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Bettman preferred Coyotes move to Winnipeg

Globe and Mail Update

Commissioner would consider moving team back to Winnipeg but not Hamilton, court filings show ...Read the full article

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  1. Rain Couver from Canada writes: Returning the Jets to Winnipeg when they couldn't sustain the team in the first place? That makes sense . . . NOT!

    At least let them have a go in another market.
  2. Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: Move to Quebec City!!!!
  3. micky maggart from Canada writes: Give Winnipeg their Jets back. As quintessentially Canadian as a city can get......They deserve an NHL team more than anyone.....Plenty of other struggling franchises in the US to go around.......Halifax could get a regional team for Atlantic Canada (Thrashers) and Saskatchewan could have the Predators.

    Its time to bring the 'National' Hockey League back to its 'Nation' and not expand to fulfill Gary Bettman's plan for world domination.
  4. Turning Right from Canada writes: Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: Move to Quebec City!!!!
    I miss the Nordiques, that was such a great rivalry with the Habs. The Nords were one of my favorite teams, next to the lowly Leafs of course.
  5. Mike Walton from Sherwood Park, Canada writes: Coyotes won't end up in Winnipeg or Quebec City.

    Quebec has no new building. If the Colisee couldn't make enough money to support a team 15 years ago, it certainly can't now.

    Winnipeg has a great building. If only they made it a little bigger, 3000 more seats and the possibility of the Jets coming home would be much better.

    If the Coyotes move, it won't be Hamilton. My money would be on Vegas.
  6. Tim Cares from Canada writes: I read that the arena in Winnipeg was intentionally built too small for an NHL team so the Manitoba Moose wouldn't have NHL competition.
  7. Jim Beam from Fargo, United States writes: 'Its time to bring the 'National' Hockey League back to its 'Nation' Like I've said elsewhere, tim horton and molson can only support so many teams. Without U.S. advertising and areanas, the NHL would have been gone long ago. Why do you think the original 6 had only 2 canadian teams?
  8. Harvey Mushman from cambridge, Canada writes: Ah...there we go...the biggest 'fly in the ointment' for Balsillie moving a team to

    Gary and the owners want a big fat expansion fee cheque for Hamilton that they don't have to share with the NHLPA.

    They would probably also like to hit Hamilton up with a huge fee for competing in Toronto/Buffalo markets...which could be distributed into poor owner's pockets.
  9. Dude Love from Canada writes: Look at all the places that the NHL has gone back to after those cities lost their teams, Colorado, Atlanta and plans for Kansas City.
  10. Canadian Superstar from Toronto, ON, Canada writes: Every time i read this story I laugh. Sheila Copps legacy lives on! Hamilton has been buying this snake oil for 20 years. They built the crappy Copps Coliseum BEFORE they secured the rights to a team. The city has died a thousand deaths and has ZERO infrastructure unless you count a porn shop and a bingo hall. Can we please for once and all put to bed ANY new recycled trash about the NHL and Hamilton?

    NHL is such a third-rate sports league. Ratings for the Stanley Cup Playoffs don't even generate a quarter of World Wrestling Entertainment. Hamilton is the crappiest city - filled with the lowliest people - in North America. There are a dozen cities that would be a better fit.

    Oh and Waterloo? Sure the yarn mill in West Galt might be able to put up a Xeroxed poster 'NHL tonite!'

    Enough already!
  11. J Martin from Canada writes: Did they build the arena in Winnipeg so that they could say take off the roof and expand upwards...since I know some stadiums and arenas are designed like that in case more space is needed.
  12. Simon Michael from Toronto, Canada writes: Sounds a bit like divide and conquer to me. Bettman knows he can't beat the Canadian passion for another team. But where? Split Canadians between Winnipeg and Hamilton and you quietly move the team to somewhere else in the US (maybe Vegas) while we Canadians are still bickering at who deserves a team more: Winnipeg or Hamilton.

    The Weasel is getting desperate, but it might actually work for him.
  13. John Simmons from Canada writes: My dream, before Southern Ontario rightly gets an NHL team once and for all, is to eliminate ignorant posters such as, ahem, 'Canadian Superstar.'

    Though Hamilton or Waterloo may not be 'gems' as this idiot implies (a person who obviously hasn't a clue what infrastructure actually is, let alone what kinds of it these cities actually possess), at least they're better off for not having fools like this live among their people.

    Good luck with your hate-on, pally.
  14. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Yea right! Betaman playing nice to Winnipeg Canada. Can you imagine the conditions Bettman would impose concerning an arena-presold seat licenses, season tickets, and luxury boxes for at least3- 5 years and an owner with the wherewithal to survive multiple year losses with a now deflated CAN$

    OK, I can see where Bettman is going! The Phoenix franchise will fetch 150 million from a new owner to keep it there-move it to Vegas or KC but I see KC being the soft landing spot for loyal Wang's Islanders in a year or 2. New York won't mind--they have their Rangers and Jersey close by.

    An expansion franchise in Southern Ontario will fetch between $300-400 million to be divided amongst the owners. Where else could a new franchise attract that kind of money? A move there gives the owners NOTHING!
  15. Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: Hamilton had an arena that can be expanded, and that is already capable of seating over 17,000. Winnipeg's arena can seat just over 15,000. Since it was just completed four years ago, it most certainly is NOT going to be expanded any time soon, which means the Jets most certainly will NOT be returning. I'd love to see it, but Bettman is just blowing smoke when he says such things. Southern Ontario could support TWO more teams, and he knows it.
  16. Jeff Bailey from Canada writes: 'Bettman replied that the league would not approve relocating the Coyotes to Hamilton because Copps Coliseum was over 30 years old'

    Nice to see that Bettman can do math. Copps Coliseum opened in 1985, so it would be 24 years old.
  17. duff bourassa from Canada writes: couldn't the NHL solve a lot of its financial concerns simply by paying the players in canadian dollars?....when the CDN $ grows stronger the 6 (soon to be 7) CDN teams would generate enough revenue to support weaker USA franchises.....if the CDN dollars gets weaker it would be a financial bonanza for the american teams....they collect U$ at the gate but pay out in cheaper CDN dollars....and it would have no effect on CDN matter what happens to the CDN $ revenues would be offset leaguewide....obviously the PA won't endorse this but then who thought the PA would allow a salary cap? seems rather obvious that paying players in CDN $ would work out very well for the league under the new bad an american lawyer is running our game with a mandate to nurture the game in america while milking profits from Canada
  18. F. T. from Somewhere in the Sonora, Canada writes: I meet people like this all the time. They've failed at their venture, but their ego won't allow them to admit it. So, they continue driving towards oblivion. Bettman's hot-weather expansion has been an epic failure. The big man at the top with little man-syndrome will NEVER admit his mistake and I'll bet you pounds to pesos, he'd rather see a team failing in Mexico City than succeeding in Hamilton or Winnipeg.

    It's not about American pride. It's not about hating Canada.

    It's just about his huge ego and tiny *&%$.
  19. Yukon Sean from Land of the Midnight Sun, Canada writes: I think every sports fan knows the NHL has been, and will remain, unable to break into the big four American sports (NFL, NBA, MLB, NASCAR) and the umpteen college level iterations of same. So, I am wondering whether anyone on this forum could explain to me why the league insists on pursuing these non-hockey markets. I am being sincere here, not sarcastic. Yes, I am a nationalist. I would love to see teams back in Winnipeg and Quebec. Would not it be wonderful if we could have NHL in Prairie and Atlantic Canada, say Saskatoon and Halifax, respectively? Of course, my own bias would be for a northern team, although Anchorage, AK (pop 260,000) is the only sizeable city up here.
  20. Keith Sutton from Winterpeg, Canada writes: No no no! Don't bring the NHL back to Winnipeg! It's doomed to fail if you do. Way too expensive for us. It would be a novelty for awhile, but after that, there would be more empty seats than at a Barry Bonds fan club meeting.

    We missed the Jets, deeply. But that was yeeears ago. We're over it now. Our Jets jerseys are displayed proudly with the mugs we stole from the A&W drive-in and our Harlequin and Streetheart albums.

    The Manitoba Moose suit us way better. Cheap tickets, great seats, bus service to the front door, enthusiastic announcer, Brian Munz and CJOB on the radio, and to top it off, the team is REALLY good this year. Beat the Marlies in the first round, swept the Griffins in the second round, and just beat the Astros in the first game of the third round last night. Regular attendance is easily TRIPLE what the Marlies or the Bulldogs get, even in a play-off game.

    We love the Moose, the Moose love us, the honchos Vancouver and Dallas are happy. Don't mess this up!
  21. Ben Stern from Canada writes: Allow me to copyright this idea ... move the team to Winnipeg and play 32 games there and 10 games per season in Saskatoon. I'm serious ... that is about the number of games each market can support and will create a demand to fill their smaller arenas. Call the team the Saskatchewan and Manitoba Bisons or the S&M Bisons for short.
  22. BC Voice of reason from center of BC, Canada writes: I think that unless someone like Baisille were involved that Winnipeg would not be succesful. The Former Jets were financed on a shoe-string with the Shenkarow puting in much less than $10M of his own money... the rest of the finanancing was loans and Provincial money.

    I liken the Winnipeg situation to Edmonton. The Oilers were floundering and in danger of losing their team until Katz took over from the Edmonton ownership group. Now the Oilers, despite woeful hockey management, are a very sound franchise.

    The new Jets would have the potential to be like the Sask Riders of the CFL. Regina is too small of a market, but the Rider Nation across the country makes them one of the best supported most watch teams in Canada.

