Thursday, May 24, 2007

A look at NHL territory rights

At first, Balsillie looked at Hamilton's Copps Coliseum as a potential home. He later turned his sights on Kitchener-Waterloo, where the company he founded, Research In Motion, is based. The Kitchener-Waterloo area also falls just outside what the NHL calls the Leafs' and Sabres' "home territory," which extends 80 kilometres from each city's corporate limits.

Under NHL rules, a team can only move into another team's home territory with its permission. That permission comes with a hefty price tag.
Of note: The recent land purchased by Research in Motion — which may or may not be related to this whole Nashville business — is located just 62 kilometres from Etobicoke Creek, which is commonly regarded as the western limits for the City of Toronto.

Make of that what you will.

But Shoalts also notes in his piece the $35-million and $50-million price tag forked out by New Jersey and Anaheim, who both jumped in on the turf of the Rangers/Islanders and Los Angeles when their teams joined the league.

That's a figure that would be substantially higher if territorial concerns involved the Maple Leafs — for obvious reasons.

As for the non-relocation clause which outgoing Predators owner Craig Leipold spoke of during his press conference in Nashville today, there were some sources reporting during Balsillie's dealings with Pittsburgh that the league was prepared to negotiate that seven-year, no-movement term down as needed.

Ultimately, that didn't happen, but the door is certainly open to a similar move in this case, and especially, it would seem, with a team that has far less history in the league than the Penguins.



At 11:18 PM, May 24, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My question is why would Jim Balsillie jump in and make an offer for a franchise right after he was rebuffed in Pittsburgh? I think you are right on the mark as far as the league not wanting to move the Pittsburgh franchise which has some history.

The Predators don't have much in the way of history. So my guess is the league knew Leopold was looking to move the franchise and told Balsillie to back out of his offer to buy the Penguins and that he would be rewarded by getting another franchise that could easily be moved from its current home.


At 11:32 PM, May 24, 2007, Blogger Reagen Sulewski said...

I found this handy site, which, if we use the boundary mentioned above, puts them out into London to avoid rights infringing.

At 12:10 AM, May 25, 2007, Anonymous MikeP said...

RIM's likely buying land in Cambridge because the University of Waterloo is running out of land to sell them in Waterloo. :P RIM already owns a lot of real estate in Waterloo; they're likely running out of places to buy, and if all you need is yet another building to house computers, then who cares where it is. I wouldn't put too much stock in trying to correlate RIM land purchases and Balsillie's personal life.

At 12:23 AM, May 25, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Fair enough Mike — I'm just putting that info out there. I haven't a clue if it's related or not, and it seems unlikely given the purchase was made in the company's name.


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