Thursday, August 27, 2009



If Jim Balsillie is so untrustworthy etc. that, based on prior actions and dealings with NHL owners, he was unanimously by the Board of Governors as a suitable owner, why didn't the BoG do something about him after the Nashville situation? Did they think he wouldn't be back for Aggressive Purchase & Relocation Attempt #3? Or was it that after the PIT and NSH tries, they still found him suitable enough, but his actions specific to PHX is what makes him unsuitable to be the PHX owner?

What was it about the NHL's quasi-takeover agreement of the Coyotes during the 08/09 season that allowed Moyes to declare bankruptcy of the club? It seems reasonable to assume that they screwed up the legal agreement in some manner, or the judge would have rejected Moyes' original filing weeks ago, so what was missed? Did it arise from the NHL being afraid of the bad press associated with them officially assuming control of a franchise?

In their Coyotes bid, the NHL is putting up a (very little) bit of cash to purchase the team, and will have to finance operating losses for as long as they own the team. Where is this money coming from? Assuming it's being borrowed, where is the money for the interest payments coming from?

There is what is seen, and what is not seen. What other things could the NHL be investing that cash (or loan) in that might be of equal, or greater, benefit to the league's long term health? And as I've noted many other times before, what does it do to NHL-NHLPA relations when the NHL spends so much time and money on an effort that depresses, rather than enhances, Hockey-Related Revenue, at least in the near-term? (Particularly when it's easy to view their efforts as an attempt to preserve expansion revenue, which the players are forbidden from sharing in?)

The logic behind the NHL's bid is that it's bad business to walk out on Glendale after they invested a ton of money in the league, in large part because it might dissuade future governments from doing the same thing. But their bid only precludes relocating for one season, and the express purpose of that stay-of-execution is to allow more time for squeezing more money out of Glendale. Realistically, does that send a much warmer, fuzzier message to the governments and taxpayers of (say) Long Island?

What has changed since the Coyotes signed their lease at the Glendale Arena? Why was it a good deal at the time it was signed, but unworkable now? (Would they be in better shape if they had built it themselves and taken out a mortgage?) Or did the Coyotes never really intend to meet the original terms, and foresaw a showdown something quite like this, with the assumption that Glendale would cave (which they may)?

My opinion on this whole situation, expressed in parts in previous posts, is that how the NHL has been responding on a brief-by-brief basis is understandable, and they quite possibly have the better side of the legal arguments. But, I think they could have prevented the whole situation from happening, and once they got caught with their pants down, the best course of action would have been to say, "We can probably win this one, but it's not going to be worth it..." and accept their fate. Extort a big relocation fee from Balsillie -- possibly "negotiating" with him to go the Kitchener-Waterloo route instead, preserving the GTA as an expansion market -- and welcome him to the club (and then, who cares, treat him like he has H1N1 at BoG meetings).

Unfortunately, "admitting failure" is not really one of Bettman et al's strong suits, so the earth will continue to be scorched for a while here.


I nodded my head throughout. I don't see how all this is worth it for the NHL, and they are clearly provoking the NHLPA.

I agree for the most part, Matt. I think you've got the best take on this that I have seen.

I think the NHL is essentially correct in their argument., However, having the moral high ground in this case doesn't really matter because the whole mess doesn't make business sense. Furthermore, I think the direction they are taking the case is making the potential precedent formed by a loss even worse. They should have killed this months ago.

This has to be grounds for Bettman's dismissal doesn't it?

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