[This article was written a while back - i am sooo glad Balsillie didn't get the team now, and it looks like a local group will be buying the team - possibly with Todd Wagner or someone from outside as an investor - check here for the latest Predators news]
You've heard me say several times that i think Balsillie will be a good owner because of his similarity to Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks. Cuban is stinking rich, and a fan first, owner second. He has repeatedly used his influence as an owner and bottomless pockets to go up against the league and advocate for change. As much as many people are annoyed by him, I think his influence has by far been positive, and there is no question all my friends that live in Dallas love him and say that he puts together a fantastic product.
For those that haven't been following the news, there are tons of reports of Balsillie making everyone mad, telling Nashville that he would like the team to work here, though he has yet to actually talk to anyone from the Nashville, and has been telling the city of Hamilton, Ontario that he wants to move the team there. Most of all, he is really frustrating the league and the Board of Governors of the NHL (owners) before he's even got the team. The trick here is that very group has to approve his purchase of the team, and then again approve the move. There is no question we're headed for some messy legal wrangling.
So while Balsillie would possibly be a good "Cuban-esque" owner, why not wish for the real thing?
The Nashville Post (the one that broke the news of the sale in the first place) just pointed out that Mark Cuban's business partner Todd Wagner, is buying a large plot of land in Nashville to build an estate and live here part time. Cuban grew up a rabid Penguins fan in Pittsburgh and has publicly considered buying the Dallas Stars and was rumored to be interested in buying his childhood team when the Penguins were up for sale and even said on his blog that he knew he would regret not buying a hockey team.
If Balsillie yet again ticks off the NHL ownership and doesn't get the Predators (which i have to say i am starting to hope for), how awesome would it be to have Mark Cuban buy the team?
Craig Leipold: If you don't sell to Balsillie, PLEASE PLEASE sell to Mark Cuban.