 in London and a bunch more in places like St. Catherines, Brantford, Woodstock, Guelph, etc.

    London might be a tiny bit far to drive to games in Hamilton (an hour and a half), but all the rest of those cities I mentioned are within a 1 hour drive of the arena. That's not different (possibly even better depending on traffic) than driving from somewhere like Oshawa to a Leafs game right now. Yeah there are lots of Leaf fans (and a fair number of Ottawa, Buffalo and Detroit fans mixed in) among all these areas, but there are also some people in Toronto that HATE the Leafs and would see this as a great opportunity to pick up a new team to cheer for.

    If the team can put a decent product on ice they'll have no trouble at all filling the stadium.
  219. Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: Tony . from Waterloo, Canada writes:

    'Bettman and the NHL just aren't making any sense at all here. They have a team (actually several of them) that are losing BILLIONS each and every year.'

    Technically they are only losing tens of millions.
  220. Derek Holtom from Swan River, Canada writes: Rick C
    you make some decent points, but it looks as though public opinion is against you. the pro Canada crowd also has some great points.
    teams losing millions down south. Where was Bettman when Winnipeg and Quebec City were losing money. He was greasing their way out of town.
    I think the whole NHL model is broken anyway. I think at least six teams need to go away. Too many teams, too many marginal players
    and too many teams in the south where they don't get hockey and never will
    Bettman has pissed off Canada, sold out the game to southern interests, failed to grow the game. He grew revenues, but not the game. he failed, and I think everyone knows it
    he's also damaged the game here in Canada.
  221. Hockey First from Canada writes: The other factor to note, when talking about the business of the game, is that for the 2007-08 season (this year's numbers have yet to be released), the 6 Canadian teams accounted for 37% of the NHLs total revenue. Or, put another way: 18% of the teams provided 37% of the revenue; 82% of the teams accounted for 63% of the total revenue. Just by taking Phoneix out of that equation, how much more money are the American teams generating for the total revenue base?
  222. Hockey First from Canada writes: From Balsillie today: 'Who owns or controls the team is a distinction without a difference,' he said in a news release Thursday. 'The team itself is still bankrupt, voluntarily or not. The owner of the team has a fiduciary obligation towards the creditors.' This is where the NHL will have trouble defending their position in the courts, no matter what they're saying in the media.
  223. Tiu Leek from Canada writes: 'Canada could support 1 or 2 more teams from a fan base perspective. However more teams in Canada won't increase league revenue considerably.'

    Perhaps not, but putting them in cities that lose millions of dollars year after year will only decrease overall league revenue.

    'SoCal has almost the same population of all of Canada. They need to capture 10% of the market to equal the entire population of AB or BC.'

    And if they can't even get 1%, they're still out of luck.

    'From a growth perspective the US offers far more opportunities than Canada.'

    Only on paper. And if after 15 years, the NHL is still propping up money losing franchises, it's proof that the game simply isn't going to grow in parts of the US.
  224. Gerald Carpenter from writes: Hockeyfirst, i don't know where you think you got your figures from, but they are utterly false. The 20% of NHL teams in Canada have never provided more than 28-29% of league revenues. I am pretty sure I know more about league finances than you or anyone on this Board, having done a fair bit of detailed analysis on the subject. You need to lay off the false data.
  225. Peter Stern from Toronto, Canada writes: The only sham here is the NHL's position. How is it you can have 'team owners' if the NHL 'owns' the teams? What exactly is being sold then when someone 'buys' a team?

    As for the NHL controlling the relocation of teams... the NHL was remarkably silent when the teams in Quebec and Winnipeg got moved... So there some double talk happening there.

    And the only reason why relocating a club would be complicated is because the NHL deliberately makes it so.
  226. Reasonable Man from Toronto, Canada writes: The standard for approval of a sale out of bankruptcy court is generally something akin to 'commercial reasonableness'. It will be very hard for the NHL to defend a sale that will bring in half of Balsillie's offer, regardless of the impact on the NHL and its rules... We are talking about a $100 million less that the creditors are going to receive, under the Reinsdorf offer. That is a whole lot of cash by any standard.

    My guess is that the US Bankruptcy Court is going to tell the Bettman and the NHL to go blow themselves unless they can come up with an extra $100 million for the creditors.
  227. Tiu Leek from Canada writes: 'He [Bettman] was hired to grow the sport.'

    And with 4-5 teams in real danger of folding, I'd say he's done one heckuva a job.

    By the way, I've noticed that there seem to be a lot of empty seats in MLB games this year. Fans don't seem to be as willing to shell out hundreds of bucks for tickets as they used to be.

    Just sayin.
  228. Daniel Plainview from Canada writes: The NHL is a sham. What other league has so many corrupt criminal owners and teams where nobody wants them? A legit owner comes along and they won't have any of it.
  229. Peter Stern from Toronto, Canada writes: chris columbus from Toronto, Canada writes: ' Err, I think one point that's been missed is WHO'S GOING TO BACK THIS TEAM?!

