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Paul Nicholson
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Digital Marketing guy for Captain D's. Hockey fan, photographer, and father of 2 awesome boys.

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Thursday, May 31, 2007

further developments

For those still following along at home, i'd put our chances at more like 25% for keeping the Preds now.

Jim Balsillie just secured the rights to operate an NHL team in the Copps Colesium in Hamilton, ON (just south of Toronto).

The most frustrating thing about this, is that Balsillie says he is doing the right thing and not talking to the press or fans in Nashville until the sale is final. Yet he is doing things like this that are open to the public and he knows will only frustrate matters.

However, to expand on my point from yesterday - i hope for his sake the Balsillie's done his homework. The NHL gives teams the right to protect their territory within 50 (or is it 80?) miles of their headquarters. The Maple Leafs corporate headquarters are in the arena where they play, the Air Canada Center. As the crow flies, it is just 31.59 miles from the Air Canada Center to Copps Colesium. This gives the Maple Leafs ownership group the clear right to refuse to allow a move there. Which i think they would be likely to do given that they are already crammed in with the Buffalo Sabres, who are barely 50 miles away.

I'm still going to hit the rally though.

Update: The protection radius is 80 miles. So that means Buffalo and Toronto both have veto power. My hopes are slightly higher. Lets say 35% now. As many have said - it is up to us as fans. We can make Balsillie's intentions a non-issue if we want to keep the team, all we have to do is buy tickets.


jimhenshaw said...

I really hope you guys keep your team in Nashville. The way the love of hockey has grown there gives us canadians hope that the game can indeed grow stateside.

And don't put too much stock in the team moving to Hamilton. The last thing the Toronto Maple Leafs want is a good team just down the road (Buffalo is bad enough) and Buffalo won't survive the loss of cross border fans, so those teams and the NHL won't let this happen.

I think Blackberry Boy is just stirring the pot. The Franchise limit is 80 and that makes him legal only if he stays in his hometown or moves to KC or Vegas.

Your best hope is to pack the arena this year and pray. The preds should have made it to the finals this year and they will next year.

No league will move a team with increased attendance and the reigning division championship.

Doing that would be as suicidal as a season long lockout...


jimhenshaw said...

June 1 issue of the Toronto Star contains a story by hockey writer Damien Cox that the Toronto Maple Leafs (the NHL's richest team) will buy a raft of Predators tickets to ensure the team can't move into its market.