I was pondering today, how the NHL wasted that entire lockout year, and where do we stand now? The Rich teams can spend pretty much the same amount of money, they could back before the lockout and now we have the issue of all the "poor" teams struggling to stay alive in the "new" NHL. I feel that a this whole Nashville issue is a matter of the wrong place for a hockey team, and to sell it to someone who will move it anyways is the right thing to do. It's also a pretty big cop out that Leipold would sell it to someone who'll move it to another market that will fail, rather than sell it to Ballsille who will actually move it to Hamilton and it will be a market where they'll succeed, and even Wayne Gretzky believes it would.
However unfortunately I believe that Gary Bettman will have none of it, for some reason beyond my comprehension I don't know why he thinks Hamilton will be a curse for the NHL, Maybe I'm wrong but to me it seems like he hates the fact. Sure Hamilton is pollution central, and what not, but atleast they'll get good crowds at the game, plus the sponsorship and business involvement would be high. I do tend to think as much as an avid leafs fan I am, that somehow this whole Hamilton fallout is because the fact that this apparent "Territory" thing with the Leafs and Sabres has somewhat of an effect on this, I'm inclined to believe that Bettman would bow down to the leaf brass and not allow a team in Hamilton, I don't feel it would hurt the leafs at all, cause we all know how many loyal leaf fans there are, and nothing would change.
Don't get me wrong there are states in which hockey continues to be one of the top sports, But if the NHL continues to expand in states where hockey is the back seat driver to NASCAR, baseball, football and basketball, it might as well get used to being the 5th wheel...And the 5th wheel is rarely used. (Unless you get a flat tire)