    Its not like Leaf fans are going to abandon the leafs. '

    I'll tell you who will back a team in Hamilton... all the people in and around Hamilton as well as many former Leafs fans who are fed up with the Leafs making money off of garbage teams and bad management... which includes me.
  230. Hockey First from Canada writes: Sure Gerald, if you believe you know, then I believe you. I was off - it was actually 31% of ticket revenue, and the Canadian networks account for 63% of all TV revenue generated by the NHL. This was reported in Forbes, The Economist and The Sports Economist (as well as a number of newspapers). But if you truly believe you're right, who are the facts to argue with you? In that same season, 11 US teams lost money, 9 remained flat.
  231. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Gerald Carpenter from writes: Hockeyfirst, i don't know where you think you got your figures from, but they are utterly false. The 20% of NHL teams in Canada have never provided more than 28-29% of league revenues. I am pretty sure I know more about league finances than you or anyone on this Board, having done a fair bit of detailed analysis on the subject. You need to lay off the false data

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

    On total revenues of 2,747m in 07/08 season. The Six Canadian teams contributed 684m .... 40 percent.

    Common knowledge.

    Source Forbes .... http://tinyurl.com/oo83wl

    -----------------
  232. I, Alafrate from Canada writes: A hypothetical question:

    Let's assume that Reisndorf has an offer to make, of approx $130MM, or about $80MM less than Balsillie's.

    A judge looking strictly at facts, chooses to side with the Moyes/Balsillie position, and decrees the sale price is $212M.

    I wonder if there's a way for the NHL to pony up $80M (approx $3.5MM per team) to match Balsillie's price without condition, since the closing date is late June or something.

    Oh, and read this if you're interested. Some new, fascinating light that creditors usu. get approx 50% of actual debts once Chapter 11 is reached. This, of course, makes the NHL offer right on par.

    http://sportsjudge.blogspot.com/2009/03/dollars-and-sense-coyote-roundup.html
  233. Hockey First from Canada writes: Thanks Scot - but since your numbers don't seem to fit into whatever analysis Gerald did, you must be wrong.
  234. Warron yu from Canada writes:

    The comments on here that treat Ballsillie like this great Canadian hero trying to do a great favor to his country trully astound me.

    This guy does not want a 'Canada'.

    Ballsillie wants a global government.

    He wants Canada destroyed.

    Okay, I don't blame you for not believing me.

    I didn't believe it either, until I checked it out.

    Ballsillie runs this think tank in Kitchener/Waterloo called CIGI.

    It's kind of like Canada's CFR.

    http://www.cigionline.org/

    CIGI stands for Center for International Governance Innovation.

    In order for 'Global Governance' you need a Global Government.

    Thats a standard definition, please don't get semantical on me.

    He wants A Global Government and it is in our face.

    Having another Hockey team in Ontario pales in comparison to having a country... but that's just my take on it.

    .
  235. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Hockey First;

    If that is the case.... he will have my post removed. That is his style.

    Cheers
  236. Steve Church from Canada writes: Tony Waterloo wrote: 'They have a team (actually several of them) that are losing BILLIONS each and every year.' Tony, I've told you a million times; don't exaggerate.
  237. I, Alafrate from Canada writes: I think Warron's been looking at too many attack ads.
  238. Steve Church from Canada writes: So where's the support ... Tony wrote: 'Maybe some of the 3 million people that live in Southern Ontario outside of the GTA?' Sheer number fantasy. They have a pool of about 1 million within winter distance, and another 300,000 they can rip off from Buffalo. Waterloo and London will both contribute negligible amounts after the first brave souls year. Fake inflation of the numbers, with consideration of the collateral damage on Buffalo is a wrecking ball looking for a wall.
  239. BC Voice of reason from center of BC, Canada writes: If the NHL and Bettman really own the franchises, then the league should revoke the Leafs franchise, giving them the $200M average franchise price and sell the Toronto franchise area to the highest bidder. The Billion or so from the Leafs re-sale could easily support the failing franchises.
  240. Don Portz from Canada writes: If what the league claims is true, that they control the shares due to a loan then I would guess they should be able to make their own deal to sell thwe franchise provided that the amount paid is equivalent to this offer. Moyes should be able to recoup any amounts due him to that amount.
  241. J.C. Petite from Toronto, Canada writes: Someone mentioned that Hartford and Minnesota were comparable to the Winnipeg and Quebec City franchises in terms of the NHL 'doing nothing' to stop the relocation.

    Main difference here is that Winnipeg/Quebec City moved to the states. Canadian teams became American teams. Minnesota/Hartford stayed in the states, not to mention that Minny now has their team back....why is that??

    Bettman wants to sell the NHL to the USA. It works in some states and it fails in others. Bettman is too much of a coward to admit that places like Pheonix are failing.

