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Nashville Predators Being Sold?

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Again, I doubt "invading" the Leafs' or Sabres' territory will be an issue. Gary Bettman oversaw and approved of the Ducks setting up shop in the Kings' backyard. If that was ok then, it would be extremely hypocritical of the NHL to use the territorial excuse now.

Comparing the Kings and Ducks sharing the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside Metro Area with the Maple Leafs, Sabres and a relocated Predators team sharing Greater Toronto/"The Golden Horseshoe" is a case of comparing a metro area with 17.8 million residents living in it to a metro area with 8.1 million residents living in it. Plain and simple.

Metro Los Angeles is home to 17.8 million residents. "The Golden Horseshoe" is home to 8.1 million residents. As a result, one problem that Bettman and the NHL Board of Governors apparently have with a third team setting up shop adjacent to Toronto and Buffalo's spheres of influence most likely focuses on market size as well as proximity.

Further, all of the talk about Canada's position as the "traditional" home of hockey is immaterial in the world of modern professional sports. Is that "right" or "fair"? Who the hell can say? However, to think that the movers and shakers in the modern pro sports marketplace give a rat's backside about the "traditions" of ice hockey is naive at best, self-delusional at worst. The suits who run the NHL, as well as the majority of businessmen running the league's individual franchises, look at Canada and see a nation of 32,777,304 total potential consumers. That's 3,354,843 fewer potential consumers than live in the State of California alone. That's just 9,917,336 more potential consumers than live in the State of Texas alone. It's a figure that represents fewer than double the potential customers that live in the State of New York alone. The suits are more interested in continuing to play to the U.S. market because that is where the potential growth is greatest... and by hook or by crook, the suits are convinced that they can someday capture a greater market share in the United States. Meanwhile, the populace of Canada is seen by the NHL suits as an audience they already hold captive... with or without additional Canadian-based franchises. They're attitude is that they're not going to bend over backward in order to "preach to the choir". For what it's worth, the Canadian populace plays right into the assumptions of the NHL suits. For all of the grumbling about being unhappy with the status quo in Gary Bettman's NHL, when push comes to shove there isn't any indication that the Canadian fan base is going anywhere.

By the way, Mr. Balsillie's arrogance undoubtedly played a major role in the kibosh being put on his proposed purchase of the Predators. Mr. Balsillie hadn't, in fact, purchased the Predators when he moved forward with signing an exclusivity agreement with Copps Coliseum and taking season ticket deposits for a Hamilton-based NHL franchise. These moves came in spite of the fact that Commissioner Bettman had announced that any discussion about moving the Predators from Nashville to Southern Ontario was premature at best, misguided at worst. In short, Mr. Balsillie "counted his chickens before they'd hatched"... and thumbed his nose at the NHL's commissioner and board of governors while doing so. Hardly the sort of behavior that is likely to inspire your potential business partners to embrace you.

As for the Al Davis comment, as a Chargers fan I'll be the first to say that Al Davis is indeed an a$$, and that his continued antics and tired persona are a stain on the NFL's image. Yet I can't help thinking that Balsillie taking the Al Davis route will be good for the NHL.

Let me see if I have this straight: NFL owner Al Davis is an "a$$" for behaving the way he does, but Jim Balsillie behaving in much the same manner is "good for the NHL"? It doesn't make any sense, but at least you're up-front in embracing the double-standard.

Bottom line? Mr. Balsillie has nobody to blame but himself should his pursuit of the Predators fail to come to fruition.

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^ Yeah, lets take away the Canadian fans and let an American team be supported by just the American fans in the area. See how strong that market really is in it's 'home market'

Why the tone?

The Sabres home market is part of Canada...

People are acting as if somebody said hockey belongs to America or something...

You, jkr, the NHL....

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That's like saying New Jersey and Connecticut aren't part of the New York Yankees market.

Last I checked New Jersey and Connecticut were part of the United States of America, just as New York City is. Unless I missed something in the last twelve hours Canada and the US are still two separate countries independent of one and other.

