Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Balsillie still lurking

Balsillie's setbacks notwithstanding, several investment bankers who specialize in the sports industry said there's still a good chance he will wind up with an NHL team.

As concerns about the stalling U.S. economy continue to percolate, as many as half of the NHL's 30 teams – a group headlined by the Phoenix Coyotes, the Atlanta Thrashers and the Predators – could be available.
There are some ugly ownership situations in the league at the moment, but the relocation part would be the toughest hurdle. I can't see, for instance, the NHL wanting to leave huge markets like Phoenix, Atlanta or Miami, regardless of how poorly they've done at the gate lately.

If Jim Balsillie had his heart set on owning an American team in the U.S., he would have had one by now.



At 2:17 p.m., May 06, 2008, Blogger FAUX RUMORS said...

1) So is the idea of expansion dead? Can't see how the owners would/could turn down the easy money associated with an expansion fee
2) Can see Mr. Blackberry getting the expansion franchise in western/southern Ontario.

At 2:19 p.m., May 06, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think Ballsilly will end up with a team unless it is through expansion. Even if there was a chance for him to buy a team most arena leases will be cost prohibitive for him to try to break(particularly for teams that have newer arenas). The last thing the NHL needs is a nightmare situation like Seattle is going through with the NBA right now.

At 2:19 a.m., May 07, 2008, Anonymous cynical joe said...

The problem with a Balsillie expansion team, (and putting it in Kitchner/Waterloo) is that the NHL already has too many eastern teams. Detroit and Columbus want into the Eastern Conference. If Balsillie wants a team in Southern Ontario he should try and concentrate on a small market EC U.S. team like Buffalo or maybe the Islanders.

At 11:52 a.m., May 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honestly, I'd LOVE for him to buy the Phoenix Coyotes and move them to Winnepeg.

I'd also like to see a team in Seattle, but the first anonymous was right...if they can't support an NBA franchise, how can they support and NHL franchise?

At 12:06 p.m., May 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait, I change my mind...I thought the problem with the Supersonics was lack of fan support; not a new ownership group.

With the Supersonics gone, an NHL team may very well flourish in Seattle where they have a hockey history and now a vacant spot in the sports calendar.

Please...no expension though. Just more the Coyotes and Florida Panthers (to Winnepeg and Seattle).


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