    Canada can support one, two or even three more teams. How much worse could it be to have teams in Winnipeg, Quebec City, and Hamilton compared to having teams in Pheonix, Florida and Atlanta?
  242. Steve Church from Canada writes: Some math-midget wrote:- 'On total revenues of 2,747m in 07/08 season. The Six Canadian teams contributed 684m .... 40 percent.' 684/2747 = 29%. Gerald Carpenter wrote: 'The 20% of NHL teams in Canada have never provided more than 28-29% of league revenues.' Mr. C nails it - game, set, and match. And that highwater mark in 07/08 was also the loonie on a tear at par. If revenues for 08/09 track similar, the contribution will drop to about 25% based on an 83c loonie.
  243. Manu coli from New York, United States writes: I understand the NHL to protect the teams' market. What if someone moves another team in Manhattan or a second team in Calgary? But it is interesting to see that Tycoon like Balsillie has the sympathy of the public; it seems that he represents what people really think, that they want to have franchise in good market and not in poor hockey markets like Las Vegas, Phoenix or Nashville.
  244. Warron yu from Canada writes: I, Alafrate from Canada writes: I think Warron's been looking at too many attack ads.
    Posted 14/05/09 at 5:34 PM EDT

    ----------

    No.

    I can read though.
  245. I, Alafrate from Canada writes: Manu coli from New York, United States writes: I understand the NHL to protect the teams' market. What if someone moves another team in Manhattan or a second team in Calgary?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    The "What if this means somebody else is going to move their team to another big city?" argument is specious.

    Name another geographical region aside from Southern Ontario that could support an ADDITIONAL team being introduced into their market.

    NY? They already have three.
    Montreal? No.
    Chicago? No.
    Where else is there?
  246. Steve Church from Canada writes: Manu coli - Different leagues work it different ways, but the NHL is driven primarily on gate revenue. The protected fan zone is more important to the NHL than it is to ... say, baseball. MLB's prime drivers include TV and radio - the territorial settlement between Washington and Baltimore turned into a Baltimore network income stream. Washington becomes a larger partner in that network over time.
  247. Steve Church from Canada writes: I Alafrate - Baltimore is in every major sport except hockey. It could support a franchise. Oh yea, except it infringes on other territories.
  248. Warron yu from Canada writes:

    Perhaps Balisille will get some Bilderberg backing this weekend.

    .

    Has anyone seen his name on the Bilderberg list before?

    .
  249. tommy marks from glendale az, United States writes: Shame on you Canada!
    We are trying to make hockey work in Glendale and have spent millions of dollars building a state of the art hockey arena and the development of Westgate.
    You are supporting Jim Ballsack who is trying to undo the good we have started.
    Is it our fault we had such a terrible owner who knows and cares nothing of his X-hockey team??
    Just remember when hockey fails....You Fail....your national game fails...and that makes all you Canadan's Failures!
  250. Richard Jenkins from Boomer NC, United States writes: GC, your unemployment is going to dry up soon. Maybe Gary will give you a job with the NHL as propaganda secretary. 20% of league makes over 33% of revenue according to all data I've seen. Canada is superior to US. Its time to grow up, folks.
  251. Kothar Rumbleg from Canada writes: There is no problem when a professional Canadian team is moved to the USA (ie. Quebec Nordiques, Winnipeg Jets, Montreal Expos or Vancouver Grizzlies) when they were loosing money. But here we have a sole US team trying to be moved to Canada and all the blocks come out. Really is this fair?
  252. Warron yu from Canada writes:
    .

    Yep,

    Balisillie went to Bilderberg last year.

    Right now he could very well be having tea with the Queen, Kissenger and The President of The World Bank in Greece.

    Bettman will have to bend if Bilderberg beckons.

    But can Bilderberg bring us slaves a Go train series?

    .
  253. B D from Saskatoon, Canada writes: This says it all:

    http://www.nytimes.com/1996/04/30/sports/tv-sports-fox-is-playing-it-safe-with-nhl.html?scp=5&sq=National Hockey League Fox&st=nyt

    one of the Jets last Playoff Games Had to be televised by FOX Sports.
  254. Tony . from Waterloo, Canada writes: Steve Church from Canada writes: "They have a pool of about 1 million within winter distance, and another 300,000 they can rip off from Buffalo. Waterloo and London will both contribute negligible amounts after the first brave souls year."

    I've driven from Waterloo to Hamilton, not that tough of a drive even in the winter, and I'm up in Waterloo itself. Kitchener (200k people) and especially Cambridge (another 150k people) are closer. For most of Cambridge it's only a half-hour to 45 minutes drive to Hamilton. This is no further than going from Oshawa, Richmond Hill or Brampton to get to a Leafs game. Brantford (90k) and Guelph (120k) are closer still.

