Did I get your attention? Great.
I've been reading some pretty hilarious stuff since the ruling by Judge Redfield T. Baum regarding the September 10th auction for the Phoenix Coyotes Franchise. If you haven't heard the ruling you must tell me how you fit your computer under that rock which you must surely reside beneath. Essentially, the Judge has declared that all bids for the team at said auction will be accepted. The significance of this ruling being that Jim Balsillie of BlackBerry(tm) fame and "Make it Seven"(tm) notoriety has a pretty good shot at purchasing the struggling Desert Dogs.
I've read a lot of comments regarding "The NHL's franchise this!" and "The Coyotes fans that!" and while I can understand (sort of...) the reasoning behind these arguments I think people need some perspective. Pretty badly in some cases.
You're absolutely right when you argue that it's the NHL's franchise and they should have a say in where it should be located. Why the heck shouldn't they? Franchises are very valuable assets and without them you don't have much of a league on your hands. However, given their value a League must handle them properly and ensure that they remain viable. If the NHL was so shortsighted that they allowed a man of questionable character, which Moyes has certainly shown himself to be, to run any of their teams they were asking for trouble. When they allowed him to run it in a market with a passion for hockey that rivals my own for NASCAR they were begging for it. Now, because they were either too proud or too foolish to admit it, they have let this financial debacle spin beyond their control and the bankruptcy courts had to step in. Too bad, so sad. People lent their money to the team and now they want it back. The fact that the issue has been brought before a bankruptcy judge is a serious admonition of the way the league has (mis)handled the Phoenix Coyotes situation. The court simply must award the franchise to whichever suitor can come up with the most coin. The financial situation has deteriorated to the pain that that's the way it has to work. Whether Bettman, Daly or all the crazy soap-boxers out there like it or not.
Any impartial onlooker with some knowledge of the situation will agree that it is a safe bet that Balsillie's pockets are deep enough to outbid almost any of the other potential buyers. Furthermore, he's shrewd enough that he will probably secure additional financing from other backers prior to the auction in order to ensure this. There will not be a higher bidder. It's going to come down the NHL appealing the decision after Balsillie wins the auction, which will only serve to drag the NHL's reputation through yet another puddle of mud. Nobody is going to come out of this looking good. And I mean nobody. But that's a topic for what will surely be another depressing day in the annals of the post-lockout NHL.
Before you hit the panic button it should be noted that even if the NHL allows Balsillie to take over the team without a fight (unlikely) he simply will not have the ability to uproot the team and airlift it to Copps Coliseum on September 11th. Not happening folks. You can all relax, come down off your soapboxes and head to Glendale to pick up your season tickets.
I would like to suggest something at this point but first it is important that you try as hard as you can to forget for a second who you may or may not think Jim Balsillie is. I know, I lost many of you on that one, but if you've made it this far you might as well bear with me. I should point out that I'm not a leafy-eyed Balsillie enthusiast, I just calls it like I sees it.
Let's say a particular hockey franchise is struggling mightily. Despite the commissioner's overtures to the contrary it's been hemorrhaging money at an alarming rate even while receiving 13.5 million USD in revenue sharing. (http://assets.sbnation.co...46/coyotes-financials.jpg
Check it out! And maybe ignore the title...) If a person is willing to spend a boatload of money to purchase said franchise for a price that certainly exceeds its market value should not they be given the opportunity? Allowing it to be purchased for peanuts damages the value of the League's other franchises and sets a dangerous precedent should any other franchises find themselves in similarly dire financial straits. (Not that anybody is expecting anything like that
to happen...) Allowing a motivated, wealthy, financially solvent, and, quite obviously, ambitious individual to run the team doesn't seem like a bad idea to me. Then again they still have that damn trapezoid behind the net... there's a real noodle-scratcher for you.
Anyways, money talks and I think you know what walks.
One way or another Balsillie will almost certainly win the auction for the Coyotes and any NHL executives who see this is a negative development have only themselves to blame.