For the record, very few fans from southern Ontario go to Sabres games because they're Sabres fans. They just want to see NHL hockey and can't get tickets to see the Leafs play. With increased border controls seeing the Sabres play will also become a hassle. So why not give these Canadian fans a true "home" team to go and support as an alternative to the Leafs?

Again, I doubt "invading" the Leafs' or Sabres' territory will be an issue. Gary Bettman oversaw and approved of the Ducks setting up shop in the Kings' backyard. If that was ok then, it would be extremely hypocritical of the NHL to use the territorial excuse now.

Comparing the Kings and Ducks sharing the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside Metro Area with the Maple Leafs, Sabres and a relocated Predators team sharing Greater Toronto/"The Golden Horseshoe" is a case of comparing a metro area with 17.8 million residents living in it to a metro area with 8.1 million residents living in it. Plain and simple.

Metro Los Angeles is home to 17.8 million residents. "The Golden Horseshoe" is home to 8.1 million residents. As a result, one problem that Bettman and the NHL Board of Governors apparently have with a third team setting up shop adjacent to Toronto and Buffalo's spheres of influence most likely focuses on market size as well as proximity.

Further, all of the talk about Canada's position as the "traditional" home of hockey is immaterial in the world of modern professional sports. Is that "right" or "fair"? Who the hell can say? However, to think that the movers and shakers in the modern pro sports marketplace give a rat's backside about the "traditions" of ice hockey is naive at best, self-delusional at worst. The suits who run the NHL, as well as the majority of businessmen running the league's individual franchises, look at Canada and see a nation of 32,777,304 total potential consumers. That's 3,354,843 fewer potential consumers than live in the State of California alone. That's just 9,917,336 more potential consumers than live in the State of Texas alone. It's a figure that represents fewer than double the potential customers that live in the State of New York alone. The suits are more interested in continuing to play to the U.S. market because that is where the potential growth is greatest... and by hook or by crook, the suits are convinced that they can someday capture a greater market share in the United States. Meanwhile, the populace of Canada is seen by the NHL suits as an audience they already hold captive... with or without additional Canadian-based franchises. They're attitude is that they're not going to bend over backward in order to "preach to the choir". For what it's worth, the Canadian populace plays right into the assumptions of the NHL suits. For all of the grumbling about being unhappy with the status quo in Gary Bettman's NHL, when push comes to shove there isn't any indication that the Canadian fan base is going anywhere.

I understand the "preaching to the choir" argument, but it really doesn't have anything to do with the point zer0dot come and myself are trying to make. This isn't about preaching to the choir, this about a failed market. And again please spare me the "the NHL owners just want to grow to the game" argument. It's old, tired, and a flat out useless argument. The NHL has plenty of established NHL franchises in non-traditional hockey markets. Washington and LA from a long-term standpoint, and Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Carolina, Dallas, Anaheim, and San Jose as 90's expansion teams. The game has already grown. For the most part the NHL succeeded with establishing a group of franchises in non-traditional markets, good for them, they deserve a quaint round of applause.

So if the "grow the game" plan was an overall success why insist on keeping a team in a failed market like Nashville? So the NHL can pretend its on par with the NFL, NBA, and MLB? Garry Bettman might be that delusional, but I doubt the majority of NHL owners are.

Growing the game was an overall success, time to strategically retreat from the markets that didn't work. If that means moving the Preds to Hamilton, great. Given its proximity to two NHL markets, a team with a rich history and loyal fans, and a team that looks to be among the NHL's elite for years to come, Hamilton is still a serious relocation rumour. Why? Because the fans are there. Despite the area's smaller population, the region of southern Ontario alone has shown they have more hockey fans willing to pay for NHL hockey then the city of Nashville. In the end it's not about tradition, or Canada being the world's hockey hotbed, it's about fans willing to buy tickets. Even when attendance in Canadian markets dip they still do better then Nashville did with a winning club.

