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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:32 am
 


This is dead on. Couldn't have said it better myself, especially when it comes to point #1.

Nonsense in Arizona
To me, the NHL’s position on the Phoenix Coyotes has never been as preposterous as some would believe.

It wants a team in that large U.S. market, or more specifically, believes that a successful, efficiently run club would do just fine and be of benefit to the league.

You and I and the NHLPA may not agree, but it’s not a preposterous position.

That said, the latest NHL maneuver, to buy the Coyotes itself, try to sell them to a third party or relocate the team for (hopefully) a profit is such an extreme manipulation of the process that it exposes the NHL to the three most damaging charges its harshest critics would hurl in its direction, such as:

1. The NHL is willing to do anything to stop Phoenix moving to Canada, but wasn’t willing to do the same thing when Winnipeg and Quebec City were pulling up stakes and heading south.

Why didn’t the Bettman administration buy the Jets or the Nordiques to make sure they wouldn’t move? Why was the league less worried about decreasing the number of Canadian teams to six from eight than it is about maintaining a position in a large market that appears to have a limited appetite for the sport?

“The fact is, the biggest litmus test ultimately was nobody wanted to own a team there. And when the marketplace decides that it doesn’t want to own a team there, it has no future,” said Bettman back in ’96 when the Jets were leaving Manitoba.

To those who would accuse Bettman of being anti-Canadian, this is useful stuff.

2. It makes the league appear to be carrying water for the Maple Leafs, acting as the burly security guard blocking the door at a swanky club so the Leafs can dine on sushi inside without having to deal with the riff-raff.

It’s like 1991 all over again, with Hamilton suspiciously rejected while smoke-and-mirror expansion bids from Ottawa and Tampa Bay were accepted. Hamilton at least had an arena, and its interesting now that one of the reasons the NHL is carting out to explain the difference between the Phoenix situation and that of Quebec City and Winnipeg is that there’s a state-of-the-art arena in the desert built largely at taxpayers expense and the league has a responsibility to that. Well, so did Hamilton.

Then and now, it appears, at least, that the NHL will do anything – anything – to protect the Leafs’ turf.

3. The sense that this is an ABB (Anybody But Balsillie) exercise grows. Its sort of like when Ken Dryden went out to search for a new GM for the Leafs and discovered himself. The NHL, faced with a situation in which Balsillie might be the only bid, suddenly believes it should own the team itself.

Imagine the potential conflicts if the league is successful and operates the team for the 2009-2010 season. Say Shane Doan decides to club Mike Modano, and after a hearing the league rules that Doan shouldn’t be suspended. Or imagine a disputed Coyotes goal late in a game that is reviewed back in Toronto and is ruled legal and decides the match. Or lets say the Coyotes are suddenly able to swing a lopsided trade with the Minnesota Wild, owned by Bettman loyalist Craig Leipold.

All these legal and financial gymnastics just to keep Balsillie out. Just more ammunition for Bettman’s critics.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:58 am
 


Why be upset with Arizona? After all, Arizona has a wonderful history of skating and hockey and it's a natural place for such sports.

Image


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:54 pm
 


SigPig wrote:
This is dead on. Couldn't have said it better myself, especially when it comes to point #1.

Nonsense in Arizona
To me, the NHL’s position on the Phoenix Coyotes has never been as preposterous as some would believe.

It wants a team in that large U.S. market, or more specifically, believes that a successful, efficiently run club would do just fine and be of benefit to the league.

You and I and the NHLPA may not agree, but it’s not a preposterous position.

That said, the latest NHL maneuver, to buy the Coyotes itself, try to sell them to a third party or relocate the team for (hopefully) a profit is such an extreme manipulation of the process that it exposes the NHL to the three most damaging charges its harshest critics would hurl in its direction, such as:

1. The NHL is willing to do anything to stop Phoenix moving to Canada, but wasn’t willing to do the same thing when Winnipeg and Quebec City were pulling up stakes and heading south.

Why didn’t the Bettman administration buy the Jets or the Nordiques to make sure they wouldn’t move? Why was the league less worried about decreasing the number of Canadian teams to six from eight than it is about maintaining a position in a large market that appears to have a limited appetite for the sport?

“The fact is, the biggest litmus test ultimately was nobody wanted to own a team there. And when the marketplace decides that it doesn’t want to own a team there, it has no future,” said Bettman back in ’96 when the Jets were leaving Manitoba.

To those who would accuse Bettman of being anti-Canadian, this is useful stuff.

2. It makes the league appear to be carrying water for the Maple Leafs, acting as the burly security guard blocking the door at a swanky club so the Leafs can dine on sushi inside without having to deal with the riff-raff.

It’s like 1991 all over again, with Hamilton suspiciously rejected while smoke-and-mirror expansion bids from Ottawa and Tampa Bay were accepted. Hamilton at least had an arena, and its interesting now that one of the reasons the NHL is carting out to explain the difference between the Phoenix situation and that of Quebec City and Winnipeg is that there’s a state-of-the-art arena in the desert built largely at taxpayers expense and the league has a responsibility to that. Well, so did Hamilton.