    I think the Jets would automatically become every Canadian hockey fan`s second favorite team. (The same goes for Hamilton)
  23. GF Roy from Edmonton, writes: Personally, I would like Phoenix to move to Winnipeg and possibly Nashville or Atlanta move to Quebec.....but it raises the whole question of economics and sustainability. I think it will be a struggle in these two markets......and Hamilton as well. Player's salaries have priced so many ordinary season ticket holders out of the season ticket market.

    In Edmonton, it has now come down to the team depending on corporations for sky boxes or full season subscriptions. Families are left trying to scrape up enough cash to by smaller mini-packs. The days of family owned season tickets are diminishing. Often I hear my students talking about how their parents bought them a one game pack as a birthday present. I feel sorry for them as I had the pleasure of going to games all season long to witness the great teams of the 80's in my youth instead of the sub-par hockey the Oilers spit out presently. It's disheartening to hear them talk more about the laser/pyro shows rather than the game itself.

    Maybe the league should contemplate a dramatic salary reduction to price Hamilton, Winnipeg, & Quebec City back in the fold where true hockey fans exist rather than venturing into risky southern markets like Atlanta, Nashville, and Phoenix.
  24. Mass Nine from Centre of the Hockey Universe? nah......., Canada writes: A new team in southern Ontario will happen, but only through a new franchise. I was saying this from day one, and its refreshing to see at least a glint of honesty coming from La Commissonaire. Upwards of $500 MM to get a team would go a lot further than the $30-35 MM the NHL would recieve through bankruptcy proceedings. As for Winnipeg, what are they? drunk? I'm sorry, but Mississauga has a greater population than does Winnipeg. What corporate support exists there today that didn't 15 years ago? I don't know who here remembers that time, but the city of Winnipeg and the provincial gov't of Manitoba were aggressivly looking for local owners to take on the team. They were including great incentives (at the time) but couldn't find a sucker....erm.....buyer. From a purly selfish point of view, I'd love to see another team here in/around southern ontario. I'm a hockey fan first, a Leaf fan second, so I'd be in heaven with another 'local' team to follow. You'd sell more t-shirts, flags and branded crap here than in the desert, but you also wouldn't be attracking any NEW fans. It'll happen, but through a new franchise only. Its all about the bottom line here guys. Ego is a part of it, but money is the root of the issue.
  25. Western Clods from Vancouver, Canada writes:
    What's important about this story isn't the Winnipeg mention. That's only the red herring.

    The key is that this document in court is the smoking gun that will unravel all of the NHL's legal arguments.

    This proves beyond a doubt that Basille's actions weren't a backdoor powerplay. The NHL knew all along that a legitimate offer to buy and move the franchise to Southern Ontario was on the table.

    I also proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the NHL was dealing with Moyes as the sole legitimate owner of the team as late as April. It's clear the NHL had no operational control of the Coyotes.

    This may not result in the Coyotes moving to Hamilton, but in terms of who actually owns and controls the team, the NHL's case is game over.
  26. Campbell McDougall from Berlin, Germany writes: lets put to bed once and for all the idea of nhl 'expansion'. economy aside, with at least 6 failing (U.S.) franchises, expansion is not a viable concept, nor will be any time soon.
  27. Mass Nine from Centre of the Hockey Universe? nah......., Canada writes: BC Voice of Reason writes:

    I think the Jets would automatically become every Canadian hockey fan`s second favorite team. (The same goes for Hamilton)


    Without a doubt they would.
    Exploit your core audience before you try to build out from the fringes Gary. Business models the world over are built on this. Why should a sports league be any different?
  28. Ross g from Canada writes: Winnipeg doesn't need a bigger building. Many of the teams with larger NHL buildings never get 15000 paid fans at their games. Winnipeg could support an NHL team.
  29. I, Alafrate from Canada writes: What's important here isn't Winnipeg. It's the conversation Moyes' lawyer had in early April with Bettman saying someone wanted to move the team.

    Why is that important? Because the NHL's story is that on May 1st, when they informed Moyes of the Reinsdorf paper, the league also claimed Moyes had no offers on the table.

    Except for the one mentioned above.

    The nuts and bolts don't matter much beyond the timeline. As far as I'm concerned, this is the smoking gun for the true motives of the NHL office.
  30. Gord Preston from Ft Lauderdale, United States writes: Hamilton and surrounding area will certainly support an NHL team. It would be a slam-dunk success and would provide much needed incentive for the most stagnant franchise in one of the hottest hockey markets in the world (sorry TML fans!). Lack of infrastructure is a red herring argument as no fewer than four major highways intersect there, providing easy access to millions in the golden horseshoe and even to the greater Toronto area. They would no doubt sell-out most every game. Unfortunately I think it would also harm the Buffalo franchise and for those reasons (TO/greed, Buffalo/fear of survival), those franchises (along with the league) will likely block a move of the Coyotes to Hamilton, or a new franchise there.
  31. Malone Sumself from Canada writes: Not sure why my keyboard seems to have a mind of its own on this site but it drives me nuts. Wpg is not NY or Detroit or Chicago etc. No potential in t.v. markets. A likely poor draw in American cities. I loved the Jets - went to lots of games. But as Keith Sutton comments at 12;54 on this thread - they would be a novelty for a while. And then they would be a tax funded albatross again.

    Love Wpg - but they are not an NHL city. Moose and GoldEyes are pefect ---
  32. Right Winger (CON/Reform/Alliance supporter) from Canada writes: I'd love to see teams back in Winnipeg and Quebec City, but I'm afraid those markets might be too small for a pro team these days. But nonetheless, I'd still like to see it.
    Another poster up the page hit it on the head, Bettman & the owners want to sell Hamilton a franchise for big bucks, and if a team relocates there then they lose out.
    Money, it's all about money, nothing more.
  33. t w from Canada writes: Balsille is a businessman first. He is just trying to get a franchise in southern Ontario on the cheap. There is no way he wants to go to another city that will probably lose money. Has anyone noticed that the franchises that were moved were old World Hockey Association franchises. Winnipeg, Quebec City, Hartford. Only Edmonton remains and they just about did not make it.
  34. And In this Corner from Canada writes: Ben Stern from Canada writes:
    Allow me to copyright this idea ... move the team to Winnipeg and play 32 games there and 10 games per season in Saskatoon. I'm serious ... that is about the number of games each market can support and will create a demand to fill their smaller arenas. Call the team the Saskatchewan and Manitoba Bisons or the S&M Bisons for short.


    Great idea. Just like Bills in Toronto - you get to be finanancially viable and have strong local support.
  35. Rudy Haugeneder from victoria, Canada writes: The NHL -- National Hockey League. Guess which nation that represents: yes, Canada.
    If Winnipeg is the first choice for Phoenix relocation, great. It's a start, then other major Canadian cities, including Quebec City and Hamilton.
    Ultimately, only a few northern U.S. teams will remain: NY, Chicago, Minnesota, Detroit, Boston.
    Hockey fans can afford to attend games, especially if hockey salaries pay no more than what the Prime Minister or provincial premiers earn.
  36. And In this Corner from Canada writes: One thing about Basille - he seems cheesy with his 'I'm a passionate hockey fan.'

    Have you gone to the site he set up? They want you to buy merchandise - how cheesy is that - in fact the site is a design joke - it looks like an eigth grader set it up.

    If that is any indication on how he will run a club no wonder Betteman doesn't want him to have one.

    Just because he is successful in one area doesn't mean that will transfer to another area.

    In fact another newspaper said the economic benefits to Hamilton will be limited in the region.

    I think this guy loves the publicity - that's it.
  37. Ray Luft from Mississauga, Canada writes: Suppose you could sell an expansion franchise in Ontario for about $300 million and divide that against the existing owners. Suppose you could buy Phoenix for $200 millions and that would go to existing creditors and the existing owner. As an owner of an NHL franchise, what would you rather do. BG is blowing smoke - as usual. This is all about milking Ontario for maximum bucks by existing owners.
  38. Jim Labidio from Delhi, Canada writes: what a misleading headline

    and I see it's taken to like catnip
  39. Jordan W from Montreal, Canada writes: The salary FLOOR in the current CBA is $40 MILLION USD. When the Jets left Winnipeg, their total salary budget was around $15M. While a lot has changed since then, and it's certainly possible that the Jets could earn enough in their nice new building, talk of teams in Saskatchewan and Halifax is ridiculous. How many companies in these locations would be willing to pay in the 6-figure range per year for a suite? How many people can afford $5000 season tickets? These markets are far too small for the NHL.

    As a comparison, the smallest 5 markets (metro areas) currently in the NHL:
    1) Edmonton (1M), 2) Calgary (1.1M), 3) Buffalo (1.15M), 4) Ottawa-Gatineau (1.2M), 5) Nashville (1.5M)

    Hamilton has around 650k, but about 8M people live within 100km, Winnipeg & Quebec are about 700k, Halifax is only 350k (with at most another 100k in 100km), and Regina and Saskatoon are about 225k each.

    I think 9 teams is the theoretical max in Canada (adding Hamilton, Quebec, and Winnipeg), maybe 10 if you also add a 2nd team in Toronto. The idea that the NHL could work in any other city is insane--this isn't the CFL with a $5 million CAD salary cap here.

    Also remember that when the dollar was down in the 60-cent range, the Sens, Oilers, and Flames were on life-support and even the Habs and Canucks were in trouble. With all player contracts in USD, any Canadian expansion teams would be in real trouble if the exchange rate falls below 80 cents again.
  40. charles ANTHONY from Canada writes: Winnipeg Jets reborn? Please say yes for that great Canadian city. I was not born there but respect those who have built a great community and deserve an injection of positive .
  41. Will Farnaby from writes: The NHL is largely crap, and goon-filled crap at that. It has the 'leadership' that it deserves. Its future is dim.
  42. John Bladen from Canada writes:
    Bill Daly and Gary Bettman: The men who put the knife to the argument that you can't be 'a little bit pregnant'.