Again, it's about fans willing to buy tickets to the see the team play. Southern Ontario has those in spades, Nashville doesn't. That's the bottom line.

As for the Al Davis comment, as a Chargers fan I'll be the first to say that Al Davis is indeed an a$$, and that his continued antics and tired persona are a stain on the NFL's image. Yet I can't help thinking that Balsillie taking the Al Davis route will be good for the NHL.

Let me see if I have this straight: NFL owner Al Davis is an "a$$" for behaving the way he does, but Jim Balsillie behaving in much the same manner is "good for the NHL"? It doesn't make any sense, but at least you're up-front in embracing the double-standard.

Yes, I'll admit it's a double standard to a certain degree.

Look at it this way. The NFL is without question the most successful pro sports league to ever exist. Even a game between two non-playoff teams is an event. Al Davis' tired antics add nothing, if anything they detract from the NFL (suing a team because their logo kind of looks like yours? Come one). The suits at the top of the NFL know what they're doing, Al Davis is just the crazy guy in the background everyone needs to learn to ignore.

Yet the NHL isn't the NFL is it? A country with only six teams, a weaker currency, and a population 269,340,103 less then the United States provides 40% of the NHL's revenue. That's both a testament to Canadian hockey fans and a glaring statement about hockey's lack of support in the United States.

Gary Bettman has helped sink the NHL to a new low. Unlike the NFL's suits, the suits running the NHL are complete morons with no respect for the game, its history, or its fans. An owner who understands theses same factors and is willing to rattle the cages would be good for the NHL. By doing the very thing that makes Al Davis an embarrassment to the NFL Jim Balsillie would at least force Bettman to question some of his methods, which is the best we can hope for at the moment as long as he's kept in charge.

By the way, Mr. Balsillie's arrogance undoubtedly played a major role in the kibosh being put on his proposed purchase of the Predators. Mr. Balsillie hadn't, in fact, purchased the Predators when he moved forward with signing an exclusivity agreement with Copps Coliseum and taking season ticket deposits for a Hamilton-based NHL franchise. These moves came in spite of the fact that Commissioner Bettman had announced that any discussion about moving the Predators from Nashville to Southern Ontario was premature at best, misguided at worst. In short, Mr. Balsillie "counted his chickens before they'd hatched"... and thumbed his nose at the NHL's commissioner and board of governors while doing so. Hardly the sort of behavior that is likely to inspire your potential business partners to embrace you.
Bottom line? Mr. Balsillie has nobody to blame but himself should his pursuit of the Predators fail to come to fruition.

You're probably right. That still doesn't effect Hamilton's superiority as a hockey market to Nashville, or the amount of money Jim Balsillie would have brought to the league. If you are indeed right about the reason Balsillie's deal was shot down, and I think you are, then the NHL's collective corporate leadership is even more inept then we all thought.

One more thing. I realize you and I have vastly different point of views on this particular subject, and that's fine. The bold word thing though is insulting. I may not agree with you on this matter but I'm not an idiot.

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I think the NHL in Hamilton would've worked whole heartedly. Mr. Basille just went about it the wrong way. He should've waited until the league approved the sale of the franchise and then he could start the season ticket drive. The fans in Hamilton were going to be there no matter what even if he had to wait a little longer to secure the franchise. I think Bettman doesn't what the Predators to relocate on his watch because it makes him look like a total failure for locating a club in Nashville to begin with.

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I think Bettman doesn't what the Predators to relocate on his watch because it makes him look like a total failure for locating a club in Nashville to begin with.

Probably, but in reality the Preds won't change his status as a failure as the NHL commissioner, wherever they end up.

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Icecap79... whatever points you or I are trying to make on the issue of NHL relocation have absolutely no bearing on what the majority of the league's owners believe.