    Besides there's a million people in the greater Hamilton area all on it's own. That is roughly the same as Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton, all of whom have their own team with almost no towns of any significance within a 1-hour drive.
  255. PANIC! At The Ice Floe from Canada writes: Kothar Rumbleg from Canada writes: There is no problem when a professional Canadian team is moved to the USA (ie. Montreal Expos)

    _ _ _ _ _ _

    Honestly, this is the reason why I support the NHL in trying their damnest to keep the team in Phoenix. How many years was Montreal existing on league handouts and sub 15K per game attendance? 10 years?

    I would like to see teams in Hamilton, Winnipeg and Quebec City. However, the league is right to not allow a team to move based on some guy's wishes to do so...If this were the case, we would probably only have 4 Canadian teams, as Ottawa and Edmonton would have left their cities long ago.
  256. Sonny Crockett from Canada writes: tommy marks from glendale az, United States writes: Shame on you Canada!

    ---

    Shame on us? You live in the bloody desert. Typical American mentality, the outrageously offensive attitude that you deserve anything you want, even in the face of complete failure and irrationality (this is how the entire world sees you, by the way). Why are there no mlb/nba/nfl etc teams in Alaska? Because not enough people care. Why shouldn't Arizona have a hockey team? BECAUSE NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE CARE. You live in a desert. Hockey is winter sport. You live in a DESERT. Thanks for trying but you FAILED. Now give us back the Jets and go watch some monster truck rallies.
  257. Link Hogbrow from Canada writes:
    Tommy Marks @ 6:42 PM

    If Canada fails because hockey fails in Arizona, does the U.S.A. fail if only one NBA or MLB franchise can hang on in Canada ?

    I thought not.

    Please get over yourselves.
  258. I, Alafrate from Canada writes: Mister Church: Baltimore, eh? Ok, seems reasonable enough. I'll give you that one. They don't have an NBA team either, FWIW.

    And Tommy, sir, it ain't our fault no one down there cares.

    Phoenix is the closest thing to Xanadu, anyway... importing water from the Colorado river for golf courses in mid-July.

    Unbelievable.
  259. Burgermeister Meisterberger from Canada writes: Hey tommy from glendale. you guys suck. you 12 freakin years to make it work and you didn't - boo hoo boo hooo!
  260. Turning Right from Canada writes: I still think Ballsille should put together a consortium of wealthy Canadians and buy the entire NHL then fire all the owners and Bettman. Then he could relocate teams anywhere he wants in Canada. Yeah I am dreaming!!

    Seriously, I don't think this relocation of the Coyotes will fly and if it does the NHL may not allow the new Hamilton team in to the league. So we could end up with another professional hockey team in Southern Ontario and no league to play in.
  261. Donald Wilson from Canada writes: I think it will be apparent to the court Judge that the NHL board and Bettmen are restricting free trade - and that is against US law . Under free trade , they can't restrict or refuse an owner that wants to move to a location wherein he can make money .
  262. Edward Carson from Canada writes: Boycott the NHL...providing you lot can get over your hockey addiction.
    The CBC is the largest contract - don't watch it. Next contract significantly smaller for the NHL.
    Canadian teams - don't watch, don't buy merchandise, don't attend. NHL revenue plummets.
    Maple Leaf TV - cancel
    Radio Shows - don't listen

    You want hockey go watch your minor league teams, OHL teams etc...
    Leave the NHL to rot and watch Bettman and the other arrogant owners cry to the grave.
  263. Patrick Fennell from Canada writes: I wish the NHL would have fought this hard to keep the teams in Winnipeg and Quebec! Those cities had lots of loyal fans. I also don't understand the other owners... if they get another money making team in the GTA instead of a money leaking Sunbelt team they all stand to gain millions! It's crazy!
  264. Desmond Whitton from Canada writes: good. the NHL has sucked for the last 15 years at least! it's about time someone stood up to Bettman and his league ruining ideas.
  265. Turning Right from Canada writes: Desmond I agree it has sucked with all the rule changes it is more like ringette, I miss the hockey of the 80's and early 90's.
  266. Gerald Carpenter from writes: Reasonable Man (and others): In fact, the Reinsdorf offer at $130 mil is only about $50 mil less than JB. JB's offer of $212.5 mil includes $22.5 for Gretzky. Reinsdorf's offer assumes that he is retained. Also, Reinsdorf's offer would include paying off the ~$8 mil in ordinary-course creditors listed in the bankruptcy. That makes Reinsdorf's offer with ~$160 mil, compared as apples to apples. Sorry if the math makes all your brains hurt, but there it is.

    As for the $50 mil difference, the Reinsdorf offer would involve assuming the lease which JB's offer rejects. As a result, the only difference between the two offers, is that the creditor City gets its creditor position taken care of instead of Moyes. Moyes' creditor position is only a creditor position because he structured his capitalization of the team as a loan instead of taking additional equity (for tax reasons, BTW). While reasonable men and women may disagree, my view would be that real creditors like the taxpayers should get taken care of before a failed owner who structured his capital as a loan instead of shares. But that's just me.

