A few thoughts…
It was actually Brian Burke, the proverbial King of controversy, that said the sooner this Coyotes Bankruptcy saga is all squared away the better it will be for everybody. Burke hit the nail on the head. If this mess is not resolved within the next three weeks than it will drag out over the entire season and not only distract the Coyotes players from competing, but distract the entire fan base from focusing on the actual playing of the game. The person to blame in all of this, is once again the little rat that loves the own sound of his voice. The man who decided it would be smart to expand in such flourishing hockey hotbeds as Nashville, Atlanta, Florida, Tampa Bay and Anaheim to name a few. Gary Bettman is horrible for the game of hockey! He let this particular situation get away from him by not addressing the situation earlier. He has focused on all of the wrong issues and made the NHL a laughing stock among the former “Four Major Sports” (MLB, NFL, NBA and the NHL). Nowadays Hockey is an afterthought on the American Sportscenter and NASCAR, College Basketball, College Football, and sometimes even College Baseball outrank Hockey for the most watched sports in America. If Gary was so keen on expanding the game in the almighty US of A than he would do whatever is in his power to mend the relationship with ESPN (The largest Sports Network in the world!) Earth to Gary, no one even knows what the Versus network is! Its simple, have the games televised on the most televisions you possibly can, its not rocket science. The more people are able to watch, the more they likely will watch.
Oh yeah and great work with NBC. They turned away from a playoff overtime game for the pre game race show of the Kentucky Derby. Bravo!
Jim Balsillie, if nothing else he has shown his true passion for the game of hockey and his true desires of owning a franchise on more than one occasion. But unfortunately the way he has conducted himself has been all wrong. He has tried to sneak in the back door a few too many times, and now the Owners do not want this guy in their fraternity of the uber wealthy. It will be a shock if he is awarded the Coyotes.
Is it necessarily a bad thing though if we have an owner whose soul dream in life is to own his own hockey franchise? I am sure he would do his best when promoting the game to non fans and would only broaden the spectrum of hockey fans. An owner that really cares, is it such a horrible concept? Someone, where money is actually no object, wants to make a childhood fantasy a reality. I bet some of you had that dream more than once. Yet, he is one of the few capable human beings of having that much disposable income in a time where there is not much floating around. The owners should want Balsillie; for the health of the franchise if nothing else.
Still, Balsillie probably will not be awarded the ownership rights to the Phoenix Coyotes. But maybe it is time for some new blood within the ownership group. It is time for Gary Bettman to be kicked out the doggy door of the Ownership mansion.
This has been,
Newman on the NHL