* Said owners believe that establishing additional NHL franchises in Canadian markets is "preaching to the choir". The NHL's suits look at Canada's population of 269,340,103 potential fans - and the 40% of league revenue that they generate - and see a captive audience whether the league chooses to locate more teams in Canada or not. In short, the rabid, historical support of Canadian fans for NHL hockey actually works against them in the modern era of pro sports. NHL owners know that despite sporadically grumbling over the course the NHL is now taking, Canadian fans aren't going anywhere. Therefore, NHL owners feel that they can pursue the course of action they deem best with regard to the league's business future without jeopardizing the league's bottom-line status in Canada.

* The NHL suits recognize the fact that the U.S. generates more than half of the league's revenues in spite of the sport of ice hockey not yet having as strong a hold on American culture as it could. This leads them to conclude that there's an enormous source of revenue to be had if they can grow the popularity of the sport in the United States. Success in "non-traditional" markets such as "Washington and LA from a long-term standpoint, and Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Carolina, Dallas, Anaheim and San Jose as 90's expansion teams" only serves as sign that such popularity can be achieved in the United States. So, they figure, why not continue to pursue it?

* NHL executives and owners aren't afraid to "strategically retreat from the markets that didn't work". However, their definition of market failure - as well as how long to give a market before it is considered a failure - most likely differs from our definition. Further, the majority of NHL owners are far more likely to favor shifting a franchise from one "non-traditional" U.S. market to another larger "non-traditional" U.S. market, rather than setting-up shop in a Canadian market.

* Just how "serious" a relocation site Hamilton/Southern Ontario is amongst the majority of NHL owners remains to be seen. After all, Hamilton has failed in previous modern era expansion and relocation attempts. This, in spite of all of the pluses you seem to feel the market offers the NHL. Currently, Hamilton/Southern Ontario's seriousness as a potential home to a relocated or expansion NHL franchise seems to be primarily the opinion of a single, deep-pocketed businessman by the name of Jim Balsillie, as well as the Canadian sports media and Canadian hockey fans. The fact remains that Mr. Balsillie, the media and the fans aren't calling the shots when it comes to determining where NHL franchises end up. NHL franchise location is determined by NHL executives and owners. That's the bottom line.

By the way, you read far too much into my use of bold and underlined text. It is not meant to be insulting, nor is it meant to imply that you are an "idiot". Rather, it is simply my method of emphasizing points that I feel are of particular importance.

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It's technically not a one-page bump, so I'm gonna go ahead and post this.

According to the National post (via TSN), Craig Leipold has a deal to sell the team...to William DelBaggio for $50M less than Balsillie's deal.

Ladies and gentlemen, your Kansas City Scouts.

Woooohoooo. <_<

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Acutally I hear that it would be the Kansas City Monarchs.

This explains the cut in payroll all of a sudden. If they aren't very good on the ice they will draw WAY less than 14,000 paid a game. thus can opt out of their lease. Otherwise they'd have to pay $27 Million I believe.

Explains also why Leipold executed the Out clause last week.

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Acutally I hear that it would be the Kansas City Monarchs.

This explains the cut in payroll all of a sudden. If they aren't very good on the ice they will draw WAY less than 14,000 paid a game. thus can opt out of their lease. Otherwise they'd have to pay $27 Million I believe.

Explains also why Leipold executed the Out clause last week.

Well that would interesting when they play the LA Kings....

... just a thought. The KC Scouts move to Denver to be called the Rockies, then a baseball team there calls themselves the Rockies.... and maybe a Kansas City hockey team will use a nickname of a baseball team?....

...I, personally, prefer the Blades....

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Acutally I hear that it would be the Kansas City Monarchs.

This explains the cut in payroll all of a sudden. If they aren't very good on the ice they will draw WAY less than 14,000 paid a game. thus can opt out of their lease. Otherwise they'd have to pay $27 Million I believe.

Explains also why Leipold executed the Out clause last week.

Actually, that was all still explained under the potential selling to Ballsillie and move to Hamilton, too.