    Hope I didn't lose you all with this actual business talk. Of course, when people are being played by a billionaire shamelessly waving the flag as if this didn't have anything to do with money, it is hard to get a word in edgewise. What a bunch of saps you folks are.
  267. Gerald Carpenter from writes: Tony from Waterloo, I have no idea where you get either your population figures or traveling times. I live in HAM and commuted to Cambridge for several years. Driving extremely aggressively, I could not make it in less than 50 minutes, and that was going through the countryside in light early morning and evening traffic. With people supposedly coming to Hamilton in droves? Thanks for the chuckle.

    Hamilton (even greater Hamilton) has a million people? LMAO! Where does "greater Hamilton" end? Oakville?
  268. Chuck in Edmonton from Canada writes: Gerald Carpenter - Great post! Finally a bit of sense.

    In the business that is the NHL, even billionaires learn that there are agendas that cannot be shifted or changed, including loyalty to large market cities.

    In the business that is the NHL, there is absolutely zero gain from moving into Hamilton - all that is accomplished is splitting a market that is already producing.

    So you invest - perhaps foolishly - in the much larger new market in Phoenix where every fan is a gain in customers.

    And the game, and its roots and history, and its connection to Canada, is all meaningless sentiment.

    As to Ballsille, a little setback (again) might do him some good. If his arrogance in trying an end run on the league is any indication, are you really sure this is the guy you want owning anything?
  269. Tony . from Waterloo, Canada writes: Gerald Carpenter from writes: "Tony from Waterloo, I have no idea where you get either your population figures or traveling times."

    Populations are pretty widely published, though I'll admit I haven't a clue what the "Greater Hamilton area" constitutes. Regardless Hamilton proper is over 500k people and it's a pretty steady stream of small to medium sized towns in every direction that isn't lake Ontario.

    As for drive times, I've done the drive myself. It only takes me an hour to get to Hamilton and it's a solid 15 minutes to get to the 401 (roughly the start of Cambridge) on a good day. A quick check on Google Maps suggests that the furthest you could possibly be away from Copps Colosseum while in Cambridge is about 53km with more than half that drive on the 401. Now I'm not counting traffic but that exists for all hockey games. Back when I lived in Ottawa it would take me 15 minutes to drive to the arena with no traffic but could easily take an hour to get home after the game, 45 minutes of which were in the first 3km.

    Anyway, when you get right down to it, it comes down to one thing. Balsillie thinks he could make money with a hockey team in Hamilton. As another poster accurately stated, he's not doing this for phillanthropic reasons, he's a businessman. The argument that Buffalo will lose revenue holds some definite merit. Toronto might lose a bit, but maybe not (a Toronto-Hamilton game on TV would be a goldmine for all involved). However to think that they wouldn't get any fans? I don't buy it. Keep in mind that he nearly sold out deposits for seasons tickets in Hamilton for the Predators before he was even considered for buying the team, let alone moving it.

    If that doesn't say "pent up demand" I'm not sure what will.
  270. Steve Church from Canada writes: Tony, I've lived or had regular stays in all of the GTA, Hamilton, Burlington, Guelph, KW, and London. When any of the access routes hits a snag, or the weather turns bad - it's a lesson-learned headache. The public transport service from Hamilton east after a game is once an hour. I'm sure that in Year 1 the enthusiasm of it all will bear the load. But after that, it would be smart to be cautious about the population numbers you use for the ticket-pool, imo. Either that or free accommodation at Dundurn Castle ...
  271. dave sharpe from Canada writes: this is not standing up to Bettman, this is about ballsie trying to get a team outside of league parameters, does not matter if you like the rules or not, they exist and for ballsie to think he can just trample them is foolish...he of course will not succeed...again
  272. JACK V from Canada writes: Just shut the doors on these losing clubs ,there are too many teams now anyways, to many players playing in the N.H.L that are only minor leagers anyways. Just shut their doors .
  273. Dan Chadwick from Canada writes: yeah following rules! Who does that any more, especially the rich and powerful? Ballsille probably has public opinion on his side, but here we go one more time, with the Canadian tax payer footing the bill to satisfy the ego of the wealthy elite. The whole process is a big joke, but it is taking up space in the media which is good for advertising.
  274. Igodda Mahalingam from Canada writes: at what point does good market sense prevail over following "rules"?