    The NHL was in control of the franchise.
    The NHL was not in control of the franchise.

    The NHL knew nothing about this secret and duplicitous deal.
    The NHL was advised Mr. Moyes was working with a buyer who intended to move the club to S. Ontario.

    The NHL sees southern Ontario as an expansion market.
    Yet the NHL quietly advised Hamilton representatives not to bother applying during each of the last three rounds of expansion (and will again, should the economy ever support another round).

    Mr. Balsillie has made his share of shady steps here, but his main opponents seem to be running neck and neck with him on that front.

    It's really too bad that Judge Baum can't put them all away for ten years...
  43. Robert Dryburgh from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada writes: Hamilton is the best place for them. Good luck to Mr. Balsillie.
  44. Rich Melin from United States writes: It's become obvious now why Bettman and Daly have fought this so hard. It's all about generating more money for the league by selling a new franchise in Ontario (whether in Toronto or Hamilton). Letting Balsillie buy/move an existing team is not in their financial interests. Now Scudder is just showing us again how Bettman lies when it's convenient and lies also when it's inconvenient. They don't like being defied and think they can bully everyone into submission. The leagues greatest fears include a judge will rule that the NHL operated as an illegal cartel by forcing Moyes to operate at a loss in order to keep the team in a market unable to support it (for TV revenues that are not materializing). Scudder's revelations may constitute the smoking gun many of us have suspected existed. Bettman was not caught by surprise by any of this, just angered that they would be defied. He's a bully lawyer who does not take to losing. A judge could very easily say that Moyes ability to operate was restricted by the league and that would be a game changer here. My sense would be if it came to that a bigger fight erupts because Bettman may very well revoke the Coyotes franchise rather than let it be moved so he can re-sell the rights to the Ontario market at a higher price. Stay tuned for more.
  45. Wally Grisold from Toronto, Canada writes: Hmm this is Saturday, isn't it amazing how many new stories keep croping up. I wonder what his nibs GB will say tomorrow or Monday or Tuesday or what-ever. It must take up most of his evenings thinking these stories up. Chapter 7; Chapter 11. What about Chapter 12. I can hardly wait.
  46. Rabidsenses > from Good gawd, a latte-swilling Westerner, Canada writes:

    Everything is so simple.

    This is about MONEY only.

    And I can understand that: buying an expansion team in what is probably the richest hockey market in the world - southern Ontario - yields untold revenue to the NHL and its owners. Full stop.

    This cannot be accomplished with a 'relocation.'

    Winnipeg equals a last resort saviour of Bettman's failed sun belt US expansionism in the form of a relocation.

    And Southern Ontario equals Bettman's hard work to secure a highly profitable expansion team ($350-$400M easily!!!) on behalf of the owners.

    No money in expansion to Winnipeg. Hence Winnipeg (and Quebec City) will only ever see teams after they fail in the US and are relocated to their environs.

    But there is a LOT OF MONEY in expansion to southern Ontario.



    This has nothing do do with logic or fan bases or any of Balsillie's bon mots about the spirit of hockey in Canada.

    (Balsillie is correct and an inspiration in the last regard . . . but, unfortunately, that doesn't sate the appetite for cash up front)
  47. BC Voice of reason from center of BC, Canada writes: Jordan W from Montreal, Canada writes: The salary FLOOR in the current CBA is $40 MILLION USD. When the Jets left Winnipeg, their total salary budget was around $15M.

    In 1995-1996 Keith Tkaczuk made 6M for the Winnipeg Jets. He was offered a deal from Chicago for $10M a year that The Jets had to match. They also had Teemu Sealanne, Nicolia Khabibulin and alex Zhamnov who were making over $3M a year. I don`t know what the Jets salary was in 1995, but it would have been much more than 15M and was likely in the upper 50% of the leagues salary range.

    But there was crazy things going on at the time with Lindros and Sakic getting over 10M and anyone else having a good season getting an offer from the Rangers that make the current bidding wars (Sundin) pale in comparison.
  48. c n from Smithers, Canada writes: The NHL over expanded, that is painfully obvious. The franchise fees stimulated the greed factor to the point of stupidity. Owner's frantic desire for a Cup caused the competition for the better players to make salary's rediculous. Hockey is a novelty item in the lower states and always will be. At a $150/seat football fans will not be attending too many hockey games. Hockey will have fans where the game is played, that is logical. Much has changed in Winnipeg since the Jets moved, can they support another one? Probably yes. Could Hamilton support one? Probably yes. Will either of these francises put a lot of money in the existing owners pockets? Probably not.
  49. Damien Rviers from Canada writes: I think people misrepresent a lot of the original problem in Winnipeg. Yes the MTS centre is small compared to most NHL teams, but if Winnipeg got a team again this time around, the difference would they would be getting money from concessions and parking (they didn't these at the old building, only a % of the gate). This arena is bigger than the old one, and most importantly more corporate box seats are available. The salary cap etc. keeps cost fixed (and Winnipeg is even doing quite well in regards to this economic downturn.) Had these things been in place before, I doubt the jets would have left in the first place (Yes there would have been hard time in the late 90's,without the new arena for a while, but with half the support pheonix is getting now, Winnipeg would have gotten through it and would be strong now (Like EDM and CAL).
  50. Mike Russell from Hamilton, Canada writes: Canadian Superstar from Toronto, ON, Canada writes: Every time i read this story I laugh. Sheila Copps legacy lives on! Hamilton has been buying this snake oil for 20 years. They built the crappy Copps Coliseum BEFORE they secured the rights to a team. The city has died a thousand deaths and has ZERO infrastructure unless you count a porn shop and a bingo hall. Can we please for once and all put to bed ANY new recycled trash about the NHL and Hamilton? Well it's quite obvious you have never been to downtown Buffalo or Detroit if you are comparing. Because both those cities look like bombed out war zones in comparison to Hamilton. By the way Copps Coliseum was named after a former Mayor of Hamilton Vic Copps, not Sheila. Picking one block of a downtown and saying the whole downtown is a dump because of it is not a reasonable assessment of the area. As for the infrastructure, it is all in place. There is lots of parking, public transit is available and Copps although a little worn can be easily refurbished. ' Hamilton is the crappiest city - filled with the lowliest people - in North America. There are a dozen cities that would be a better fit.' It's quite obvious you are basing your opinion on one small area of the city. In reality Hamilton is filled with hard working middle class people who are proud of thier roots as a former industrial city. If you knew anything about the city you would know that the steel industry died 20 years ago. The largest employers here now are health care and medical research, white collar jobs. Hundreds of millions of dollars in developement are being spent in the downtown over the next couple of years whether the NHL comes or not. There are also plans for a new stadium, just 3 blocks from Copps. Add to that the billion dollars that is being spent on light rail transit in the lower city and the downtown is going to be totally transformed.
  51. Adrian Howell from Toronto, Canada writes: This entire process reminds me of the Wizard of Oz, at the end of the movie, where it's revealed that the 'Wizard' is nothing but a fraud hiding behind a curtain, pretending to 'be-all, see-all, and know-all'. Gary 'The Count' Bettman has been revealed to all and sundry as a crook, fraud, charlatan, and snake oil salesman. It's nice to see the lies all come out in a court of law, where unlike in the NHL, the rules aren't made up as he goes along.

    Of course, if Ballsillie fails, the chances of him owning another team are slim to none with Bettman as commish. But perhaps this experience will force Bettman out, OR make it possible for another team to move here by another owner.
  52. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: There is a good website called Manitoba myth busters dot com that does a great job of explaining the finances of an NHL team (that is not Montreal, Toronto or New York) and how a team is viable in Winnipeg.

    Regular season Moose games they don't use the top tier in the arena. So to say it wasn't built for an NHL team is kinda reaching. There is also the possibility of raising the roof to add more seats.

    What I get out of this article is that Southern Ontario won't get another team for a long long time. There just isn't enough talent out there to fill the 30 existing teams.... so how are they going to support expansion? Wait until they start developing players in China?

    Balsillie knows that another team in Southern Ontario would automatically be worth at least 400m .... before it even played a game. So picking up any team for 2.2m, paying 30m for arena renovations, would make a paper profit of about 1.5m before the team even hit the ice.

    If Balsillie was truly a fan of the game, as he suggests. He would lower his offer to something sane, put the team in Winnipeg while he built a new arena in Southern Ontario, and have a deal in place with the NHL that the next team needing to be moved would be his to place in his new arena. (Not like deals like this haven't been made before, see San Jose and Minnesota).

    While in Winnipeg he could help set up a new ownership group. His investment could be taken into consideration (Both Winnipeg and new arena) when the relocation price was decided for the next basket case to be relocated.

    Just a thought.

  53. Gary Dare from Portland, Oregon, Canada, writes: Ross G writes, 'Winnipeg doesn't need a bigger building. Many of the teams with larger NHL buildings never get 15000 paid fans at their games.' While I'm skeptical of claims that the MTS Centre can have total sellouts of 15,000 PAID attendance every night, all but a half dozen NHL franchises would have problems filling a building of its size with 14,000 in paid attendance.
  54. Derek Holtom from Swan River, Canada writes: also, the 3,000 seats missing in Wpg pay the least amount of money
    they still have a lot of great seats and box suites
    my only concern is the cost of tickets and Winnipeg's ability to pay for them
    the government talks up Manitoba's cheap cost of living. makes having smaller wages more tolerable, but it doesn't help pay for what I think are overpriced tickets for NHL games
  55. albertaclipper Alberta from Canada writes: Coyotes could return to roots in Manitoba.


    Now we're talkin'.
  56. V S from Canada writes: Try this on.

