Thursday, July 17, 2008

Boots the braggart

"Boots bragged to me that he was able to convince Bettman's office to overlook the need for his audited financial statements because it was too much work."
Why on earth one would want to broadcast that news, I haven't the foggiest.

The Tennessean presents yet another interesting piece looking into the Boots Del Biaggio fiasco, with some of the most intriguing bits relating to Gary Bettman's chumminess with the minority owner.

The structure of the Predators' ownership agreement, whereby Boots would potentially be able to move the franchise, is also a key talking point:
Bergeron said Bettman spoke as though he was familiar with Forecheck's arrangement, although he never specifically mentioned the slideshow or the portability of the team.

"We didn't talk about mobility, per se, but we talked about the unique structure of the Forecheck agreement with the other owners," Bergeron said. "Gary said, 'It's a great structure that we put together, and Boots should be happy, because it was my idea.' "
The Forechecker has more.

UPDATE Here's Stephen Brunt on Bettman: "In any other walk of life, in any other business, bad judgment on that scale would get a chief executive fired."

One league governor, however, says Bettman has a long, long career as commissioner still ahead of him. "The truth is Gary Bettman has tremendous support among the owners and will probably, by the time he's done, he'll be the commissioner of our league for 30 years."

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At 8:23 p.m., July 17, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, there's no bias or hatred of Canada by Bettman. No, none at all. Just the fact he slimely lets a penniless beggar buy a team with the exclusive ability to move it to an AEG owned arena in Kansas City. Nope, Balsillie can't be trusted by a slime ball con artist is much much much much better than a Canadian billionaire.
Next year they should let Don Cherry interview Bettman on CBC and he can finish the interview by smashing that self righteous little prick right in the nose.

At 11:20 p.m., July 17, 2008, Anonymous cynical joe said...

The truth is, though, that when the owners of these two teams (Quebec and Winnipeg) put their franchises up for sale, no Canadian owners stepped up, and even the great Montreal Canadiens were purchased by an American owner."

I think this is a key point that NEVER gets mentioned during the usual Bettman slagging. If we're short of franchises in Canada its because we did it to ourselves.

At 1:52 a.m., July 18, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we're short of franchises in Canada it's because we did it to ourselves.

Well, maybe.

Shenkarow and Aubut were carpet-baggers. They sold out the fans in Winnipeg and Quebec City for their 30 pieces of silver. Pocklington nearly did the same to Edmonton.

I'm not sure we did anything to ourselves.

At 4:36 a.m., July 18, 2008, Anonymous cynical joe said...

I'm not sure we did anything to ourselves.

We didn't exactly cover ourselves with self-reliant glory. Canadians are always quick with the anti-american knee jerk, but how come there was no pressure for home-grown millionaires to step up to the plate? Where was the Winnipeg or Quebec City equivalent of the EIG? The Canadian Banking Industry alone creates enough profits to build sports palaces in all major Canadian cities, where was their 'corporate citizenship'? There's always been enough money in Canada, just not the leadership or the ambition.

At 9:42 a.m., July 18, 2008, Anonymous jamiebez said...

Local owners did come forward in Winnipeg. A group of local businessmen came up with $75M in the summer of 1995 to buy the team, and the three levels of government were committed to putting up $94M towards a new arena.

The deal fell apart for a variety of reasons... Shenkarow's desire of maintain part ownership, conflicts of egos, requiring a favourable tax ruling on charitable donations, etc, etc. But one key roadblock was that the NHL - Bettman - insisted that any new ownership group come up with an additional $60M to cover the team's losses for the 3 years it would take to build the arena.

It's false to say that local owners didn't come forward. They just had the deck stacked against them by Shenkarow and Bettman.

At 10:01 a.m., July 18, 2008, Blogger FAUX RUMORS said...

1) Of course the economic landscape has changed radically since the mid 90's. The surge of oil money and subsequently the CN dollar has made the smaller CN markets much more viable than they were 10-15 years ago

At 12:43 p.m., July 18, 2008, Anonymous Gerald said...

Another typical hatchet job by Mr. Brunt, replete with factual inaccuracies and unrtoubled by even the slightest bit of business experience. His pronouncements on what would get chief executives fired, or any of his opinions on what constitutes good mangement at all, are good for lining the bottom of bird cages across the nation, and nothing else.

James, i realize that you are not up there with the Great Man himself in terms of the pecking order at the Globe, but how about sharing some of the research and analysis that you and i have done regarding the growth of NHL revenues and the CDN$? His constant inaccuracies in that regard drive me to distraction.

At 1:07 p.m., July 18, 2008, Blogger Blitzen said...

So Gary has a long long career as commish ahead of him eh? He must have pictures.

At 1:35 p.m., July 18, 2008, Anonymous keithm said...

This is the most depressing post you have put up in a long time.


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