    we could follow NHL "rules" until the the league becomes one vast sink hole of undertalented mediocrity, thinly spread out over a midwest America that is deeply uninterested in the game

    or we could bring the game back to Canada

    Free trade is free trade

    I smell a class action suit here - Betmann and co are depriving me and my fellow citizen's to be part of a smart business decision

    oh and btw - we want the cup back to
  275. sleazy Silvester from Canada writes: I predict that phoenix will stay where it is, lose a lot more money and Bettman will be fired, then they'll get a worse bid from Basille and take it because they're losing money hand over fist.
    Most articles describe Basille offer as generous, maybe the NHL should think about money not potential markets (for ice hockey in the middle of a desert)
  276. t w from Canada writes: Balsillies offer is a conditional offer. It is conditional on moving the franchise to southern Ontario. The NHL owns the franchise rights to southern Ontario. The US court has no authority to grant NHL rights to southern Ontario. Balsillies offer is not acceptable by the court unless the condition is satisfied or removed.
  277. Bob McDonald from Canada writes: The NHL club of owners has always had problems like this. The club is too exclusive. It eventually led to the creation of the WHL. If this kind of high handed exclusionism continues, the NHL might again find itself competing with another league. Is it time to start a Canadian Hockey League? If Bailsillie and other wealthy enthusiasts were to throw their money behind a Canadian only league, the NHL would have to compete and so, would open its club doors again - as they had to for some of the WHL teams.
  278. Reform Reform from Niagara, Canada writes: It seems as if the only market research reported on in relocating a NHL team to a place like Hamilton, Ontario focuses on the area's population. Has anyone gone out to poll the people who live in this area to determine whether or not they would actually support such a team? It could very well be that many of the residents live quite nicely without such entertainment and have found activities to replace their one time interest in professional hockey, at least in terms of the product that Gary Betman has turned it into.

    Ask the Hamilton Bulldogs, the AHL farm team of the Montreal Canadiens, how many games they have sold out over their 10 years of playing in downtown Hamilton. (incidently the same building that the Hamilton Coyotes would play out of). If you are using fingers to count, you won't need more than one hand. Once again, thank you Mr. Betman.
  279. Henry Allen from East Bank, Don River, Canada writes:
    Reform Reform from Niagara, don't compare AHL attendance in a territory that favours the NHL. Toronto Marlies have attendance issues as well, despite playing entertaining, competitive hockey at much cheaper seat prices. By comparison, you should know about sellouts that have gone on forever at the Air Canada Centre for the mediocre Leafs. Add to these Leafs sellouts a waiting list for season tickets that stretches a couple of decades into the future.
  280. dawson D from Proud Canada, Canada writes: I'd like another team in southern Ontario just as much as the next hockey fan in the area. The problem is the teams in the NHL (or any professional North American League) are "Franchises".

    think of any business with "franchises" and you'll understand that the placement of each "franchise" is governed by the controlling company. Tim Horton's doesn't let any Joe put up another Tim's anywhere he wants. They do market analysis, etc. Heck they even give the 2 closest franchisees the opportunity to purchase the new location before a new 'franchisee' is allowed to open a new location!

    That being said, i think that the NHL is not doing a good job with their "market research" and haven't applied their "ROI" model to teams like Phoenix very well. Ask any successful business owner/Franchiser if they would prop up a location that has lost consistently for 12-15 years and they definitely wouldn't. Actually they probably wouldn't let it get that far.

    So i can understand why the NHL is not happy with Jim's approach (I'm not sure i would be either if i was a business owner with franchises). However I also believe the decision makers in the NHL are not doing their job and instead riding a "wounded horse" into the ground in Phoenix.

    As for whether Southern Ontario would be able to support another team (seems like some discussion on 'where would the fans come from?'). I can answer that one pretty quickly....

    For every Leaf fan in the GTA, there are at least 1 or 2 non-Leaf fans. I wouldn't be surprised if the new team ended up with the same or slightly more fans than the Leafs. And i'm not far fetched in assuming this either!