    Balsillie apparently owns a lot of land around K-W. Suppose he keeps the team in Phoenix for a year or two as a concession to the local arena. In that time he builds an arena on the 401. He would have a draw of well over a million people within an hour of that location (London, K-W, Guelph, Hamilton/Niagara and the west side of Toronto. He could do this with the money saved by not paying the Leafs/Sabres any territorial money because it would be outside of the 80km. The whole Hamilton issue is then moot.
  57. Alex Black from New York, United States writes: Jim Beam, did you know that when the NHL was founded, it consisted of the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Hamilton Tigers, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Blueshirts (now the Leafs) and Quebec Bulldogs? Did you know all those teams were/are Canadian?
  58. Harvey Mushman from cambridge, Canada writes: Campbell McDougall from Berlin, Germany writes: 'lets put to bed once and for all the idea of nhl 'expansion'. economy aside, with at least 6 failing (U.S.) franchises, expansion is not a viable concept, nor will be any time soon.'

    There's been a bit of a false economy to the NHL under Bettman. Raking in expansion fees for new clubs has pumped money into the league. Now that those have run out and we have several southern US teams in trouble, Bettman is smart enough to figure out that you just revoke their franchises to contract the league...then take in boatloads of cash from expanding again.

    It's clear with his position not to move the Coyotes that this is what he is up to. Winnipeg is a red herring...they would never ever be able to come up with the guarantees Bettman would impose on them.
  59. Geoff Brookes from Winnipeg, Canada writes: The NHL deserves to be thrown out of court in this bankruptcy issue. They now have NO CREDIBILITY whatsoever.

    As for Hamilton vs. Winnipeg, apart from (happily) exposing the NHL's frequent lies, let it go to the group that put the offer on the table!!!

    We are all allowing ourselves to be confused by too many issues and variables being considered at the same time. This issue is very, very simple:

    Should the free market be allowed to operate?

    Balsillie has put a fabulous offer on the table to 'save' the Coyotes. It will pay the bills. Moreover, unlike many other putative NHL owners, he certainly appears to have more money in reserve, to deal with issues with Glendale, the Leafs, the arena, etc. etc. He is also a good businessman, so he will negotiate well, and he will bring in other stakeholders to participate in the cost.

    Should Balsillie be 'shut out' in his bid? If it is the superior bid, why on God's green earth should he not be allowed to take a shot on goal?????? If the free market still exists in North America (not a rhetorical question), the bankruptcy court in Phoenix should approve the sale to Balsillie.

    All the other crap is just that - crap. He is certainly an accomplished businessman, and he will make it work.

    As for the Jets - this is another red herring. It is a COMPLETELY SEPARATE ISSUE, and has NOTHING to do with Balsillie's offer. If the potential ownership group in Winnipeg was ready for this, they would have put an offer in already. I AM in favour of NHL hockey in Winnipeg, and I DO think it could work (I like the idea of splitting games between WPG and Saskatoon - nice idea), but it has NOTHING to do with Balsillie's offer.

    I am a proud Winnipeger, and a supporter of free enterprise and the Canadian hockey tradition. Go get 'em, Jim.

    Geoff Brookes, Winnipeg
  60. garth mckenzie from Canada writes: @ John Simmons, call the poster who pointed it out what you want, but Hamilton is a sh!thole.
  61. garth mckenzie from Canada writes: BC Voice of Stupidity writes: 'I liken the Winnipeg situation to Edmonton. The Oilers were floundering and in danger of losing their team until Katz took over from the Edmonton ownership group. Now the Oilers, despite woeful hockey management, are a very sound franchise.'

    What a maroon you are. The Oilers weren't in danger of losing their franchise. Stick to your grow-up.
  62. John Morrow from Canada writes: ' Will Farnaby from writes: The NHL is largely crap, and goon-filled crap at that. It has the 'leadership' that it deserves. Its future is dim. '

    Um, the fate of the Coyotes notwithstanding, you must be some bizarre sort of hockey fan to make this comment in the midst of the most exciting playoff hockey in years. No one who has been paying attention would say something this stupid.

    Or are you one of those bitter old guys who walked up hill both ways and for whom nothing is ever good enough?
  63. Geoff Brookes from Winnipeg, Canada writes: By the way, a lot of study has been done on the feasibility of the NHL in Winnipeg using the existing facility. Conclusion - feasible. Solution - relatively high ticket prices. I agree with the comment that the extra 3,000 seats are irrelevant. Winnipegers may be know as cautious with their money, but they are also picky (if I may say so as a pegger). The real question is whether you can get people to come out and watch games for the high ticket prices. Most people think that it could work (myself included). Having said all that, if more than 1/2 of the teams in the NHL are losing money, shouldn't they be taking one more look at their cost structure? The litmus test is not whether you are making money in To. or NY, but whether you are making money in at least 2/3 of the markets you are in. I don't think they can say that right now!
  64. J L from WINNIPEG, Canada writes: Winnipeg does make a lot of sense:

    1. Brand new arena with a 50-company waiting list for private boxes
    2. Ownership group who runs AHL like 31st NHL team, well respected by the NHL
    3. Natural hockey hotbed
    4. Fans starved to see the best players in the world
    5. Most importantly, one of the most stable economic areas of the country - the recession is not affecting us like it is other areas and there is solid growth occurring in this province

    It would be a smooth transition - the Chipmans are already running a professional team in a professional building. The issues that surrounded the Jets leaving in 1995-96 are not even issues today with a salary cap, new building, and solid Canadian dollar in stable Winnipeg economy.

    Gary, do something right during your tenure as NHL czar... bring the NHL back to Winnipeg.
  65. Geoff Brookes from Winnipeg, Canada writes: I agree with John Morrow! These playoffs have been fantastic. All 4 of the current round series were amazing - competitive, fast, exciting, full of surprises, with great performances by new stars. What more could you ask for? The best sport on the planet is played on ice at warp speed!
  66. Erik Richards from Winnipeg, Manitoba, writes: Nice way to split Canadian loyalties, by saying that there were plans to move the team back to Winnipeg.

    Nice try, Gary. Don't believe it for a second.
  67. Corrie Mooney from Toronto, Canada writes: The Jets (Coyotes) belong in Winnipeg, but if Bettman actually meant it, it would be going back everything he's advocated for the league and would be a sign of surrender on his part. He took them out of there and put them in a Southern US market. It's more likely he's throwing in a 'divide and conquer' argument to undermine Southern Ontario efforts.

    The NHL is in BIG trouble; if the recession lasts much longer (and I think it will), the Coyotes and the Thrashers aren't the only teams in trouble. A lot of US team payed attendance comes with promotional perquisites such as free meals and drinks etc., that hide the real number that matters: revenue generated.

    In the next five years we will see an NHL with 8 or 9 teams in Canada (including a teams in North Toronto and Winnipeg), and a much diminished southern US presence. The league will be divided into Canadian and US conferences, and salaries will be half to 75% of what they are today.
  68. D G from Canada writes: Gee, Bettman and his lackies lying to the fans? What a surprise! Busted Gary!
  69. various degrees from Hamilton, Canada writes: Poor Mike Russell from Hamilton Canada : He sounds like he loves his home town and so he should . But the fact remains the NHL will bypass Hamilton once again. Balsillie has tried 3 times to get the NHL in Hamilton and he always tries to beat the rules set down by the NHL. A recent interview with a Spectator reporter was Balsillie giving a rambling disjointed diatribe which left readers wondering is this guy playing with 51 cards? The fact remains Hamilton's downtown is and has been a decaying eyesore for the last 25 years. The Copp's dumb sits empty over 3/4 of the year. There have been so many so called developers promising such beautiful projects over the years and it's all smoke and mirrors. The current Mayor and council are the worst they have had for years and a disgrace to the taxpayers. So why would the NHL even consider putting a team in Hamilton when they would be dealing with these clowns where the story changes every day. Three times and your out
  70. various degrees from Hamilton, Canada writes: Oh! and did l mention that when they have a movie shoot in Hamilton it has been filling in as Detroit ......on a bad day. The last count was 3 times. Themovies never were big hits but,neither ids Hamilton
  71. Steve Church from Canada writes: Hilarious to see the goofy posts here about this being a smoking gun against Bettman. Moyes, 'Gary, I had some interest if it moves the club to Hamilton.' Bettman, 'Non-starter. Let it go.' Moyes - silence. He's just admited to conspiracy negotiations while tacitly providing evidence that the NHL did indeed call the shots. There's no move to Winnipeg in this - there's a statement by Bettman that if push ever came to shove, he'd prefer Winnipeg. Hamilton's buy-in would only be as a new franchise (which, of course, means proper settlement with Buffalo and Toronto). But it states right in the submission that Bettman was trying to save the franchise where it currently exists. Moyes wasn't doing that, so take your money-grabbing agendas and point them at Moyes.
  72. doug burt from writes: funny how this comes out the day after 2 large companies and icons Labatt's and Home hardware pledge there support , plus the negative Canadian press Bettman is getting. If anyone thinks Bettman is serious with this statement, he's just all P.R. this guy is a snake-oil salesman...
  73. Western Clods from Vancouver, Canada writes:
    Steve Church...Chief apologist for the NHL on these boards.