Then and now, it appears, at least, that the NHL will do anything – anything – to protect the Leafs’ turf.

3. The sense that this is an ABB (Anybody But Balsillie) exercise grows. Its sort of like when Ken Dryden went out to search for a new GM for the Leafs and discovered himself. The NHL, faced with a situation in which Balsillie might be the only bid, suddenly believes it should own the team itself.

Imagine the potential conflicts if the league is successful and operates the team for the 2009-2010 season. Say Shane Doan decides to club Mike Modano, and after a hearing the league rules that Doan shouldn’t be suspended. Or imagine a disputed Coyotes goal late in a game that is reviewed back in Toronto and is ruled legal and decides the match. Or lets say the Coyotes are suddenly able to swing a lopsided trade with the Minnesota Wild, owned by Bettman loyalist Craig Leipold.

All these legal and financial gymnastics just to keep Balsillie out. Just more ammunition for Bettman’s critics.




Great find!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:59 pm
 


BartSimpson wrote:
Why be upset with Arizona? After all, Arizona has a wonderful history of skating and hockey and it's a natural place for such sports.

Image

...and can't you see yourself skiing down that mountain. :?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:43 pm
 


It gets better, and this article shows that the leagues position on moving the team from winnipeg may have infact been legitimate. However, if there fight with Basillie is now soley against him and moving the team to Hamilton, it further proves that the League is just in bed with the Leafs.

Quote:
NHL bid open to Coyotes' relocation

From Thursday's Globe and Mail
Last updated on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009 09:00PM EDT
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/nhl-bid-is-open-to-coyotes-relocation/article1265984/

After months of espousing its commitment to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz., the NHL appears unsure hockey can work in the desert after all.

In an about-face, the league’s bid to purchase the Coyotes out of bankruptcy court specifically mentions it is open to relocating the team.

“By acquiring the team at this time, the NHL will be able to salvage the team’s 2009-10 season and can establish a more constructive timetable in which to solicit acceptable offers from qualified parties, including, if a potential buyer wishing to keep the team in Glendale cannot be found, conducting an organized process to relocate the franchise in another territory,” the league states in its bid put before the Arizona bankruptcy court.

The league made its bid late on Tuesday, the same day Chicago sports entrepreneur Jerry Reinsdorf withdrew his bid.

The NHL bid mentions nothing about a commitment or desire to keep the team in Phoenix and casts further doubt on the team’s viability in Phoenix by stating: “Despite the continuous efforts to facilitate the sale of the Phoenix hockey club to a qualified owner committed to keeping the team in Glendale, the NHL has reluctantly concluded that it is necessary to submit this bid for the NHL to acquire and operate the team.”

In its offer, the NHL bids $140-million (all currency U.S.) for the team, plus up to 20 per cent of whatever profit (not to exceed $20-million) the league might earn by reselling the team within two years of the closing date of its purchase from the bankruptcy court.

Since the NHL states in its bid that it “does not anticipate there would be a net profit upon a resale of the team to a Glendale buyer”, its own interests, and those of the creditors, would likely be best served by relocating the team to a market where its value could be maximized beyond $140-million.

The league’s apparent openness to relocating the Coyotes flies in the face of its commitment to Glendale, dating back to when the team’s troubles first surfaced last season and throughout the league’s four-month fight with Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie, the co-chief executive officer of Research In Motion who wants to relocate the team to Hamilton.

Last June, the NHL presented a sworn statement that there were several buyers willing to purchase the team and operate it in Glendale.

“We respect the court process,” said Bill Walker, a spokesman for Balsillie. “We continue to believe Jim Balsillie has the best bid for creditors, fans and for the future long-term prosperity of this franchise.”

The NHL’s bid is contingent on a renegotiated lease with the City of Glendale for Jobing.com Arena, as was the case with Reinsdorf’s bid.

The scenario under consideration by the NHL appears similar to that used by Major League Baseball when it purchased the Montreal Expos before the 2002 season. MLB turned a profit three years later by selling the team and allowing it to relocate to Washington.

On Sept. 2, presiding Judge Redfield T. Baum will rule on whether Balsillie will be allowed to participate in a Sept. 10 auction for the team, despite the objections of the NHL, whose board of governors unanimously rejected him as an owner.

One other group intends to participate in the auction. Ice Edge Holdings, a group of Canadian and American businessmen who want to play five Phoenix “home” games in Saskatoon each season, made a $10-million deposit when their bid was filed on Tuesday.

Ice Edge is now the only group not considering relocating the team. It too is hoping to complete a renegotiated lease with the City of Glendale for Jobing.com Arena.

“Ultimately it comes down to the bankruptcy judge and I think keeping the team in Phoenix is something that’s important to him,” said the group’s representative, Daryl Jones. “I think we’ll be the best and highest bid on Sept. 10.”


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