    So that begs the question....is MLSE influencing the NHL on all of this? But that would be like 1 of the 32 tails wagging the "little dog".
    (I'll let you figure out who the "little dog" is in this analogy! ;) )
  281. Jim Thorne from Toronto, Canada writes: Talk about a closed door, old-boys club, this NHL is. Really, it's this littel weasel Gary Bettman, with his short-man complex that's the issue. Let me get this straight. We have someone, a very successful and rich businessman who wants to buy a bankrupt NHL team, that's in a part of the US that should never have had a franchise in the first place (because of lack of interest in hockey), and he wants to move it to a part of North America where there is pent up demand for hockey, where it will do very well, and somehow the NHL, led by the great Gary Bettman, thinks this is such a horrendously bad idea. The way Bettman, Daly and the NHL commissioners are behaving, you'd think Balsillie had commited the worst crime in the world. What an embarrassment for the NHL. They would rather leave a money-losing team in Phoenix than admit they were wrong and see the league get stronger by putting another team in Ontario, which would undoubtedly be successful. This is either about politics and money (viz-a-via Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo), or its ego and "old-boys network" of the NHL governors and specifically Bettman. Bottom line, Bettman, you're an idiot and you should be run out of town as a failed NHL commissioner, you egotistical autocratic little jerk. It's time someone shook up the dusty old NHL a bit and forced it into the 21st century. This issue just exposes Bettman's failure tenure as NHL commissioner.
  282. Richard Jenkins from Boomer NC, United States writes: GC, we know you're hard, but who are you working for?
  283. William Bishop from Canada writes: The old saying about not wanting to join a club that would have you as a member has never rung more true then this fiasco. Mr. Baisille doesn't want to play by the rules and the NHL wants to make them as they go along in order to pick whomever they want without an obligation to creditors. The latter flies in the face of any bankruptcy laws I'm aware of and should make anyone contemplating investment in an NHL club to think long and hard about it. In effect what the NHL is saying is that even if you are able to negotiate a deal whereby the investors/creditors will get 100 cents on the dollar, we want to skuttle the deal...well because we want to and we don't want to have a fiduciary duty to anyone other then the old boys club. Personally I think Mr. Bettman is in a conflict of interest if the Court accepts the NHL's argument that he is defacto in charge of the team by virtue of the proxy signed in November of last year.
  284. Mike Russell from Hamilton, Canada writes: I've just read most of the comments here and am amazed how many self appointed experts there are posting here. People can debate the issues all they want pro and con. They can spew out all the statistics and so called facts they want. The reality is the only person that will decide anything is the bankruptcy court judge. That judge will wade through all of the documents issued on both sides of the issue and render a decision. That decision will be based on what is in the best interests of the creditors. If the judge determines that Moyes is no longer the owner then he becomes a creditor due to his investment in the team and as such he has every right to force the team into bankruptcy. As for contracts and agreements made by the team the judge can void any or all of them if he deems them to be in the best interests of the creditors. Since Balsillie's bid is the only one that will payoff all creditors the judge should rule in his favour unless someone else steps up with a better offer. The issue of whether or not the team can move will also be decided by the courts although they would be different courts, if it comes down to it. In that case other laws will come into play. Anti trust legislation on both sides of the border as well as NAFTA will determine that issue. I don't think the NHL wants it to come down to that, it may set a precident that is not in their interest. The issue of the courts deciding whether or not the team can move is what scares the NHL the most. Thats why they are taking the offensive with the bankruptcy court. If they lose there they are done and they know it. The only hope they have is if they can convince the bankruptcy judge they own the team. Moyes and Balsillie have played this brilliantly by taking the NHL and it's rules out of the equation and leaving the whole issue up to the courts.
  285. buzz fazbert from Surrey, Canada writes: This just in...Montreal Canadiens owner Peladeau in discussions with ownership of New Orleans Saints to establish a team in that city. They would play in the superdome and be called the SWAMP.
  286. Brian Hutton from Waterloo, Canada writes: This type of thing is exactly the reason that I no longer follow the NHL closely. It has turned into more about the money and the politics and less and less about the hockey. I switched to Junior hockey and even it is starting to beccome too political, but at least the players play their heart out (for the most part) as they still have something to prove as they don't have a fat contract yet!
  287. Tom Wild from Canada writes: Re: Dawson D's. Please excuse the correction, but the use of "Franchise" when applied to the NHL is a little bit of a misnomer.
    Comparing a Tim Hortin's franchise to an NHL team is like comparing an apartment to a condo. Both can look the same but there's a vast difference when it comes to ownership and the rights attached to that ownership.
  288. Derek Rae from Canada writes: I consider myself somewhat skilled at Googling or Wikipediaing but to try and find out the structure of the league's leadership and how commissioners etc get their positions is a constant dead-end. Does anyone know a source where this information can be found? It's very opaque.
  289. Stubinator c from Ottawa, Canada writes: I will continue to boycott southern expansion team away games. They are bad teams so its isn't much of a game and fans need to send a message that they run the league, and not NHL old boys club. If we get <10000 fans at next the Toronto - Phoenix or Atlanta game in TO and these old boys will be quick to build a better league.

    OHL Jr Hockey is a better experience for a fan for <$20. We took some europeans family to both and they much preferred
  290. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: I have a friend who is a consultant, and has several "juniors" working for him. Many of his clients will pay him $10,000 a day for his services, and will not deal with the juniors at any price, prefering to go to other firms.
    I wonder how many of the thousands of people who are on the Leaf's waiting list, would have no interest in any other club?
    Don't count your new NHL team market size before it is hatched...Many here have hinted correctly, that as you move from the "ground zero" of the ACC, the market gets dispersed enough, that it calls into question viability of a second franchise.
    Only solution? Second team at the ACC, paying MLSE exhorbitant rent. And even that is a stretch.
  291. John Bladen from Canada writes: Derek Rae from Canada writes: I consider myself somewhat skilled at Googling or Wikipediaing but to try and find out the structure of the league's leadership and how commissioners etc get their positions is a constant dead-end. Does anyone know a source where this information can be found? It's very opaque.

    Hmmmn.

    You might try applying for membership in the Freemasons, maybe Opus Dei, or the Carlyle group...

    Other than that, pretty much out of luck I would think...
  292. The Blind Man Is King from Canada writes: "If the NHL Board of Governors decided to put another team in Southern Ontario, the NHL would charge an expansion fee and provide compensation to the neighbouring members, the filings said."