But Nashville still isn't in a position where they'll be bad. They've got plenty of talent remaining.

Also, I still have read enough that calls the $27 million buyout a myth (well...more of a tall tale stemming from a clause that isn't nearly that simple) that I don't believe that was an option in such a simple manner anyways.

Lastly, this is still a long ways from happening. There's no deal right now. Leipold has ended negotiations with Ballsillie and is interested in Del Baggio again. The Nashville group still will present an offer.

Here's hoping they listen to the Nashville group AND that the fans manage their 14,000. Keep the Preds in Nashville.

(See IceCap...this has absolutely nothing to do with Canada. I'd love a team in KC. And I'd like another team in Canada. And in both cases I'd consider the new markets gambles for the long term; but I'd be in favor of expansion to both. But Nashville shouldn't be robbed of their franchise. Not when they're still on a growing track for sure.)

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An existing team will be better in the long run for KC than an expansion team.

But I would hate to see the Preds go. It would suck. they do have some great fans there. Very passionate.

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Report: Leipold won't sell to Balsillie

TSN.ca Staff

6/28/2007 11:23:14 AM

Jim Balsillie's bid to purchase the Nashville Predators and relocate them to Southern Ontario appears unlikely now that current Predators owner Craig Leipold has found a new buyer.

According to the National Post, Leipold informed Balsillie earlier this week that he would not accept his $238-million US offer for the NHL club. Instead, Leipold is preparing to sell the franchise to California businessman William DelBiaggio, who is expected to move the team to Kansas City instead.

DelBiaggio's bid is reportedly $50-million US less than what Balsillie was offering for the club.

Balsillie's deal to purchase the Predators was set to close on June 30.

"We are currently free to explore any and all options regarding the sale of the Nashville Predators," Gerry Helper, Nashville's senior vice-president of communications and development, said in a statement. "However, until and unless there is a binding agreement in place, we do not plan to comment on the status of Predators ownership.

"We will not comment on rumours and speculation."

The NHL, which called Balsillie's plans to relocate the team to Southern Ontario "premature", also declined to comment.

Despite the fact he doesn't yet own the team, Balsillie recently signed an option for a 20-year lease on Copps Coliseum in Hamilton and began accepting desposits for season tickets and suites.

Kansas City, which recently built a brand new downtown arena, has been searching for a permanent tenant and recently made a pitch to try and lure the Pittsburgh Penguins to Missouri. The arena is managed by Anschutz Entertainment Group, which is owned by L.A. Kings owner Philip Anschutz.

DelBiaggio has an agreement with the Anschutz Group to own and operate an NHL franchise in the new arena.

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I dont think Balsillie expected NHL to let this go through. Hes a smart guy and after Pitt fell through I think he set this up for an eventual legal deal where its clear to me (IMHO) that the NHL will get nailed for collusion.

He offered crazy money for a franchise arguably worth half of what he offered.

He showed by pre sales he could outdraw its ucrrent occupant

He was brash in the face of the NHL annoucning team would move, setting up lease at rink ect ect.

I have read in several places hes already got lawyers cotnacting US and Can groups about Anti trust and Competition Committee hearings in the works.

The way Basillie went totally agaisnt the NHL in his proposition and dealing with Hamilton so out in the open can only spell one thing, that he knew the NHL and its owners would not let this go through. Basillie is an amazingly smart businessman. When he paid out 500 million to settle Blackberry legal issues over patents many thought hed pay over a BILLION and considering the financial windfall RIM has had with the BB it was a steal fo a settlement in RIMS favour. No sir, he didnt fall off the turnip truck yesterday.

Its clear where this is going, and to me (remembering the fiasco the MLB owners got themselves in the early 80s colluding with each other to bring down the free agent market and the major slap they got hit with) that there is not only NHL/Owners collusion but the lot of them fell into Basillies trap hook, line and sinker. The NHL will lose thier case and Basillie and anyone else would probably more easily buy and move an NHL team in a much better fashion it does now. I think for the better of the NHL incidentally.

