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Paul Nicholson
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Thursday, June 28, 2007

balsillie out?

At this point i am skeptical and i don't have time to read every single report, but i have awakened to many new articles this morning saying that Leipold has nixed the Balsillie deal, but is instead selling to William "Boots" DelBiaggio who will take the team to Kansas City (if we don't sell enough tickets).

My initial thoughts:
First, i'm glad to have Balsillie out. As much as he is a hockey guy and will be a fun owner some day, he has also proved himself to be an inconsiderate jerk. Balsillie wanted/wants a team in Canada badly, but most of all i think he wanted to be a hockey owner. If the Preds sell enough tickets this year, i think he would be satisfied staying in Nashville, just happy to be an owner. DelBiaggio on the other hand is not really a hockey guy (though he is a partial owner of a minor league team).

Interestingly, DelBiaggio just said last week that he was not interested in going after the Predators since this "was Jim's deal". Apparently either 1) he was lying through his teeth and just upped his offer or 2) Leipold knows that the Balsillie deal and move to Hamilton was not going to be approved by the league, which i think is more likely.

This isn't much better for Predators fans, except that our new potential owner has shown more discretion than Balsillie, at least to this point. however, DelBiaggio just wants to take a team to Kansas City. If he succeeds, Kansas City will be even worse than Nashville in terms of number of pro teams per capita, unless you don't count the Royals, which is certainly an argument to be made. Either way the league will be moving in to another NFL dominated market, only this time the NFL team is long established, instead of starting out 2 years behind the NHL team like they did in Nashville.

Can hockey succeed in Kansas City? Well, they tried it once and it didn't work, but that was a long time ago. I think it could succeed, but the NHL shouldn't think that it will be any easier there than in Nashville. And now they will be starting all over.

Oh, and of course all the local papers just have news about the local investors still trying to get another big name for their bid for the team. Maybe all this is why i couldn't sleep last night.

Update:
Leipold's official response to all of this:
“We are currently free to explore any and all options regarding the sale of the Nashville Predators. However, until and unless there is a binding agreement in place, we do not plan to comment on the status of Predators ownership. We will not comment on rumors and speculation.”

In other Predators news:
Paul McCann has a post up about the top prospects at came that started yesterday.
And the Tennessean is reporting that newly-crowned starting goalie Chris Mason just bought season tickets in an effort to save the team in Nashville.

4 comments:

jimcraig said...

doesnt look much better for Preds fans. KC or Canada, either way Nashville looses its team. Its sad how teams are a "commodity" anymore and the days of a team "being" a city or tied at least by recognition to a city are on thier way out!?

at least the drive to KC isnt as far as it is to Hamilton ;o)

Paul Nicholson said...

agreed about teams being commodities. just another business.

i still think we'll sell the tickets unless something really strange happens. the major ticket drives haven't even really started, and we're already ahead of where we were this time last year by about 350 full season tickets. We only lacked 180-something last year to hit the number.

Al said...

Bettman needs to be fired!

http://mebreathing.blogs.com/this_is_me_breathing/2007/06/okaynow-im-fuck.html

The Forechecker said...

There was an analysis done last year looking at disposable income available in a given area, balanced against what is generally needed to support NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB teams, etc.

Guess which market came up as the most overextended sports market, that doesn't already have an NHL team?

Kansas City. It may well be the absolute worst place in America to put an NHL team right now, brand-new building or not.