    The fact is this is a major legal that will seriously affect the outcome of this bankruptcy case in a way the NHL won't like very much.
  74. bob gervitz from United States writes: I don't know whether Winnipeg is more viable as a team location than Hamilton (Winnipeg's arena is much newer but smaller, while Copps if reno'd would be bigger and just as or more modern vis-a-vis the important bits), but it becoming abundantly clear that Bettman and his associates in league management are making things up as they go along, have been lying through their teeth throughout the last 6-8 months about how well things are going and what they are actually doing, and are doing the league a disservice by not seriously considering a second team in Southern Ontario, which can EASILY support it, whether through Balsillie or someone else, without harm to the Toronto Leafs. Furthermore if I were the owner of a marginal franchise in the NHL, and there are probably a handful of them now, I'd be very concerned by the NHL's apparent lack of concern about me.
  75. Larry Hallatt from Chesley Ontario, Canada writes: Jim will win the Court Bankruptcy case an get a chance to own the team. No one will come up with more money as there are four more US teams that are financial failures and can be also purchased by other American billionaires land move a team to Kansas....ha ha. If the NHL is foolish and decides to play hard ball, Jim's best counter is to sell off all Coyote players and put the Canadian Women's Olynmpic team in Phoenix for a year, call the new Team the Coyote Cowgirls and hire ten studs as male cheerleaders to embarass the NHL and Sport fools into submission. Think about what the NHL male players Association would feel sending a team to play an all girl team week after week. Body check and hurt a woman.....ya try it and think what your name would be. Think about the revenue stream in NY, Atlanta, and LA when the girls come to town to play. Many of the girls are good players and some fans will turn up by the Male ego nut fan would roll over and cry. Love to see Don Cheery.
  76. Lana Tam from Canada writes: Winnipeg is the discount/on-sale capital! No full price for anything.

    Why would I pay all that much for season tickets? no way
  77. Cassandra from Ottawa from Canada writes: Watch out Winnipeg, all the reporters who have been singing Balsillie's praises and insisting the giovernment should pour however much money is necesary into Hamilton will drop you like a hot potato.

    Stepehen Brunt lives in Hamilton. He doesn't really give two figs about a Canadian team unless its in his home town of Hamilton or at the very leaat, in sourthern Ontario.

    They are as indifferent about the fans in Winnipeg as they are the fans in Phoenix.

    Southern Ontario is what counts here..
  78. Cassandra from Ottawa from Canada writes: Everyone who is crying here that Bettman has issued a statement for PR reasons that he would rather relocate a team to Winnipeg than to Hamilton...learn to read.

    This information was released by Moyes people,not Bettman's and concerns a statement that was given weeks ago.

    Bettman is not jumping up and down giving out interviews and news realeases and spinning for the media- thats your boy, Balisilllie.
  79. Carl Hansen from Canada writes: Mr Bettman has redeemed himself in my view. Well done sir, you have the right idea. Ball Silly is now the enemy. I hope the BK does not go through and we find new owners in Winnipeg. The Moose suck.
  80. Steve Mitchell from Canada writes: Bettman is saying that because he knows it cant happen. It's all posturing and negotiating in the media.
  81. Pamphleteer . from Canada writes: If Gretzky doesn't want to move to Hamilton, he sure as hell won't want to move to this dump. Winnipeg is a toilet bowl.
  82. Geoff Brookes from Winnipeg, Canada writes: We're getting off topic. The key point is that Balsillie is making a good offer, and the NHL/Bettman are doing their best to obscure that essential point.

    Whether Gretzky will move to Winnipeg is completely irrelevant. I really don't expect that he would, but who cares? I like Gretzky, but it is not relevant.

    The bankruptcy court will hopefully keep to the essential point.
  83. Carl Hansen from Canada writes: I don't know what it is with the MTS Centre these days but they have so many people going to games and shows that it is one of the busiest arenas in NA. We sold out Celine Dion twice. Not many places did that. The pent up demand for concerts is unreal. Maybe it's because the Jets left so we have some money to spend.

    Thge Jets would easily double the Moose attendance and triple the revenue. Is that enough to support the NHL? I don't know. If I had 2 billion dollars, in cash, I might take a chance. Maybe.
  84. Carl Hansen from Canada writes: Yes Winnipeg IS a toilet bowl. I live downtown and see it every day. The crown jewel at Portage and Main has an elevator into the underground mall and drunks use it as their toilet almost every day. The sidewalks outside the MTS Centre after a concert looks like an ashtray that overflowed. The system is broken. Doer and Katz deserve most of the blame.
  85. Gerry Vee from Canada writes: The Jets had to leave Winnipeg because Winnipeg Enterprises aka City Hall would not give up concessions and parking revenue, money that would have more than likely helped the Jets stay put. That all changed with the new MTS centre.

    Can this city handle an NHL team? Put the criteria out there and let's see if the corporate community is willing to invest.

    My prediction is that there will NEVER be another NHL team in southern ontario. Never.

    If they brought the NHL back to Winnipeg, I'd buy season tickets without even thinking twice. :-)
  86. Carl Hansen from Canada writes: Larry please, The National women's team is on par with any number of Midget 16 year old hockey teams in Canada. They skate slow and their shots couldn't pierce cardboard. They play like the Red Wings in the 2nd OT.
  87. Carl Hansen from Canada writes: Good posts Geoff and JL. The Jets woulkd do well against the Leafs and Habs but I wouldn't want to see Minnesota, bore me to death, 4 times a year. Thankfully Jacque and his trap didn't make the playoffs.
    So the schedule is a problem. People want to see Crosby and Ovechkin.
  88. Brett McNally from Hamilton, Canada writes: Amazing comments. They should move to Winnipeg, no Quebec City, how about Halifax, wait 32 games in Winnipeg then 10 in Saskatoon. How about you you people find your own billionaire to get you a team. Hamilton's time is now. Suck it up !!!
  89. Pamphleteer . from Canada writes: If Bettman were interested in conducting a Machiavellian power play, he'd agree to the sale of team to Balsille on the condition that it would move to Winnipeg while simultaneously commiting the NHL to placing an expansion team in Hamilton sometime in the next 2 years. Then he could sit back and watch Canadians tear themselves apart. Divide and conquer.
  90. Basser Basser from Canada writes: Copps Coliseum is 24 years old Bettman. Just a number of ways this guy tries to BS. What would the league say to you if you quoted 24,000 fans as 30,000 fans?, 24 million dollars as 30 million dollars. For such a numbers business guy, you sure get them wrong!! Some are thinking it's not a big deal to say things like that, but it goes to show deception on Bettmans part. How many other numbers does he just 'round off '. like that ?
  91. you can leave here for 4 days in space but when you return it's the same old place from Canada writes: Is Winnipeg going to support a team?...reason I ask, just watched an old playoff game on Classic Hockey between Oilers and Jets...hundreds of empty seats...
  92. james c from Canada writes: isnt balsillie planning on building a new arena anyway? the issues around copps is not an issue at all if a new arena is in the works. the sens started playing in the ottawa civic centre in 1992 and played there for three years, and the civic centre seats less than 10,000 at capacity.

    the weasel is out to lunch.
  93. Disgusted Canadian from Canada writes: Bettman, a hockey team died there once already, why another one?
  94. you can leave here for 4 days in space but when you return it's the same old place from Canada writes: If the team does move to Las Vegas or Oklahoma or another dried up American city it will be toalll manipulated by betman...might as well call the team the Las Vegas or Oklahoma sleaseballs..
  95. Chris M from Winnipeg, Canada writes: has a host of information that dispel the many myths about returning the NHL to Manitoba.

    For those who need info to refute naysayers, you can find reliable information here from many sources.

    For those that think Winnipeg wouldn't make a suitable home for a team long term, check out the site.

    It also includes a comparison of various cities routinely included when NHL expansion and relocation topics are mentioned.

    And the best part is that hundreds of news articles, quotes, video interviews and audio clips make the case quite compelling.
  96. Doug Edwards from rural, Canada writes: Sooner or later the owners of the successful NHL teams will get tired of bailing out those teams in the US sunbelt that shouldn't have been there in the first place. The failing sunbelt teams are Betman's folly.

    There is a huge hockey market in the Ontario triangle and he NHL should take advantage of it.

  97. Rob C from Canada writes: Apparently Winnipeg didn't think they would get a team or they would have built a better arena. (What was that?) GTA is a better market. Quebec hasn't changed anything - why bring a team back? I want all of them to get teams, they are better markets than TBay and PHX and Nashville. Fill the best markets first.
  98. Bryan Gotch from Canada writes: Winnipeg was too stupid to build a big enough arena.
  99. Cassandra from Ottawa from Canada writes: When the Sens were going into bankruptcy, Balsillie reportedly made a bid through his lawyer to buy the team and move it to Hamilton.

    Captain Canada indeed.

    Thankfully the NHL dosent let teams relocate on the whim of an arrogant billionaire.
  100. Sydney Goldberg from Canada writes: Judge Reford Baum can decide that Jim Balsille can purchase the team from Jerry Moye's. The Judge can than decide that only the NHL has the authority through it's owners to approve a move. Can Jim Balsille get support from a group of owners who feel he did an end run on them maybe or maybe not. What if the NHL says will approve a move but only back to to Winnipeg. Jim Balsille claims to want a 7th team in Canada, will he than back up his words call Gary Bettman's bluff and move the team to Winnipeg. What if the guys from Vancouver who own the Blazers say will match the offer and have no problem moving the Cayotes to Winnipeg. The Kamloops Blazers are well run and the interested owners family enterprises include the Sandman Hotels and Dennys Restaurants. The plot thickens for sure and it will be interesting to see how it all turns out. Should the team move to Winnipeg what will Toronto do since they demand a playoff team and will be unhappy until one arrives. As the NHL turns and drama of moving parts without a clue where or how they are going to or arriving at. Sydney Joel Goldberg
  101. J L from WINNIPEG, Canada writes: Rob C from Canada writes: Apparently Winnipeg didn't think they would get a team or they would have built a better arena.


    Rob C, have you been to the MTS Centre, the arena with the 3rd most attendance for events in Canada behind the ACC and the Bell Centre?

    Just because it seats 15K doesn't mean anything -- I don't see half of the teams in the US drawing 15K of people willing to shell out for tickets (paper sell-outs/attendance numbers mean nothing). We have consistently drawn 13K for pre-season NHL games (tickets starting at $50/each) between horrible teams (Phoenix, Toronto) who plaster the arena with 'No Autograph' signs and don't dress any starters. I think that's a bigger slap in the face, but fans still pay.