    That's it, right there. EXPANSION FEE AND ... COMPENSATION TO THE NEIGHBOURING MEMBERS. The NHL gets more money and so do the Leafs ... because this is a business, not an institution.
  293. Ed Long from Canada writes: I will go out on a limb and say Balsillie's offer is a "sham" in that he is purposely attempting to expose the ownership and league hierarchy because he believes it to be duplicitous and insular, and not in the best interest of professional hockey.

    Given such, his "scheme" is an attack on the league.

    That is really the motivation, Balsillie has erected his catapult outside the walls and is firing rocks.

    All the nice rational analysis really mean nothing. The plans of the owners and league, and their view of potential future "league", not team, revenue is the focal point.

    Canada does not sell in America, except for bacon and maple syrup. Americans enjoy entertainment, winners and American teams. Canadians look on hockey as culture and birthright.

    Big difference.

    And many Canadians still mistakenly believe professional sport is about sport.
  294. Sonny Crockett from Canada writes: "Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: Sonny Crockett from Canada:

    There is only one problem with your analogy...Baffin Island, Nunavut etc don't have a combined population of over 100 million people."

    ---

    Sorry - implying Phoenix AZ has 100 million people to draw from? Then let's put a team in Mexico city, they have way more people! The decision of team location shouldn't based solely on absolute population. The more important factor is the entrenched and potential fanbase for the specific sport in question. Since we are discussing HOCKEY, a sport with vastly lower potential in Phoenix for obvious geographic and social reasons, we would predict it difficult to establish a viable hockey franchise there.

    By all means it would be nice if Phoenix could support an NHL franchise, but history has proven it cannot. The experiment is over, and unfortunately for Phoenix they forfeit their rights to one of the 30 NHL teams.

    Mr. Balsille has provided the most comprehensive solution to the situation of the Phoenix Coyotes, but the owners, led by the conveniently evil-looking Mr. Bettman, are in favor of less stable offers (as happened with nashville and pittsburgh). The trend of irrational decisions by the league in favor of American options in the face of superior Canadian alternatives has now become more than suspicious, it is now truly alarming and blatant.
  295. Sonny Crockett from Canada writes: "sleazy Silvester from Canada writes: I predict that phoenix will stay where it is, lose a lot more money and Bettman will be fired, then they'll get a worse bid from Basille and take it because they're losing money hand over fist.
    Most articles describe Basille offer as generous, maybe the NHL should think about money not potential markets (for ice hockey in the middle of a desert)"

    ---

    Agreed
  296. Ed Long from Canada writes: Sonny .... words like "fanbase" and "social reasons" mean nothing.

    This is the entertainment business. And Bettman's specifically placed franchises are in markets where the hockey entertainment can potentially collect consumers from multiple other entertainment entities.

    There are only three such markets in Canada:Toronto, Montreal and Fraser Valley/Vancouver .... and Vancouver might be a stretch.

    To cover building, staff and infrastructure costs, owners need multiple entertainment options.

    The American consumer is looking for entertainment with a recognizable label .... Phoenix Coyotes is more appealing than the Hamilton whatevers. And the American consumer does not care about national background of players and all the intricacies debated on endless Canadian puck talk shows.

    Bettman packaged and sold the NBA as entertainment. Magic even referred to it as Show Time. Jordan, Kobe and Lebron put on a show. Bettman has taken that same philosophy to the NHL, it is a show. It is promoted as a show. They want players like Ovechkin putting on a show.

    Sure, there are Canadian locations that could support a professional hockey team complete with puck crazy "fans". But that is not the profile for the NHL. They want locations with multiple entertainment possibilities and the consumer base to support it.

    A specific team may not make money, but the owner may be putting the building to other uses and the hockey team is just one piece of the conglomerate. Even the Aquilini's are reportedly scouting NBA teams to make better use of GM place piggybacking on the Canucks.

    It is about the entertainment business.
  297. m g from Toronto, Canada writes: What is so frustrating to me is that the NHL seems intent on ignoring the demand in the GTA. How about serving the people who are just aching for a chance to watch NHL hockey? By most (if not all) accounts, a second team in the GTA would be a real money maker -- exactly WHAT is the NHL waiting for? It may not fit into the Grand Scheme of Growing the Game in America, but isn't it still a worthwhile endeavour? Shouldn't someone have put this into play a very long time ago? Exactly how long are we supposed to wait until they finally throw us a bone?

    Here you have a large concentration of hockey fans, the vast majority of whom are essentially locked out from attending Leaf games -- a team that has more or less stunk for decades. At the same time, you have more and more entertainment options vying for the attention of sports fans, and you have a city with rapidly changing demographics -- roughly half of Torontonians are immigrants from nations with little hockey tradition to speak of. You absolutely cannot take it for granted that the next generation of kids in this city is going to be picking up hockey sticks. What will the situation be 10, 20 years down the road? Hockey is going to have to work much harder to maintain its supremacy here in Toronto.

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