Balsille isn't going to fade quietly into the night

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by Egil, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. Egil

    Egil Registered User

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    http://mirtle.blogspot.com/2007/07/balsillie-prepared-for-fight.html#comments

    His lawyer talking about possible legal action and essentially trying to give the end-around to Bettman by simply convincing a majority of owners of his position (which I believe he can do). One VERY interesting tid-bit is that the negotiations with Leopold were done behind Bettman's back, and that Bettman only found out from TSN's Darren Dregger!

    As the current situation unfolds, I think the NHL's best option is:

    1) Let the local group by the Preds from Leopold
    2) Grant "Boots" and Balsille expansion teams for $125 mil each, with $25 mil of each fee ($50 mil total) of that going to Leopold

    Anything else is going to cause huge problems (especially since it appears that Nashville will exceed the lease breaking requirement)
     
  2. CaptBrannigan

    CaptBrannigan Registered User

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    I don't know if the best solution to this is to say "let's just give them all a team and make everyone happy." Seems like it would set a bad precedent to me.
     
  3. Irish Blues

    Irish Blues Worth waiting for :)

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    We should have a vBookie event for this - the sole requirement being that if you make a bet, you're all in at the time you bet.

    I'm still trying to figure out exactly what his legal argument would be. The best I can determine, he's going to have to have some kind of allegation that Bettman defamed him and he's losing millions of dollars as a result from potential income had the sale actually been allowed to be discussed and voted on ... which ignores the fact that his paperwork wasn't submitted on time and was incomplete.

    The important thing here:
    Whether that support comes from coercion, under-the-table bribery, or other means, they're apparently ready to do anything and everything to get the votes they need to get what they want, NHL By-Laws be damned.

    And again ... if this is how Balsille is going to play when he's not in the Group of 30, do you think the other 29 owners want to know what he'll try to do when he's actually in? Some may not care, some may think he'll get in and then be fine ... but I suspect there's more than a few owners who are looking at him thinking :whaaa?: and sensing that if he doesn't get what he wants, he'll drag the rest of the group through the mud - even after he gets in.

    BTW - I think he needs more than a majority to be approved. I think he needs 2/3rds ... but I could easily be wrong about that.
     
  4. Egil

    Egil Registered User

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    I believe that due to an earlier complaint from Canada's Competition Bureau that it is 1/2 (changed from the earlier 2/3rds). And this complaint was from the 90s.
     
  5. Egil

    Egil Registered User

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    Well, the other option at this point is having "Boots" buy the team, mess around in Nashville for 3 years, move to KC OR force Leopold to sell for MUCH MUCH less than he could have to local ownership and having these same 2 piranahs (Boots and Balsille) floating around. I don't think any US team needs a new arena, so the work of Boots and Balsille as the boogeyman is over.
     
  6. jkrdevil

    jkrdevil UnRegistered User

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    Can't see why Bettman and some owners don't want him in the league. :sarcasm:
     
  7. King_Stannis

    King_Stannis Registered User

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    One has to admit that Bettman's position is not as strong if he is, as is being rumored, championing the sale to Boots and an eventual move to KC. An objective observer would ask "okay, why is the sale to owner X who will move to location A any different than a sale to owner Y, who will move to location B"? In the end the team will be moved, so it really comes down to a personal preference with the commissioner as to where it will be moved. I'm not sure that's the strongest basis to throw someone's bid out, especially if indeed a majority of the owners wouldn't mind the increase to their franchise value.
     
  8. King_Stannis

    King_Stannis Registered User

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    The NBA is alot more interesting with an owner like Mark Cuban. And that's a good parallel here, too. You know Stern and Bettman talk. You don't think Stern is telling Bettman "do youself a favor and get rid of this headache before he can even do anything"? Of course he is. The problem is that this headache might be good for a league that is stagnating, especially in the "rudimentary interest" factor with most of the U.S.
     
  9. zepps

    zepps Registered User

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    Interesting stuff. I like Balsillie, but I understand why others don't. He hasn't gone much further than Boots. There is a lease agreement in KC and they've already sold their suites. The process is public in Hamilton because Balsillie had to go through city council, etc.

    Legal action seems to be what Bettman is afraid of. Stephen Brunt was on the TEAM 1040 yesterday. He was saying that the territorial rights and the veto (that does exist) could cause legal actions from all sides if Balsillie tried to move a team to Hamilton. There is some question about whether the NHL could survive that, so Bettman tries to villify Balsillie or dangle Winnipeg as an option.
     
  10. jkrdevil

    jkrdevil UnRegistered User

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    Well I wouldn't compare Cuban with Ballsillie. While Cuban has made some noise and been a bit of a headache he hasn't challenged the NBA's business practices and bylaws the way Ballsillie has. He is more AL Davis than Mark Cuban.

    The more I read about all this the more I think this has less to do with Canada, Hamilton, and Kansas City and more to do with just not wanting Ballsillie. I don't see the league as being thrilled about going to KC and I think they rather see the team stay in Nashville. But if the choice is between Del Biaggio and Ballsillie it's going to be Del Biaggio because they know they can work with him.
     
  11. Egil

    Egil Registered User

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    I think the problem with your analysis jrk is believing in this entity called "the league". Based on the various reports, I would say that Bettman isn't acting with full BoG support on this issue, with at least 10 owners on "Balsille" side (which is why I believe he can get 50% of the BoG to approve of him).

