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Paul Nicholson
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Thursday, June 07, 2007

really deep pockets is a good thing

The news for the Predators keeps getting better and better.

The Tennessean published an article this morning, pointing out the possible issues that David Poile would have in putting together offers for players during the off season given the uncertainty around ownership, and thus budget.

Weeks ago i guessed that surely Balsillie's people had talked to Poile behind the scenes and at least given him a ballpark budget to work with.

But if Balsillie is half the businessman and hockey fan we have heard, he has already given Poile an idea of where he needs to be. Even if he plans on moving the team, he will want a good team to move. It could be Quebec all over again (they moved and won the Cup in their first year in Denver), or even the inverse: the team wins the Cup, then moves.
Apparently Balsillie's lawyer/spokesperson read the article this in the Tennessean this morning and called with info. The news was very good.
"We want to give David Poile a very generous budget to build the team however he wants, having regard only to the league salary cap and not to any budget restraints imposed by ownership," Rodier said. "This is about winning, buying a team that has a shot at winning the Cup in our view."
Nice! This is HUGE! Like i said, regardless of whether the team moves or not, Balsillie wants to own a hockey team, and he wants to own a winner. And unlike Craig Leipold (good owner that he was) Balsillie has the deep pockets to REALLY make it happen. Poile has proved himself a great GM by doing a lot with a small payroll. With a larger payroll, this should get real fun real quick.


It is also huge that Balsillie's lawyer/spokesperson is starting to make helpful statements and removing some of the uncertainty. And even better, the news is good.
"The team’s not going anywhere unless two things happen," Rodier said. "One, there is no lease and (two), the NHL has considered the relocation issue in accordance with its constitutional bylaws and has granted its consent to relocation."
A lot has changed in the last few weeks.
I am officially changing my forecast to 55% that we keep the team.
I'm loving this!

(Note: Did John Glennon even bother calling Balsillie's office or the Predators office and ask for a comment before writing his story? This guy is really looking bad again.)

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