    There is a pent-up demand for hockey in this town. The Moose are drawing over 8K per game for the Calder Cup playoffs, while Hamilton (the only professional playoff games in Ontario) drew less than 3K for their playoff games.

    Copps needs over $120M in renos (no private boxes at this time) which Ballsilie has said he will ask the province and the Feds for, while Winnipeg has a modern rink and management group ready for a smooth transition to a hockey starved market.

    Think Southern Ontario is 'unserved' marked? There's no NHL team from Toronto to Calgary and there are millions of fans waiting for our chance to get a team back. Minnesota got one, as did Denver and Atlanta. It's our turn.
  102. Geoff Brookes from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Someone else said in these comments, and I agree, that there will be many teams coming available in the next 3-5 years. No problem guys, there's lots to go around.

    Go get 'em, Jim!
  103. Dave Roberts from Hamilton, Canada writes: Fact - Winnipeg has the nicest baseball stadium in the country. Fact - They will have the newest and nicest CFL stadium within a year and a half. Fact - The MTS Centre is one of the top 20 busiest arenas in the world. There is money in Winnipeg and people love their sports. The Chipman family has the keys to the building and the success of this facility and Winnipegs appetite for the best hockey in the world makes the NHL's return to Winnipeg a no brainer. The fact is that someone also has to pony up almost 180 million to bring Copps up to par. In todays tight economy and Ontario's current debt/deficit issues, federal and provincial support may be a little hard to come by.
  104. A A from Canada writes: Bettman is either:

    a)Stupid. (Sorry people of Winnipeg it's just too costly for the city to sustain an NHL team with the existing population base)

    b)A puppet for the MLSE. MLSE is a corporate greed machine and can make GB dance like a puppet

    I have said it before. IF the Chicagoland area can support 2 baseball teams why can't GTA/Golden Horshoe/Western New York are support 3 NHL teams?
  105. Carl Hansen from Canada writes: The Moose drew 9700 tonight and 9900 last night. Hamilton drew 3000. Case closed.
  106. Carl Hansen from Canada writes: Why would the govt pay 180 million nto fix Copps Arena? I thought the Baller was a billionaire?
  107. Link Hogbrow from Canada writes:
    Steve Church @ 5:32PM:

    If Moyes is grabbing for anything its the scores of millions he poured into hockey in a desert. Moyes is not the bad guy here. Right now, I bet he wishes he'd never heard of Bettman ... or the NHL.

    James c @ 9:52:

    Ottawa paid the going rate for expansion. They could have played in Pembroke for all the NHL cared. The new rink is out in Kanata but they can't be called the Kanata Senators can they ? If it weren't for Gene Melnyk, maybe they would be playing in Pembroke.

    Some interesting parallels here ..... arena relocated to the outskirts, financial issues, and someone with deep pockets to the rescue. Stay tuned to see if Phoenix finds their white knight .... or did the white knight find them ?

    I agree the Winnipeg thing came up, for good or ill, to get people talking about anything else but the issue at hand. Move the next cripple to Winnipeg, it'll turn up soon enough.

    BS baffles.

    And Bettman knows BS.
  108. Steve Church from Canada writes: AA, Bettman isn't stupid or a puppet. Quite the opposite, one: Bettman's showdown with the NHLPA proved his arguments for success to a T. (Add the old CBA or Goodenow's framework to the wild ride by the cdn - the League would have been eaten alive in the free4all, and then collapsed when the swing went the other way). Two; Bettman and MLSE have an antagonistic relationship that's soured years ago - MLSE was a huge loser in the new CBA. Lastly, Suntario does have two NHL franchises - Leafs and Sabers. And if the area can support a third (when the economy recovers) - it'll be places north or east and away from doing collateral damage to Buffalo.
  109. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Excellent Post Sydney Joel Goldberg.

  110. Steve Church from Canada writes: Link, yes Moyes Is the bad guy here. There ain't no place else for it to stick. In fact, this new memo makes him a bigger badder perp - he knew the NHL was not going to approve a move to Hamilton. Yet he went below the radar and helped set the stage. Sure, the money is the motive. But he's still involved in a conspiracy to see the franchise moved out of Phoenix, sans coordination with the NHL or approval of the NHL, and in clear violation of the terms and conditions of the NHL charter ... and you're right, he doesn't give a spit. If his keeper JB wins, he recovers about $30mil more than the Chicago layout (source, other article comments here). And just to cover off another point - if it weren't for Melnyk there wouldn't be an NHL team in Ottawa.
  111. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Steve Church;

    I totally agree with your last two posts. They display the fact that you are obviously quite intelligent and knowledgeable about the NHL.

    I ask you a question though. Why must you speak in cryptic terms that more resemble a teenager texting than a literate adult?


    Moving forward.

    I agree with you about Balsillies motives. I mentioned it way earlier but I'll mention it again. 212.5m for the team, 30m for arena upgrades, x million in court costs. Still means he gets a team in the GTA that will automatically be worth 400m on paper before said team even ices a team.... auto 100m paper profit?

    If he is such a hockey fan why doesn't he put the team back in Winnipeg? Make the San Jose and Minnesota owners deal and get a guarantee for a South West team on the RIM land just off the 401 in Cambridge?


  112. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Some Facts need to brought to the table. Re: Winnipeg.

    First off, I am a Leaf season ticket holder. Have been in Winterpeg since October 15th..... Yes I am thawing out and shrinkage ain't permanent.

    A lot of golf courses are still underwater though.


    Facts about Winnipeg and NHL cities that are not Toronto, Montreal, NYR, Detroit or Vancouver.

    Prices don't have to be that high. again ManitobaMythBusters dot com from a very good analysis on the finances of the NHL that most don't know.

    15,000 sold out seats for a game, even if 5000 were nose bleed seats in the top tier (these seats aren't even sold for a Moose games, they are used for concerts). Would mean viability in more than 80 percent of the current NHL markets.

    MTS centre is state of the art and booked solid for events like only the ACC and the Bell Centre. Way ahead of the lesser arenas in Calgary and Edmonton.... and yes .... ahead of Vancouver.

    A new franchise is Southern Ontario would be worth 400m on paper before the team even played a game.

    The NHL is not going to give another team to Southern Ontario for less than a 4m dollar expansion fee.

    The NHL cannot expand .... there isn't enough talent to stock 30 teams.

    The NHL (re: Bettman and his owners) won't put another team in Southern Ontario without getting their 4m windfall. At least the owners that aren't suffering won't. Right now they are the majority.

    Check out the San Jose history and the Minnesota Wild Ownership stories.

    Why can't/doesn't Balsillie and his Billions put a team back in Winnipeg (Phoenix) .... and deal for his expansion (read next team that has to move) team in Southern Ontario?

    I thought it was all about his love for the game?

  113. Harry Plummer from DOHA, Canada writes: I wish Winnipeg good luck in their quest for a team. However, just look at the demographics and compare the fan base in southern Ontario to Winnipeg. To be coldly objective I would go for southern Ontario first.
  114. George S from Toronto, Canada writes: Good luck to Winnipeg. I think they deserve a team again.
  115. Blair . from Vancouver, Canada writes: Ben Stern from Canada writes: Allow me to copyright this idea ... move the team to Winnipeg and play 32 games there and 10 games per season in Saskatoon. I'm serious ... that is about the number of games each market can support and will create a demand to fill their smaller arenas. Call the team the Saskatchewan and Manitoba Bisons or the S&M Bisons for short.

    I like this idea and had been wondering if there were any precedents in other sports or leagues. Splitting the games would have some logistical challenges but you would hopefully have better attendance overall, better radio contract and better tv numbers by pooling both provinces for the Prairie Jets.
  116. Allan Martel from Canada writes: That stench you're smelling is from the cigar smoke-filled back rooms of the NHL. Not the front office in Toronto, but the back office in new York where there is not a hockey fan among the owners' cartel.

    This is about the old boys' network of viable franchise owners extracting their pound of flesh from any wannabee members of this exclusive club.

    From the MLSE perspective, (as but one example), it doesn't matter whether southern US franchises succeed or fail, as long as NHL - financed operating losses stay well below the franchise access fee.

    As all of pro sports moves towards a period of contraction with salary reductions to enable lower ticket prices, Winnipeg will become an ideal relocation spot for one of the next failing US teams.

    If Winnipeg is smart (and I think they are) they should just wait this out and let Bettman come begging for an arena that will sell 15,000 tickets for each and every game.

    As for Basille and Hamilton, let's await the court rulings and the possible fatal wounding of the Bettman ego.

    As one poster said a few days ago, the real reason Hamilton can't have an NHL team is that Toronto doesn't have one yet.
  117. SL S from Canada writes: Bettman, simply put, has single handedly destroyed hockey.
  118. Mike Anderson from Canada writes: Just what our country needs - another team incapable of winning the Stanley Cup. What is it now? 16 years and counting.
  119. Edward Carson from Canada writes: Allan Martel - wasn't Bettman's first act as commish to move the front office that was in Toronto to New York anyways.

    If the judge is smart, and he probably isn't, he'll ask Bettman why he is so hot to trot to go to Winnipeg when the team in Phoenix was originally in Winnipeg and was relocated under his watch.
  120. Joseph Pileggi from toronto, Canada writes: There is really only one plausible explanation as to the NHL contesting the move... the Toronto Maple Leafs do not want the competition.
  121. Allan Martel from Canada writes: Mr Carson

    You might be right about the move to New York. Only a few years back, the NHL retained a Canadian office near the Pearson airport.

    The HQ of the NHL Players' Association remains in Toronto.

    Originally, only the commish and his band of merry men operated out of NY, but this may well have changed in the intervening period.

