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Gary Bettman And The Calgary Mayor

from Rick Bell of the Calgary Sun,

NHL commish Gary Bettman dishes the inside scoop on a mid-March sitdown he had with Nenshi and the mayor’s chief of staff.

It is in that closed-door conversation Bettman says he asked Nenshi a question and got an answer surprising and disappointing the commissioner.

“We were talking about the type of deal that was and wasn’t doable,” says Bettman.

“At one point I said: Let me ask you a question. I wasn’t being threatening. I wanted to understand. What happens if the end result of this is the Flames have to move?”

“And you know what the mayor said to me? So they’ll move.”...

Nenshi responds upon hearing of Bettman recounting the mid-March meeting.

He says his recollection is “somewhat different.”

“It is fair to say he wasn’t making any overt threats. But he certainly did say: You know, if you screw this up the Flames are going to leave and that is going to be miserable and it’ll destroy your city,” says Nenshi.

“I remember very well saying to him: That would be an awful outcome but it’s not going to destroy my city.

“He intimated it is the end of a political career if you lose a hockey team. I said: Be that as it may, we’ve got a lot of work to do and we’ve got to make the right and the fair deal for taxpayers.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman

Comments

Down River Dan's avatar

At one point I said: Let me ask you a question. I wasn’t being threatening. I wanted to understand. What happens if the end result of this is the Flames have to move?”

I think I saw something like this on the Sopranos, except it had to do with trash hauling contracts. Except in this case Gary is like 2ft shorter and not really threatening….

I don’t know the mayor of Calgary, but he’d sure win my vote by standing up to the Midget..

Posted by Down River Dan on 09/28/17 at 07:11 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

I don’t know the mayor of Calgary, but he’d sure win my vote by standing up to the Midget..

Posted by Down River Dan on 09/28/17 at 08:11 AM ET

Which is exactly why he made this nonsense statement.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 09/28/17 at 08:11 AM ET

Iggy_Rules's avatar

Good ol’ Gary, butting his nose in to sway people before an election.

Posted by Iggy_Rules from Calgary, Canada on 09/28/17 at 08:36 AM ET

Iggy_Rules's avatar

It’s interesting that the flames would suddenly have revenue woes, according to Gary. I’d love to see the stats that back that one up.

If the team can’t be profitable without a new arena perhaps the owners should build one…I don’t see other businesses getting handouts and property tax exemptions.

Posted by Iggy_Rules from Calgary, Canada on 09/28/17 at 08:40 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

So Gary’s version is:

“At one point I said: Let me ask you a question. I wasn’t being threatening. I wanted to understand. What happens if the end result of this is the Flames have to move?”

And the mayor’s version is: “It is fair to say he wasn’t making any overt threats. But he certainly did say: You know, if you screw this up the Flames are going to leave and that is going to be miserable and it’ll destroy your city,” says Nenshi.

Freaking hilarious.  I don’t know anything about this Nenshi guy, but I know enough about Gary to not believe Gary’s version.

Posted by TreKronor on 09/28/17 at 09:21 AM ET

HaHasek's avatar

This is Gary Bettman forever: I’m totally not doing this thing that I’m so obviously doing.

He’s done this so much that he actually believes that the technicalities of wording a sentence can change intent. He brings it up like it doesn’t even make himself look bad.

Nenshi’s not perfect, but him and the city council here have been looking at the arena issue very realistic. The NHL’s stance is to make as much money as they can, either by squeezing hockey fans in a proven market, or by going to a city that has a high population. They should be honest about this.

Posted by HaHasek on 09/28/17 at 09:35 AM ET

HaHasek's avatar

“if you screw this up the Flames are going to leave and that is going to be miserable and it’ll destroy your city”

Ahhh, Remember Quebec City, and Winnipeg? Those are landfills now, aren’t they?

What was the other place called…Atlanta or something. I head everyone just packed up and relocated. Major ghost town now.

Posted by HaHasek on 09/28/17 at 09:39 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Really though, this is the business climate now: “City/state, make us a deal or we’ll go somewhere else!” 

After all, there is a perfectly fine, very large arena in Quebec City…..

Posted by TreKronor on 09/28/17 at 09:47 AM ET

Avatar

Just shows how much the league cares about fans.

Weird is I don’t see all the pro owner guys here explaining to me why the league is right in this one.

Posted by ThatGuy on 09/28/17 at 09:52 AM ET

Avatar

They should move Calgary for the growth of the game.

Posted by ThatGuy on 09/28/17 at 09:54 AM ET

Temo's avatar

They should move Calgary for the growth of the game.

Why would they do that? They care more about money than the game or the fans that love it.

Posted by Temo from La Capital, Míchígán on 09/28/17 at 10:00 AM ET

Tripwire32's avatar

They should move Calgary for the growth of the game.
Posted by ThatGuy on 09/28/17 at 10:54 AM ET

snake  snake  +19

Why would they do that? They care more about money than the game or the fans that love it.
Posted by Temo from La Capital, Míchígán on 09/28/17 at 11:00 AM ET


Grow the game Read: increase revenues.

Whenever you hear an owner or league talking ‘grow the game’, they are really saying ’ increase our revenues’. You are absolutely correct that they don’t care about the game or the fans any further than how much money they can get from it.

Posted by Tripwire32 from Kay He Mar Heart on 09/28/17 at 10:32 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Weird is I don’t see all the pro owner guys here explaining to me why the league is right in this one.

I don’t see there as being right or wrong, but it’s been pretty typical for the majority of arenas the last couple decades.

Posted by TreKronor on 09/28/17 at 01:12 PM ET

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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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