I for one welcome a team in Hamilton because Basillie has proved hes an onwer who will back it, and had the NHL blinked and allowed the sale (As I belive contrary to how Basillie thought it would go) he DID prove he could do better off in Hamilton than Nashville.

I also think the NHL failing in KC before should proved NOT have been its targetted alternative for Hamilton relocation, more fuel for Basillies fire....

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the news from nashville...

Report: Leipold set to sell Preds to Del Biaggio

California-based businessman William "Boots" Del Biaggio III responded to reports out of Canada today that Predators owner Craig Leipold is preparing to sell the NHL team to him instead of Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie.

"I don't want to officially comment because there's a long way to go," Del Biaggio told The Kanas City Star. "I don't want to get caught up in all this like Balsillie did, and what happened to me in Pittsburgh."

....

Del Biaggio is currently a minority partner with the San Jose Sharks.

"If Jim Balsillie falls out, I'm sure Craig is going to look at all his options," Del Biaggio said. "I think it's all speculation right now. The reality is it's going to be a process."

A group of Nashvillians spearheaded by a pair of health-care executives, Herb Fritch and David Freeman, is attempting to put together a bid for the Predators as well.

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I also think the NHL failing in KC before should proved NOT have been its targetted alternative for Hamilton relocation, more fuel for Basillies fire....

Ya know the NHL failed in Hamilton once before, too, right?

Fact is, what happened that many years ago doesn't matter.

I'm not saying there's not a case. But that fact won't be a part of it.

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I also think the NHL failing in KC before should proved NOT have been its targetted alternative for Hamilton relocation, more fuel for Basillies fire....

I don't understand what you are saying.

but if you mean KC shouldn't get a team because of a poorly run franchise from the 70's, you need to re-examine things.

We've been down that road before.

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Here's a column from YSN's Bob McKenzie who had a great take of this situation. Here are some excerpts:

But let me ask you this question: If you were Bettman, what would you do when faced with the following scenario?

You have a franchise in Nashville that has shown signs of not being long-term viable but it is not so destitute that it is an absolute foregone conclusion it can't stay there and, more importantly, there are potential legal roadblocks to re-locating the franchise in the short term.

You have a potential owner who wants to yank the team out of there no matter what and ignore all NHL rules and by-laws on the issue of relocation and territorial rights and has effectively declared war on the way the NHL does business.

If you are Bettman, what do you do?

Well, the short answer is you don't make it easy for someone to turn the rules of your league upside down and potentially leave a market with legal issues in the wake. You follow the process. You follow the protocol. To the letter of the law. Each and every rule.

This won't win me many friends north of the border, but this seems to me a lot less about Canada vs. the U.S. and a lot more about the process and who controls what happens in the NHL.

Legal beagle Bettman is nothing if not a slave to process. I don't know that I've ever met a more by-the-book, follow-the-rules kind of guy. He was that way when franchise issues popped up in Edmonton, Ottawa and Buffalo, amongst others, and he is the kind of guy who plays it by the book, which is pretty much the exact opposite of Balsillie.

Now, if Bettman rolls over and plays dead on the process to allow Del Biaggio to easily skate out of Nashville and into Kansas City, I will lead the charge to condemn him. And he will deserve every bit of wrath that comes flying at him from Canada.

But nothing I have seen from Bettman in his time at the league suggests to me he's going to tell Del Biaggio he's free and clear to move the team to K.C., that the Preds aren't going anywhere until whatever obligations are exhausted in Nashville. I don't think the league is crazed about getting into the Kansas City marketplace and certainly not at the expense of following the protocol in Nashville, but I guess we'll find out soon enough whether I'm naive or not

For what it's worth, I personally would like to see another NHL franchise in Canada, specifically southern Ontario. I think it's a can't miss proposition, a far better bet than a dozen U.S.-based NHL cities that already have franchises or a bunch (Kansas City, Las Vegas et al) that don't.