    How about the image of Bettman as a modern day Robin Hood - he steals from the rich and gives to the richer!
  122. Kevin Cochrane from North American Floodplain, Canada writes: Blair from Vancouver, that's actually a really good idea. Why couldn't Saskatoon and Winnipeg share a team? For 'Toban's and Saskatchewanite's having either the Flames or the Oiler's as your team is way too much geographically, however, Winnipeg on it's own I just don't believe could support a team completely on it's own (kinda like a half dozen teams in the southern U.S for the past 5 years). I like that idea a LOT more than plunking another team in southern Ontario. What you'll get is a bunch of confused, fairweather fans like you already have in Ottawa. Why have 3 lousy teams in Ontario, doesn't Ontario suck enough already???
  123. D Peters from Alberta, Canada writes: Why would this issue be in court to start with? Its a straight business deal I would think. Why are the courts involved,or did someone get thier delicate feelings hurt and has to sue somebody for it..?
  124. Brenton E. from Canada writes: Wow! Bettman's personal bias against Balsille is becoming more and more evident, add to that the fact that the league's biggest cash cow is also against the Hamilton move then you have the basis for their case. I would be very surprised if the courts ruled against Moyes and I would be even more surprised if Bettman and the other owners showed any sense at all and stopped fighting Balsille. On the subject of Winnipeg, why not, move Nashville or Atlanta or Florida or...., real hockey for real fans, what a concept.
  125. Dave The Rave from It's the Good Old Hockey Game, Canada writes: 'Games Bettsillie'--the horrifying hybrid of New York lawyer and NHL apologist merged with the flag waving billionaire hockey maniac--run amok.

    This is what Canada's hockey community is seeing.

    As Mr Bettman backpedals faster than an overmatched boxer in a UFC cagefight, Mr Balsillie polishes his pecs and, in the heinous tradition of Canada's ultimate fraudsters--our politicians--has the audacity to say he has our best interests at heart.

    Put a team in Hamilton. Put a team in Winnipeg. Put a team in Quebec. Put a team in Halifax.

    Have Moneybags Balsillie write a big fat cheque from his own pocket to help Canada's hockey kids....not just from the sale of his cheesy 'Make it 7' trinkets online.

    And let's be done with this Grand Guignol.
  126. PAL HAL from Canada writes: SHREWD MOVE GARY! - this is why your the best! positioning one Canadian city vs. another, you've always been Canadian fan friendly (yeah right! A$$ ki$$er). You & MLSE need to take chances and move forward.

    Your disdain for Jim Bassellie is likely due to the fact he resembles you in character and appearance, even his mannerisms are like yours only he could up the daily dosage of Beta-blockers.
  127. Tim Bryson from Canada writes: Interesting read in the apaer version of the GM on this issue. It seems that there are some critical dicrepencies between what Bettman has been saying for months in public and what 'newly released documents' claim he said. At first read, their claim to being surprised by all this doesn't ring true. How can Bettman remain at his job when it seems he is not being truthful about all this?
  128. Proud Canadian from Canada writes: Alan Martel, enjoyed your posts, they are always intelligent and well thought out before putting one's fingers to a keyboard. You hilite things that are not viewed by the common reader such as I. Mr Loucks, I have to take exception to one of your comments: ''''''MTS centre is state of the art and booked solid for events like only the ACC and the Bell Centre. Way ahead of the lesser arenas in Calgary and Edmonton.... and yes .... ahead of Vancouver'''''''' Prove your point. The same concert, in the same cities of course on different nights, you say that Winnipeg will be packed whereas Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver would not. And you call the Sadledome in Calgary and the arena in Vancouver 'lesser arenas'. Come on Scott, you are onto stuff in your blood that is making you halucinate. You did not include the Copps, the JLC in London, nor the Scotiabank place in Ottawa. What about Miller's venue out there in Halifax, sorry sir, I do not know the name of your building. Personally, Scott, I know you are very narrow minded in your statements. While I do not dispute that Winnipeg could sell 15,000 tickets for games, what I dispute is for how long? I do not know this answer, and neither do you since you are just a short time resident, but can Winnipeg sell 15,000 or so tickets every night for years to come? Can a franchise be successful there? Is there corporate money for advertising etc there. TV revenue? A lot of items have to be considered, not just selling 15,000 seats. If I was Jim Balsille, I'd stick to his plan. He's the brains behind RIM, he's got more between his ears than a lot of people I might mention. Why should he put up millions of dollars to take a team somehwere he doesnt want to. And Bettman, dont get me going on that little NY attorney. And not a good one either.
  129. R Miller from Halifax, Canada writes: To paraphrase a quote from the Simpsons...

    Bettman isn't as dumb as he looks...

    Or sounds...

    Or as our best testing would indicate...

    Proud Canadian -- Thanks for thinking about us on the Right Coast...

    But the Halifax Metro Centre presently only holds a total of 11,000 fans, and wouldn't have the capacity for a NHL team at present...

    Please check back with us in a few more years though...

    Slainte Mhath
  130. Chris Moltisano from New Jersey, Canada writes: The reason why Bettman prefers Winnipeg is because he thought it was located in Arakansas.
  131. R Miller from Halifax, Canada writes: PAL HAL from Canada :

    You nailed it with your comments on this thread...

    A classic Canadian divide and conquer stall tactic...

    I am surmising that Bettman might have been advised by Federal Politicians on this brilliant piece of chess work...

    Slainte Mhath
  132. P C from Toronto, Canada writes: Argh. Why does this little lawyer twerp have anything to do with hockey? He should be filing actions and affidavits in some obscure local courthouse, not lawyering his way through our national game. Send the little dictator back to obscurity.
  133. bill d from Canada writes: Bettman's argument to deny Hamilton a franchise because they do not have an NHL worthy arena doesn't wash. There are numerous cases where teams have played in substandard rinks while a new arena was being built. Carolina, Calgary and Ottawa come to mind. The more that Bettman tries to explain his position, the more apparent it is that there is nothing Hamilton or Basillie can do to present a business case for Hamilton. Bettman's ears and eyes are closed.
  134. J L from WINNIPEG, Canada writes: @Proud Canadian:

    Scott Loucks's numbers are from Pollstar Magazine:

    'The MTS Centre keeps packing them in, according to Pollstar Magazine, which says the Phone Booth is now the 19th busiest building in the world.
    Through the first nine months of this year (2008), the MTS Centre has sold 270,095 tickets. These ticket sales include only non-sporting events and do not include hockey games.
    The arena now sits 11th among facilities in North America, its highest ranking ever, and it remains in third spot in Canada, after the Bell Centre in Montreal (fourth overall) and the Air Canada Centre in Toronto (third overall).'
  135. R Miller from Halifax, Canada writes: DTR from Canada writes :

    'Put a team in Hamilton. Put a team in Winnipeg. Put a team in Quebec. Put a team in Halifax.'

    Agree with all the above recommendations except the one about Halifax...

    Reasons :

    1. Halifax Metro Centre currently only has a capacity for 11,000 fans for hockey games... It is not uncommon for Moosehead games to draw 8,000-10,000 fans.

    2. Although there are numerous potential owners in Atlantic Canada (ie. Sobeys, Irvings, McCains, etc) none have yet shown much interest in venturing into the realm of owning a professional sports' franchises.

    Even after those aforementioned relocations, the League will hopefully still cut out a few franchises so that the existing talent level is not as diluted as it is currently...

    Slainte Mhath
  136. D W from Switzerland writes: these guys are excited:

    and as an Expos fan, I concur: viable but mismanaged pro sports markets will come back to haunt their former leagues
  137. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: J L from WINNIPEG, Canada writes: @Proud Canadian:

    Scott Loucks's numbers are from Pollstar Magazine:


    Actually J L I think I got them from one of your previous posts :)

    Claude .... They hold more concerts there, that's the bottom line.

  138. Dave The Rave from The Best Game You Can Name, Canada writes: Monsieur Miller, if the GandM had not chosen to become The Balsillie Bugle, perhaps they could have engaged in--gasp--objective and even--gulp--investigative journalism, and done a forensic report on the viability and value of Canada's actual (as opposed to the Truth According to Jim) 'un-served' hockey markets.

    Imagine--useful information so we could draw educated conclusions.

    But in the age of Britney Spears, Sean Avery and Maggie the Monkey, the propaganda leaflets that masquerade as newspapers prefer to titillate and taunt the masses with pot-shots at easy targets and paeans to The Shiny New Thing.

    Time will tell--as it always does--if the gleaming dome of The Balsillie is just a veneer which conceals another Peter Puck.