    As an aside, the other advantage of giving Balsille an expansion team is that you have more control over the location. A team in Hamilton will take some needed support from Buffalo IMHO, whereas a team in say K-W wouldn't. Awarding Balsille an expansion team in K-W avoids alot of the mess surrounding Hamilton.
     
  12. hockeydadx2*

    hockeydadx2* Guest

    Doesn't it occur to anybody that Bettman and the NHL lawyers made sure that they had all of their bases covered legally before they took whatever steps they took? Given Balsillie's demonstrated love of litigation, I'm sure they expected him to get his lawyers involved early and often, and I'm also sure that they made sure that they had themselves covered.

    Balsillie isn't going to have a legal argument. He didn't own the team, and didn't even sign a sales agreement. All he had was a nonbinding letter of intent. He's grasping at straws, because the old boys just aren't going to let him join the club. And why would they? He's clearly just a royal pain in the ass.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2007
  13. Irish Blues

    Irish Blues Worth waiting for :)

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    Point:

    "arse" is considered attempting to circumvent the filter, as is a$$ and so on.

    It's ok, folks ... you can go ahead and type ass - just don't get carried away with it or direct it at someone else.

    That is all.
     
  14. hockeydadx2*

    hockeydadx2* Guest

    Sorry. I don't even like the term "arse".
     
  15. GSC2k2*

    GSC2k2* Guest

    Actually, Egil, i have seen exactly one report - in the National Post, if memory serves - in which it was hypothesized that perhaps - perhaps - there might be five to ten governors who support Balsillie. Apparently, now it is "at least ten"? :shakehead

    This is how people around here wind up consistently misinformed, IMO. Probably by next week, it will be "at least half".

    Quite the idea, except Balsillie does not have the liquidity to build an arena from scratch, and financing it would blow a huge hole out of any viable business plan. To say nothing of the fact that no one would traipse 1.5 to 2.5 hours up the 401 from the GTA to go on a weekday.
     
  16. EbencoyE

    EbencoyE Registered User

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    If you're saying what I think you're saying... That some rich Canadian guy moving a team to a city most Americans probably don't even know exists in another country is going to increase interest in the sport/league... I can't help but laugh. Sorry.
     
  17. danishh

    danishh Registered User

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    what if im british?
     
  18. ISensFanI

    ISensFanI Registered User

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    More support for the team in Canada, taking existing fans, instead of trying to take non-existing fans, creates more money for the team and the league. Because this way the team has fans, instead of not having any.
     
  19. Stajan Fan

    Stajan Fan Registered User

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    I doubt we ever see another team in Canada as long as Bettman is running the show. Kansas City seems to be at the top of his list.
     
  20. Egil

    Egil Registered User

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    I know their are at least two (Melnyk and Gretzky), and I assume that their would be more, as both those owners are quite different, and in wildly different locations. Despite your continued objections, a 2nd team in the GTA (including Hamilton or K-W) is IMHO the best location that doesn't have an NHL team. Many of the owners would want a team in such a location, especially from the largest recipient of revenue sharing.


    First, as we went over before, the Arena requires approx $20 mil in additional revenue to cover a given arena location. I think a reasonable case can be made that a 2nd GTA team would make more than $20 mil a year more than Kc/Nashville, making the Arena point one of slightly increased risk more than a poor investment.

    And 2.5 hours from Mississauga to K-W? Do you ever get tired of making stuff up?
     
  21. GSC2k2*

    GSC2k2* Guest

    Oh, give it a break. READ my post that you yourself quoted. 1.5 to 2.5 hours for people in the GTA. In case your knowledge of geography is as shaky as your grip on logic, that extends quite a bit further than Mississauga. 1.5 hours from Mississauga on a weekday, 2.5 from anyplace east of around Yonge Street. Do you ever get tired of distorting things?
     
  22. Egil

    Egil Registered User

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    1.5 from Mississauga is a little out their as well.
     
  23. GSC2k2*

    GSC2k2* Guest

    From the westernmost tip of Mississauga - sure, fine. From the "meat" of Mississauga to K-W itself (and winding through whatever traffic one has to wind to get there), 1.5 is reasonable. Heck, it can take 15-20 minutes sometimes to get onto the 401, depending on where you are starting from.
     
  24. King_Stannis

    King_Stannis Registered User

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    The mere talk of such a move has actually seeped into national sports headlines, so despite the way you phrased your question, you need only look at the front pages of sites like ESPN and some national newspapers to get your answer. It has increased attention and interest on the game. Renegade businessmen like Ballsillie will always appeal to the love/hate side of people, especially Americans.

    And going back to the Cuban analogy, you couldn't find anywhere as desolate in the NBA as the Dallas Mavericks, 15 or so years before Cuban bought them.

    Call me crazy, but a good owner who spends on his team even in Canada is only good for the sport. But then again I'm one of those people that thinks a Canadian team winning the cup would be the best things for hockey in the US. Nothing stokes an American's fervor like having something taken away that we thought (rightly or wrongly) was "ours". Hell, we even managed to get a few years worth of coverage for the America's Cup in the 80's under just such a principle. You think the Ryder Cup interests Americans when we're winning? It's only when a bunch of Euros win it that we pay attention. It's just the way Americans are. The year after the Canadians won the cup was probably the epoch of the NHL in the U.S. Sure, it had alot to do with the Rangers. But it also had alot to do with the Rangers winning the cup not only for the first time in 40 years but taking it away from a Canadian team. The fact that the series was highly entertaining was only a bonus.
     
  25. Proboscis

    Proboscis Registered User

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    Jim Balsillie has been on the hunt for a team for five years or more. He is going to be on the scene for a while yet.
     

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