Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
But putting Hamilton out into the open signals open warfare which should lead to a battle royal between the Balsillie interests and Commissioner Gary Bettman who wants a territory rights fight about as much as he wants Bob Goodenow back as head of the Players Association….
This is one of the great tests of Bettman’s control in the history of his tenure with the NHL and there’s no sure sense of the outcome except that Balsillie and company have shown their hand and they aren’t going to back down.
more and other NHL topics…
What do Southern belle Kellie Pickler and Canadian hockey player Jordin Tootoo have in common? Says Pickler: “We’re each other’s biggest fans.”
The former American Idol contestant, 20, and the Nashville Predators right wing, 24, met after they bought condos in the same Nashville complex, where Tootoo spotted Pickler and asked for her phone number.
Pickler tells PEOPLE they were friends at first, but the relationship had turned romantic by spring.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Jim Balsillie’s representatives and lawyers for the City of Hamilton are expected to reach an agreement this morning that if he completes the purchase of the Nashville Predators and decides to move the team, it would be moved only to Hamilton.
A source familiar with the negotiations said the Hamilton city council hopes to announce the deal, which Balsillie and his representatives insist is a contingency plan, after its meeting tonight
via the Tennessean,
Jim Balsillie has submitted a formal application to buy the Predators.
Balsillie’s lawyer, Toronto-based attorney Richard Rodier, said the application was sent to the NHL late Monday.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed that the league received the application Monday night.
The application, which includes a purchase agreement, is a step that’s necessary before the NHL’s Board of Governors would review Balsillie’s bid to purchase the Predators from current owner Craig Leipold.
from the Tennessean,
But one item that needs to be completed before the Board of Governors would even consider Balsillie’s bid is a formal application for sale of the Predators.
As of late last week, that item — which includes a purchase agreement — had not been submitted to the league. It’s expected to be completed in the near future.
“The only significance (of it not yet being completed) is that it affects timing of the approval process,’’ NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said last week via e-mail.
Until Balsillie’s bid is approved, current owner Craig Leipold is still the man pulling the trigger on salary issues, which raises interesting questions.
Should Leipold spend liberally to try to re-sign some of his current free agents?
from the Hamilton Spectator,
Councillors say that Waterloo billionaire Jim Balsillie, who has an agreement to buy the NHL’s Nashville Predators for $220 million, wants them to approve his proposal to lease Copps Coliseum, Hamilton Place, and the Convention Centre at their meeting next Wednesday, June 13.
Six days later, Balsillie is slated to meet the NHL’s board of governor’s to seek approval for the sale of the Nashville team.
Balsillie, co-CEO of RIM, the company that makes the hand-held BlackBerry communications tool, is widely believed to be manoeuvering to relocate the money-losing Predators to Hamilton.
The word around city hall is Balsillie told Mayor Fred Eisenberger he believes he has a 50/50 chance of bringing the team to Copps, despite expected vetoes from NHL brass and compensation claims from the Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres for violating their territorial rights.
from the Tennessean,
The lawyer for the Predators’ prospective new owner says Jim Balsillie wants to take a run at the Stanley Cup in the coming season and that Balsillie plans to give general manager David Poile the payroll to do so.
Toronto-based attorney Richard Rodier made the comments in response to a Tennessean report which stated that Poile had not received any payroll guidance, despite the fact only three weeks remain before the unrestricted free agency period begins.
“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.’’
from the National Post,
Canada’s Competition Bureau is believed to have launched an inquiry into the franchise relocation practices and policies of the National Hockey League amid speculation that one of its financially strapped teams in the United States could be relocated to Southwestern Ontario.
Jim Balsillie’s $220 million purchase of the Nashville Predators last month may reflect renewed confidence in the future of the National Hockey League.
In selling the Predators, Tennessee businessman Craig Leipold almost tripled the $80 million he paid for the expansion team in 1997, even though the club lost $15 million this season and is ranked in the bottom third of the league in attendance.
“The league continues to be on the rebound, attendance and revenues are strong, and the limited number of teams to buy right now is driving demand,” said Rob Tilliss, chief executive at investment banking firm Inner Circle Sports LLC in New York.
more… *including a brief look at how NHL franchise values measure up against those of other major league sports
from the Tennessean,
Balsillie’s vow of silence has not immediately affected the number of current season-ticket holders, whose renewal rate of 66.5 percent is near even to the 66 percent last year at this point. But it certainly is having an adverse effect on the mental state of an anxious Predators fan base.
“I always say fear of the unknown is the worst,” said Joy Kimbrell, who has owned two lower-bowl season tickets since the team’s inception in 1998. “If we knew one way or another what to expect, we could deal with it. Not knowing leaves us in limbo.
“It makes most loyal fans feel like we are a tradable asset. I would say we are disenfranchised, worried and bitter.”
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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