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Napa, CA • United States • 26 Years Old • Male

Thursday Thoughts...

Posted 3:52 PM ET | Comments 8
Since my car decided to die on me last night I'm stuck at my computer instead of enjoying my wonderful California summer. So here are some thoughts based on stories I've read on ESPN.com the last two days:

Phoenix Coyotes Staying in the Desert?

I'm not sure I believe Gary Bettman's argument that hockey can succeed in the desert, but if someone is willing to try then good luck to them. Yesterday the NHL's board of governers unanimously rejected Jim Balsillie as a potential owner while also unanimously approving the group led by Jerry Reinsdorf. A third offer was rejected because it was "incomplete," but the group was reportedly invited to continue with the application process.

What does this mean for hockey in Phoenix? There are now two official offers for Judge Redfield T. Baum to consider. Baum has stated that unless the NHL can show "material changes" in Balisillie's circumstances since he was approved as an owner in 2006, Baum does not feel the league can refuse him now.

Material changes? How about the guy flodded your court with documents trying to weasel his way into the NHL and get a team to "hockey starved" Hamilton, Ontario? Would you want a weasel like that as your business partner?

The thing about professional sports teams is they there are not individual companies, even though they are operated as such. They are afforded a certain degree of autonomy, but ultimately the NHL owns the product and has a duty to protect it in the interest of the fans. That is why the pro sports leagues have the rules they do for trasfer of ownership, to protect their products for the fans.

Jiri Hudler to the KHL

If Jiri Hudler really wants to go to the KHL, so be it. I think it's a mistake for him, but it's his call. What bothers me, though, is that he accepted salary arbitration from the Red Wings before negotiating a deal with the KHL. Even if Hudler stays in Hockeytown, he has to prove to his teammates that he really did want to play with them. Hard to do when you agreed to be a Red Wing, but then tried to bolt to Russia for $10 million.

Hopefully the NHL and KHL will come to some sort of agreement on player eligibility. The two leagues cannot keep stealing players from each other.
Filed Under:   Coyotes   Hudler   KHL   Balsillie  
July 31, 2009 3:28 AM ET | Delete
Your a TOOL!!
July 31, 2009 8:17 AM ET | Delete
I'm sorry Mr. American, your right let's leave the team in "hockey starved" Pheonix I mean they obviously care so much about their team. Better yet, let's put another franchise in California, because I'm sure they deserve a forth team. I mean why not hockey seems to be able to thrive there when these teams are winning.
July 31, 2009 9:46 AM ET | Delete
I think calling Balsille a weasel is a bit unfair. Not because he's not a weasel... he most certainly is. But you speak of him like being a weasel at his level of success is an odd thing. I assure you, anyone who's become successful enough to purchase a sporting franchise outright is in some way or form: a weasel. The difference is, those weasels are Bettmans' types of weasels. ... Weasel weasel weasel.
July 31, 2009 9:40 PM ET | Delete
There's nothing more obnoxious than the predictable knee-jerk nationalistic response of a Canadian that's challenged on whether or not putting another hockey team in a small area that already has two is a good idea.Leave the blind "WE WANT ANOTHER TEAM" mentality behind and look at what's best for the sport. Not saying it should stay in Phoenix, but Balsillie is just making himself look like an idiot.
August 1, 2009 3:36 AM ET | Delete
I'm not saying in any way that Phoenix deserves a team or Hamilton doesn't. Go through my blogs and find the first time I argued against Balsillie. He claims that a city halfway between Toronto and Buffalo that is home to the AHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadians is "starved" for hockey. I've never thought Phoenix was a good idea for a hockey city, but Balsillie's arguments for moving it to Hamilton have more holes than the Titanic.
August 1, 2009 3:41 AM ET | Delete
August 5, 2009 5:51 AM ET | Delete
As a Canadian (which of course means I'm an avid hockey fan), I can't believe how demonized Bettman has been and how idolized and praised Balsilie has been by other Canadian fans and media. I'm not a Bettman fan by any means, but he has every right to reject Balsilie and protect the league's best interests (which means preventing people from circumventing league rules simply by flashing cash and creating a crazed emotional and irrational response).
August 11, 2009 11:49 PM ET | Delete
Agree with you 100% Elbowing. I'm not a huge Bettman fan either (still haven't gotten over that 2004-2005 season) but what I don't want to see is people trying to use courts of law to force their way into a league and, with no regard for league-wide impact, relocate teams at will.
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