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Florida Panthers Moving to Winnipeg?


rmackman

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I just saw on a CBS business report that in the aftermath of the cancelled season, both Winnepeg and Quebec City are trying to lure the Florida Panthers into moving up north. I haven't seen anything like this on ESPN, NHL.com, Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald, or any number of the other sources that I often read. So my question is, has anyone else heard of this? This would REALLY piss me off if my Cats moved on me like that. Not to mention, they play in a really nice brand new arena, and the fan base was starting to build again as the team looks like it will be good in a few years. Anyways, what have you heard?

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Okay well, since I work here at a CBS News affiliate, I wnet an asked our business guy here. Apparently the Panthers owner doesn't give a lick about hockey and would move the team and/or sell it in a heartbeat. This doesn't surprise me much. He's been talking to Winnepeg and Quebec City, and both of those cities are also looking at taking the Carolina Hurricanes amongst other teams. The Lightning can go for all I care, but I don't want my Panthers to skip town. I think Wayne Huizenga is the curse of death for South Florida. He brings teams in then leaves them to rot. He sold off the Marlins and tore them apart, but they got lucky in getting an owner who wanted to win. The Panthers have been jettisoned by Huizenga when he got bored with them, and they haven't found an owner who cares yet. I wish I had the money to own the team. Huizenga "cares" about the Dolphins, but that's b/c they make him money. If they make him money, he'll try to help them win. If not, he's apathetic towards them.

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I agree with EZ on this one. Right now the league doesn't care if moving rumors get out.

BUT if franchises eventually move, I think the Panthers would be one of them. The fan base in Florida isn't that big compared to Winnipeg's or Quebec's fan base. We could even see that with the Stanley Cup celebrations in Tampa this year, as there was more people celebrating the Flames in Calgary than people celebrating in Tampa.

Many franchises could move or simply fold, and it wouldn't surprise me anymore. As long as the Original 6 stays, that's all I care for. History is very important when you want to build on solid grounds.

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As a kid prior to 1993 I was a Pittsburgh Penguins fan b/c of Mario Lemieux. Then obviously I finally had the Panthers. So...if my Cats leave me, should I go back to being a Pens fan or maybe you guys can come up with reasons why I should root for your team?

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As a kid prior to 1993 I was a Pittsburgh Penguins fan b/c of Mario Lemieux. Then obviously I finally had the Panthers. So...if my Cats leave me, should I go back to being a Pens fan or maybe you guys can come up with reasons why I should root for your team?

It may take a while for Pittsburgh to get a cup. And also they might be one of the teams to move. Lemieux has done everything to save the franchise but he didn't get much help from anyone else.

I suggest you wait until there is hockey before sticking to some other team. There might be some surprises about the number and the location of franchises in the NHL.

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No disrespect to Canada or Canadians, but can those citied realistically generate the revenue required for a major sports franchise? Especially paying salaries in US$?

They both lost teams before, and the Canadian economy is...well it is what it is.

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No disrespect to Canada or Canadians, but can those citied realistically generate the revenue required for a major sports franchise? Especially paying salaries in US$?

They both lost teams before, and the Canadian economy is...well it is what it is.

Depends on the new CBA I suppose.

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Actually (and sadly) my guess is that the Penguins would be one of the first to be moved. Lemeiux seems to be getting absolutely nowhere with a new arena in Pittsburgh, and even if the owners get every single thing they want, without one the Penguins are as good as dead.

One team that won't be going anywhere, at least not anywhere else, is the Carolina Hurricanes. Peter Karmanos has been quite vocal the past few days, and while I'd never rule out them being contracted, based on Gale Force Holdings (the Hurricanes technical owners) arena deal, they're not moving anywhere anytime soon. It's pretty ironclad.

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No disrespect to Canada or Canadians, but can those citied realistically generate the revenue required for a major sports franchise? Especially paying salaries in US$?

They both lost teams before, and the Canadian economy is...well it is what it is.

Can Florida, Carolina, Anaheim generate the revenues?? Not too sure either.

But the fans are more into hockey in Canada than they can be in the US.

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Unfortunately, PGH's economy isn't able to support hockey / baseball either. PA is so different from east to west. House values, salaries, politics, etc. It's a shame because PGH is a cool town, even if on the small side.

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How would that be any different than when the NFL brought in a new version of the Cleveland Browns? I would think a team could be the Hartford Whalers, Quebec Nordiques, etc. Minnesota didn't restart the North Stars though, but I think that has more to do with the Dallas Stars really didn't change the name that much. Too bad, I liked the North Stars all green jerseys.

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I'm not sure about this, but usually the league keeps the rights for team identities. This is why Hartford could never have the Whalers again (unless they use Whalerzzzzz) because the identity weas bought by the state government.

But if the NHL were to return to Hartford (say, if Howard Baldwin successfully purchases the Mighty Ducks), the state would gladly sell off the identity, trademarks, etc.

This is why the state of Connecticut did this in the first place - to preserve the NHL history of the Whalers (such as it was).

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I believe owners own the identity of the teams. They can chose to let the league have it(ie. Browns moving to Baltimore) or they can sell it(ie Whalers).

But ultimately the owners are paying for an identity when they buy an existing team, that is where the true value lies.

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But if the NHL were to return to Hartford (say, if Howard Baldwin successfully purchases the Mighty Ducks)...

IF Howard Baldwin were successful in his bid to acquire the Mighty Ducks, the relocated franchise would get no closer to Hartford than the brand new arena in Kansas City.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Aside from the occassional pre-season exhibition game or regular season neutral site contest, Hartford's foray into major professional sports ended with the Whalers move to North Carolina. The market is simply not strong enough to support a major-league tier sports franchise.

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I actually think several of the Southern teams should stay -- Phoenix, Dallas, and Florida -- because they have new buildings and they have pretty decent fan bases (and Phoenix and Florida are the only long term tennants in their buildings - Phoenix has a lacrosse team, but they only play seven home games a year).

As much as I was all for these teams going into new places, I honestly think that aside from Dallas, none of them (and yes, that includes the Lightning and Hurricanes who have reached the Cup Finals in the last five years) has sustained any sort of long term success to merit staying around. That's why a team like, say, Dallas, should stay put.

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