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Category: Nashville-Predators

Preds In Limbo

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.”

read on

Filed in: Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Foppa Talks

A very rough translation of this article in the AftonBladet follows, but Forsberg states he feels good and if he doesn’t play in Europe he is leaning to play for one of the three teams he has played for in the past (Philly, Colorado or Nashville).
Read on for the translation…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Talk, Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Another Option

from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,

Balsillie could still try to move the team, of course, but would likely face a thicket of legal woes – the last thing any CEO would want, let alone one whose company is entangled in controversy over the alleged backdating of stock options.
Yet even if Balsillie was able to navigate the Predators out of Nashville, there are indications any move could be complicated. While the NHL board of governors would ultimately decide whether Balsillie could move a team to southwestern Ontario, one investment banker who specializes in sports transactions said the RIM executive is similarly interested in burgeoning Las Vegas.
That city is in the midst of trying to coax architects and builders to make proposals for a new downtown arena suitable for hockey and basketball. They were due back to a sports marketing firm representing Las Vegas yesterday.

read on

Filed in: Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

What Do UFAs Do

from the National Post via Canada.com,

Owner Craig Leipold has signed a letter of intent to sell the Predators to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie, a deal with a closing date of June 30.
The National Hockey League’s free-agent window opens the very next day.
Nashville has seven players set to become unrestricted free agents, including captain Kimmo Timonen and forwards Paul Kariya and Peter Forsberg.
The NHL’s board of governors still has to approve the sale, leaving players and agents in need of answers from the team and general manager David Poile.
“I don’t think the league wants David Poile to hit July 1 not knowing who his owner is and not knowing what direction it’s going to go in,” Timonen’s agent, Bill Zito, said Tuesday. “We have a 100-point team, and now, all of the sudden, it’s going to disintegrate because of the timing of legalities? That doesn’t make any sense.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Balsillie Secures Hamilton

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

The Nashville Predators may be headed for Hamilton, at least temporarily.
Waterloo billionaire Jim Balsillie, who has a letter of agreement to buy the Predators that closes June 30, last night re-activated an exclusive lease arrangement with Hamilton city council in which he could use the facility temporarily or permanently as home to an NHL team.

continued

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Is Gary Bettman Afraid of the Leafs?

From Alan Adams at Sportsnet.ca,

News item: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman isn’t sure a second franchise in Southern Ontario is a good idea.
“Frankly, I live in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area and it’s tough for all the clubs to get media attention, particularly when they’re having tough years on the ice. There’s some real downside to having multiple teams in one market,” Bettman said Monday in his state-of-the-union address.
My spin: Is Gary Bettman that afraid of the Toronto Maple Leafs? Do the Leafs have that much power that they can veto a second team coming to Southern Ontario?

continued…

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The Cold Facts

from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,

But the cold fact is, Nashville wasn’t buying what they were selling and Leipold, who had the benefit of one of the most forgiving leases in the history of sports arenas, simply couldn’t make it work.
And that’s the scary part for a great many hockey markets in the U.S and Canada.
Nashville was, and is, bleeding red ink. According to Liepold’s open letter to the hockey fans in that community the team lost $27 million in real cash losses over the last two seasons despite a team that garnered 216 points in the standings over the same time span.
That means one of hockey’s great winners on ice was one of its biggest losers at the gate.

more

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Doubtful In Nashville?

from the Tennessean,

Not to discourage anybody in Nashville, but I think their team is gone,’’ said Ken Campbell, a senior writer at The Hockey News. “You’ve got a Canadian owner who’s passionate about hockey and who has all but publicly said he wants to bring a team to Canada.
“He paid $220 million for the team. Billionaires don’t become billionaires by throwing dollars at money-losing investments, and unfortunately, that’s what the Predators are right now.’‘
Bob McKenzie, a hockey analyst at the Canadian-based TSN network, was pessimistic about Nashville’s chances of holding on to the Predators in the long run.
“I don’t think the prognosis is overly bright,’’ McKenzie said. “I hate to say it, but the Craig Leipold press conference was almost a textbook session on why hockey is not going to make it in Nashville….”

more

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A Letter From Leipold

from the NashvillePost.com,

In a letter to Nashville Predators season ticket holders, suite owners and sponsors, team owner Craig Leipold explained why he is selling the team and confirms that it is being sold to Jim Balsillie, co-chief executive officer of Blackberry maker Research in Motion.
In his letter, Leipold stated that the team will have a $27-million real cash loss over the past two seasons because of below average attendance even though the team tallying up a total of 216 points, the fifth best in the NHL.

read on

added 12:58pm, via Bloomberg,

The price ($220M) may show that Balsillie is considering moving the team from Nashville, where its average home crowd of 15,260 ranked eighth from last in the 30-team NHL in attendance this year, said Marc Ganis, president of Sportscorp Ltd., a Chicago- based sports industry consulting firm.
“This is a very big number for a team in Nashville,’’ Ganis said. “There might be something more here.’‘

Filed in: Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Another Challenge For Bettman

from Alan Adams of Sportsnet,

Bettman knows a second NHL team in southern Ontario will work. He knows Canadians live and die for hockey, and Balsillie is exactly the type of owner the NHL needs. He is on the cutting edge of communications technology.
If the NHL doesn’t let Balsillie move the Predators to southern Ontario, then Bettman isn’t Canada-friendly.
It is as simple as that.

more

added 12:45pm, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Instead, you have a situation where, two years into the current CBA, franchises in Phoenix and Atlanta and Florida as well as Nashville still can’t operate in the black, or even at the break-even point. And when the day comes that the owners in all those markets say ‘enough’ to the losses, that’s when the migration to points north will occur.
It’s no longer a question of if anymore.
It’s only a question of when.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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