But I'm not sure it should be in Hamilton because I think it could have a negative impact on the Buffalo Sabres and as much as I like to wave the flag, I'm not sure a second team in southern Ontario should come at the potential expense of a small-market, American franchise that has battled hard to survive over the least 37 years.

http://www.tsn.ca/tsn_talent/columnists/bo...nzie/?ID=212132

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Ok you hypocrite-a$$ BOG, tell us all why this is an acceptable sale. Why is it that a team can't be sold to a prospective owner who is willing to throw around crazy money and raise the value of everyone else to a market that would probably do extremely well, and it is ok to sell the team to a prospective buyer who will also move the team, but to a slightly more marketable location to American television executives? American television executives, who mind you, pay absolutely nothing (not counting the incestuous realtionship between Comcast-Spectacor/Versus/Snyder and the league), to televise the league and show disdain for the very product they choose to televise.

What about all the Save the Predators crap that we heard for the last few weeks and the local business community coming together to try and put some money into the team? What about the big ticket drive to make sure the team met the needed number to ensure the lease could not be broken? What happened to Nashville being an integral part of the dreaded strategy of "growing the game".

I understand Balsillie was rather brash and bold in his attempts to upset league precedents and get his way, but lord knows the league needs a guy like him to give all of them a swift kick in the rear. Truth of the matter is, every league needs a Mark Cuban to upset the old guard and bring the new generation into the game and into the present and future. Would we rather have 5 more Mark Cubans or Jim Balsillies, or 5 more Bill Wirtzs, honestly? It's as if the NHL keeps cutting off their nose to spite themselves again and again.

I have nothing against Kansas City and its people. I have been there many times and loved it every time. It's warm and friendly and they love sports like true fans. But this is not like the NFL desperately needing to figure out a way to move a team back to Los Angeles, it's Kansas City! There may be an insatiable appetite for hockey there, I really don't know. This smacks more of an WHA move than a smart one, "ooh, there's a city with a new arena out there, lets jam a team there so someone doesn't beat us to it!" (again, apologies to KC, nothing personal) And to think they are trying to get a guy like Jerry Bruckheimer to flush $300 million on a team for Las Vegas, the absurdity.

This is a game that I have loved since a boy and it tears me up to see it ruined in the manner that it has been the last few years. It is just terrible to see this kinda stuff go on and no one really ever calls them on it. Sorry to vent all, I've just had to get this off my chest. I'm sure there are plenty of fans out there who may see things this way too.

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Kansas City promised NHL team, sources say

BACKED OFF PENGUINS; Predators' pursuer earned spot in line for a franchise

Matthew Sekeres, National Post

Published: Friday, June 29, 2007

The National Hockey League was prepared to deliver a team to William (Boots) Del Biaggio and Kansas City's Sprint Center as part of a plan to keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh, sources told the National Post yesterday.

Del Biaggio, now the frontrunner to purchase and relocate the Nashville Predators, and Tim Leiweke, president of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), the company that operates the Sprint Center, aggressively pursued the Penguins late last year, offering the team a rent-free lease in the new arena.

But sources said the league, which didn't want to lose a value market in Pittsburgh, asked the Kansas City investors to back off their chase of the Penguins while indicating to the group it would be next in line for an NHL franchise.

It is believed the commissioner and Leiweke, who was in England yesterday, had an informal arrangement that would have delivered the Predators to Del Biaggio and Kansas City had Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie not stepped in with a richer offer and plans to move the team to Hamilton. Del Biaggio has an agreement with AEG to own and operate an NHL team in the Sprint Center.

Yesterday, the Post reported that Balsillie's US$238-million deal to buy the Nashville franchise from Wisconsin businessman Craig Leipold was off and that the Predators owner was expected to sign a binding, exclusive deal with Del Biaggio, who earlier had claimed he was no longer pursuing the Predators.

