Let me preface this by saying I don't mean any ill will towards people in Canada who actually love and research the league and its "goings-on", I'm speaking to "Generic Canada Fan":
We understand that you don't like the Predators in Nashville. We understand you think you know the situation we have brewing down here. We understand you think no one else deserves your sport, and God forbid, we understand you don't think a non-traditional market should actually have a good team. We know this is why you'd love nothing more than to see us fail miserably and love seeing our front office hang in limbo. We also know that you only know half of the story. Truth be told, unless you're a real hockey insider, live within a very tight milage radius of Nashville, or get your information FROM Nashville, you really have no idea what's going on. I feel the need to clear up a few things, beginning with the most important fact.
If the paid attendance in Nashville averages 14,000, we aren't going anywhere. Plain and simple. It doesn't matter what everyone outside of Nashville wants, that is the bottom line and don't think people in Nashville don't know this.
Myth #1 - The Preds are moving to Canada
False. It is possible that the team will somehow move to Canada, but it's very unlikely. Jim Balsillie has made billions and billions of dollars. How he's managed to do this with his seemingly hollow, brainless skull is beyond me. He's clearly smart in the business world, but when it comes to being a prospective NHL owner, he shows about as much mental capacity as our same-city "friend" Pacman Jones when he decides to go to another strip club. He blew is shot in Pittsburgh and he's in the process (if he hasn't finished it already) of blowing it in Nashville. Leipold was willing to sell this financially-struggling team for around $230 million, an amazing offer, but declined. I doubt that has anything to do with Balsillie's "I don't intend to move the team but I'm going to take deposits for a hypothetical team in Hamilton for the next year" plan, but what do I know? We won't even take into account he probably used the trademarked Predators name without any legal permission for the "deposits". Oh, and pissing off Bettman and the owners around the league probably wasn't too bright when trying to get the support of those same people.
Myth #2 - The Preds are moving to Kansas City
I guess you can't really have this situation without del Biaggio as the new owner, which obviously hasn't happened quite yet. He has stated in the past that he would be interested in getting an expansion team in Kansas City, but the same rules for Hamilton apply here. The move would have to be approved by Bettman and the owners, and although KC has a very attractive arena offer, it just doesn't seem likely that the league would expand to another unproven (other than the miserable stay in the 70s) market right as Nashville is failing.
Myth #3 - Nashville fans don't support hockey
False. Fan/individual season ticket sales (as opposed to corporate) are higher in Nashville than any city in the league. The normal percentage for a city is about 40/60 percent fan/business in ticket sales, where as in Nashville the ratio is about 70/30. If Nashville is a fan-less hockey purgatory, why is there be uproar about a potential move out of town? Why do Preds fans quickly come to the defense of their team anytime the lack of "fan interest" is brought into question? Why are ticket sales for next season up roughly 30 percent? (at last check) If you want to knock Nashville as a hockey town, use your words wisely (as if anyone cares). Even though people just glance at the attendance every night and choose to act as if they know what they're talking about,our fans are in the arena every night in large numbers. An area can't build a generation of hockey tradition in nine years. Tampa Bay was a virtual ghost town many nights several years ago in the mid to late 90s, now things are fine there. Oh and Florida is still a ghost town right now. (Maybe not always, but, reference: early February game against Washington) Give us, or more importantly, give our corporations in the area time to get on board. Then this won't even be an issue and you can turn your anti-Southern hatred towards Atlanta, Florida, or Phoenix. Take a look around this website and notice how many Preds bloggers there are compared to our coounterparts from, say, Phoenix, Florida, Carolina, and so on. Not to slam each's fans, I'm just saying if you really take a look around, you'll see we have a lot of fans just like a normal team, and our rep is suffering tremendously.
As a local columnist in Nashville recently stated: "Say what you want about Nashvillians, but once our backs are against the wall, we come out swinging." Swing we will, starting with a huge ticket-selling rally next week at the Sommet Center. Underground fan movements to boycott businesses who don't support the Preds are under way. We control our own destiny right now, which is a beautiful thing. The city is coming together. Even some people who don't like hockey are buying tickets just so a Nashville team won't be taken over and moved against our will. Our backs are against the wall, and this is us coming out swinging.