    As the mob rushes to lynch The Bettman, they might want to look up the names of Gil Stein, John Ziegler and Clarence S. Campbell, and ask themselves, “Are you better off now as a hockey fan than you were 20 years ago?”
  139. maverick selanne from Winnipeg, Canada writes: When one suggests that Winnipeg doesn't deserve, or couldn't support an NHL team, lets remember that not too long ago, Ottawa, Edmonton, and even Vancouver were on death's door. Winnipeg and Quebec were, unfortunately, the sacrificial lambs for Gary's soon to fail southern U.S. footprint plan. Let's also remember that the only reason we are talking about southern Ontario potentially supporting three teams is because Eugene Melnyk bought the Senators and their 200 million dollar arena for 71 million in 2003. My slowpitch team could have come up with that kind of scratch. Now, Canadian teams lead the way in attendance and revenue (with Edmonton doing quite nicely with only 16,800 seats). The future stability of the league will be found north of the border, and in stronger generally northern U.S. marketsand will always be driven by ticket sales, not by paper thin or non-existent U.S. television deals. The numbers have been done in Winnipeg and the NHL will work. Now if we could only get Mr. Blackberry to stop inflating purchase prices of brutal franchises (as evidenced by the 100 people who showed up for the Save Our Coyotes rally recently) by over 100 million...
  140. EJ Ravensbud from Canada writes: It has been interesting to read the comments over the last few weeks regarding the struggle between GB and JB. It appears to be a power struggle of Titanic proportions. GB's latest gem, letting it slip that Winnipeg is a preferred Canadian destination, is a true masterpiece. The old divide and conquer routine. Let me, as an ex-Winnipeger who departed my birthplace in the early '70s, comment on my old hometown. At this moment Winnipeg and Manitoba is doing very well under the present economic downturn. It has lots of cheap hydropower, a well educated workforce, a thriving agricultural industry and sweet talks Ottawa into providing about $2 billion in equalization each year. Downside is climate, flooding and the desperate aboriginal situation which everyone is afraid to resolve. The one million citizens are tough, proud, hard working Canadians. It has been stated in the past that Winnipegers are cheap. Well, this is not correct. They are frugal, not cheap. I was taught the difference at an early age. You pay for quality, not for garbage. They will pay top dollar for top entertainment and the MTS centre is a goldmine as top performers sell out consistently at big bucks. While TO, Edmonton, Calgary will pay big bucks if it has a famous label even if it is mediocre ex. NHL, Winnipegers will not. They would rather pay $30 for the Moose if it is entertaining rather than $100 to watch a NHL snoozefest. Just my take. Any Winnipegers out there to prove me wrong?
  141. J L from Canada writes: @Dave the Rave: 20 years ago, Winnipeg had a team and was just about to trade Dale Hawerchuk for Phil Housley... Teemu Selanne was yet to come. Oh, those were the days...

    What hasn't changed? The Leafs on HNIC every Saturday night, no matter how brutal they were.

    I'm not 9 anymore, but I still get pumped about the opportunity to attend a live NHL REGULAR SEASON game. That passion is still within me, and many other Manitobans, patiently waiting for a chance to see the best hockey players in the world playing live in Winnipeg.
  142. R Miller from Halifax, Canada writes: Dave the Rave from The Best Game You Can Name, Canada :

    "Imagine -- Useful information so we could draw educated conclusions."

    Yeah, but that's no fun...

    Better to throw up a misleading Headline like this, and watch the posters from Hamilton and Winnipeg scrap...

    Tossing a few insults back and forth to boot...

    That's usually the way in "Canada's National Newspaper..."

    Isn't it ?

    By the way, thanks for mentioning Halifax here as a potential market for an NHL franhcise, but for the present time, I am also very happy to take my entire family to see the Mooseheads without having to break the bank each time...

    EJ - I don't know if this makes me frugal or cheap...

    Maybe, both ?

    Slainte Mhath
  143. PAL HAL from Canada writes: "" "Bettman preferred Coyotes move to Winnipeg = Gary Bettman PR move!
    Smoke 'n Mirror's - All this sudden Winnipeg franchise talk by GB is first and foremost a move to garner Canadian fan support. Bettman knows Canadian fans won't take kindly to a Hamilton, S. Ontario franchise negation."
    Gotta love Gary, hes easy to dislike but he can dance around anything a challenged league & the cross cultures of the hockey world throw at him. Running the NBA, NFL or MLB would be a walk in the park compared to the undertaking of the National Hockey League.

    R Miller from Halifax, what say you?
  144. J L from Canada writes: EJ: We like value, but we also love hockey. The NHL preseason crap games have drawn disturbingly well, considering the big league teams don't dress starters and we could pay 1/2 price to see the same players in the AHL... but people still pay to watch crap teams in the preseason because it's the only sniff of NHL in this city.

    If we're willing to pay for NHL preseason games, imagine what's possible for our own team, hosting actual stars like Crosby, Ovie, etc...
  145. EJ Ravensbud from Canada writes: J L, will you pay to watch 41 games? These games include visits by Atlanta, Florida, Dallas and Minnesota with their stifling hockey. You will see Montreal and TO every two years. At -40 in January are you going to go out and watch the Islanders? The people in TO will watch grass grow at the ACC if it carries an NHL logo but I doubt Winnipegers will. I have doubts about Southern Ontario as I believe as many others have stated that there are Leaf fans there and not hockey fans.
  146. Geoff Brookes from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Yes, Winnipegers WILL watch NHL hockey in sufficient numbers for an NHL franchise, "even" playing the Islanders! (The Islanders are a decent draw, in my view, because of their Stanley Cup history). That's my vote.

    As for playing the Thrashers or the Predators, the Winnipeg fans will support the team and attend games. My honest estimate is that average attendance will be in the 14,000's, AND (THIS IS THE KEY POINT) at fairly high ticket prices (this is my second assertion/vote). The Darren Ford website has made the point that, because the NHL doesn't get massive TV revenues, the main source of revenue is home game attendance. Winnipeg WILL support an NHL hockey team, for 41 games, for season after season, at high ticket prices.

    Back to the Thrashers and the Predators, once they relocate to natural hockey cities (not necessarily Canadian, just natural hockey markets), it will help the process of creating rivalries within the NHL, which is an attendance booster.

    Re: the AHL - Manitoba fans have consistently supported the Moose. Most of the Moose fans will continue their support. I believe that there are many more people that would come out to watch an NHL team, or come out more often than they are now, even at higher ticket prices.

    One thing that the NHL has done very well is promote a new generation of great hockey players, and try to cut down on obstruction penalties. This has resulted in some really amazing hockey. This kind of hockey brings real hockey fans out to games - at least in real hockey markets. Maybe this is the most telling indicator of the failure of the Southern US strategy, is how hockey is thriving in places like Chicago and Detroit, at the same time as it is dying in places like Phoenix.

    But I have no trouble asserting with confidence that Winnipeg/Manitoba would support an NHL franchise in the same way that Minnesota, Chicago and Detroit are doing.
  147. Ian m from New york (via Vancouver), United States writes: I am pretty sure Bettman leaked this to divide Canadian public opinion and make Balsille look like the bad guy in the eyes of some Canadians - smart.

    Also, the owners probably want to expand to Hamilton because of the extremely high franchise cost it would bring in. Balsille's deal won't reward the owners as well.

    Personally, I think it would be great for Winnipeg to have a team - no city is more deserving.
  148. J L from Canada writes: @EJ: I will -- I am at every Moose game, so why wouldn't I be at every NHL game?

    There are plenty of true hockey fans like me who are willing to pay NHL prices to watch the best. Right now, I'm willing to pay AHL prices to watch the AHL... you can't say people in Hamilton are willing to even do that.
  149. EJ Ravensbud from Canada writes: J L, your definition of "plenty" has to add up to 15,000 per game at probably an average $80 per ticket for a $1.2 million gate per game and about $50 million per season plus TV, concessions, sweaters, etc. At a minimum salary cap of $40 million (US) revenues have to total $80 million just to break even. It can be done, but 15,000 have to keep going to the games even when the team and games are bad. I hope it works but the reality is in the numbers.

    Now the Moose with a salary total of $1.5 million (cdn) and total operating cost of $5 million with average ticket price of $20 at 8000 fans per game or $160,000 gate per game equals $6.4 million per season plus this year's playoff run of at least 10 home games for another $1.6 million equals $8 million or a possible tidy profit of $3 million. All the Moose figures are estimates but I believe not too far off. Sounds like a better bet than risking a few hundred million to buy and operate a NHL team.
  150. tommy marks from glendale az, United States writes: On tuesday, your fine G and M reporters will be going back to the great White North with nothing but a story that the Phoenix Coyotes will Stay in Beautiful Glendale Arizona!

    The Bankruptcy will be deemed a scam and that will be the end for you!

    TGO and Shane Doan do NOT want to Play for Silly Balls. They think he's weird and a dork.

    Best of Luck to you Canuks-I hope you get a NHL team in Peg or Hamilton or whatever little town you want them in....but not My Phoenix/Glendale Coyotes!
  151. J L from Canada writes: EJ, checkout ManitobaMythbusters dot com for some additional analysis as to where a 14K gate would put us in today's NHL. Believe me, the numbers have been run time and time again and Winnipeg would still be in the top half of the league revenues even with 14K tickets sold.

    FYI - Rexall Place only has a capacity of 16, 500... no one says it's too small for the NHL...
  152. EJ Ravensbud from Canada writes: tommy marks, relax suck on another Bud. We will see what we will see.

    J L, as an ex-Winnipeger I am pulling for you and the Jets. You young folks have to make it happen as my experience with older Winnipegers is they are pretty tough to change. The dollar numbers are what tells the tale.

  153. c n from Smithers, Canada writes: After reading many of the posts I have to agree. Bettman is in the grips of the Enron Syndrome. He is bleating about expansion while there are financially desperate franchises failing as we speak. A little patience, both Winnipeg and Southern Ontario will have their NHL fix. While I have no personal knowledge of Bettman his demeanour has always put me off. Will the inclusion of Baillisle tip the balance of power against him amongst his bosses? There seems to be personal issues here that have nothing to do with NHL business. If they were not enemies before this soap opera began they sure are now.
  154. Does The Work from Canada writes: Winnipeg is great city. I 've visited family friends there a few times. I've also attended some NHL games there and the place was rockin if only 3/4 full. As sad as it seems they couldn't sustain an NHL franchise. Putting it back there will only get the debts of the current owners paid out or thrown out and potentially Winnipeg would lose a team again. Bettmann and the guru's at the NHL must know where there is a good market for a team. Sorry no they don't. The other owners don't want to "CARRY" another team. They allready have southern US teams that are struggling. Hamilton I'm sorry to say would also be on a hit list after the 5 year plan and monies dried up. What about Halifax? That city supports a lot of talent, what's the opinion on Halifax as a potential NHL city????????

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