"I don't want to officially comment because there's a long way to go," Del Biaggio told the Kansas City Star yesterday. "I don't want to get caught up in all this like Balsillie did, and [after] what happened to me in Pittsburgh.

"If Jim Balsillie falls out, I'm sure Craig is going to look at all his options. I think it's all speculation right now. The reality is it's going to be a process."

Del Biaggio, a minority investor in the San Jose Sharks, has made two runs at the Penguins, the first in 2005 and the second last fall when Balsillie was also in the bidding.

The first attempt was scuttled when the Penguins won the draft lottery and the right to select Sidney Crosby, which prompted owner Mario Lemieux to take the team off the market.

The latter attempt only failed because Pennsylvania lawmakers struck a deal with a Detroit-based casino to finance construction of a new arena, which the Penguins claimed they needed to remain in Pittsburgh.

Still, the Kansas City effort -- AEG was offering free rent and a 50% share of the management agreement for the Sprint Center --left commissioner Gary Bettman impressed.

"Kansas City put itself on the map as an attractive, viable place for a future franchise, be it the NHL or NBA," Bettman told The Star in March. "I can't speak for the NBA, but no doubt if we were considering a relocation or expansion ? we would have to consider Kansas City."

In dismissing Balsillie's bid for Del Biaggio's -- and apparently choosing Kansas City over Hamilton -- Leipold might have cost himself about US$50-million. The Nashvile owner has reportedly lost US$70-million on the Predators in 10 years.

One source suggested yesterday that Leipold might be willing to take the reduced price because he believes Del Biaggio's purchase can be processed more quickly than a deal with Balsillie, and that time could save him from covering the club's operating losses this season.

"We are currently free to explore any and all options regarding the sale of the Nashville Predators," a club spokesman said in a deal yesterday. " However, until and unless there's a binding agreement in place, we don't plan to comment on the status of the Predators' ownership.

Another questions surrounds the NHL governors, who must approve sales and relocation requests, and how they feel about the Predators' dropping price tag. Balsillie's US$238-million bid would inflate the value of every other team, and clubs might also be in line to have their credit lines increased because bank appraisals take the most recent sales prices into account.

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Ya know the NHL failed in Hamilton once before, too, right?

The NHL didnt fail in Hamilton, it was a strange and contreversal tale. Bill Dwyer wanted a team in NY and bought the rights of the players for what was considered a great sum of 75K. The team 'folded' after finishing first place in 24/25, this after 4 season of bad hockey mind you

The players on the team had a dispute with mangement about playoff pay in 24/25, and when players refused to play a playoff game, the league booted them out of playoffs. From there Dwyer, who had bought an NHL expeansion team made a back room deal with both the NHL and the Hamilton owner and then bought the players rights.

The fact is with thier play in that last season they had done well at the gate, so the teams viability in Hamiton was good and they were poised to build a new rink. But in what woudlnt be the last money grab by an NHL team Owner, Hamiltons owner sold to Dwyer. It had nothign to do with fan support, which in Hamilton was good.

The KC Scouts had bad attendance and little financial support from local sponsors int he 70's, thier attendence so bad its the most relavant thing here.. consdier thier expansion cousins Washington who didnt make the playoffs for many years after they started.. but still sold more tickets than KC. In a modern day NHL where the NHL gives away its TV rights for nothing and competitive poker outdraws the NHL on broadcast ratings, (Not to mention even the over expanded NBA has no interest in KC) why should the second time in KC change anything?

but if you mean KC shouldn't get a team because of a poorly run franchise from the 70's, you need to re-examine things.

They were no more poorly run than many other franchises of that era. Please enlighten me with examples of how they were run so bad? Say worse than the Boston Bruins and thier tenure under Jeremy Jacobs, or Bill Wirtz in Chicago?

The Scouts sold only 2000 season tickets in a drive during year 2.... the fans spoke... the people of KC rejected the NHL, the people of Hamilton didnt...

Facts

Straight

Gityer

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