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THN’s Campbell: Proposed NHL-ready Toronto rink has Snider, Jacobs’ fingerprints on it

After launching into a rant against NHLPA members who've headed to Europe to continue playing hockey, the Hockey News's Ken Campbell offers a particularly intriguing bit of news regarding the NHL-sized rink proposed for  Markham, Ontario. As it turns out, the rink's ownership has some...intriguing...business ties...

The proposed GTA Centre in suburban Toronto doesn’t have an NHL team yet, but it does have an NHL feel to it. Earlier this week, chairman and CEO Graeme Roustan announced that the GTA Centre had secured a venue manager and a food and beverage service provider.

We don’t expect any of this to interest you terribly, but while Roustan publicly states he has received no guarantees from the NHL (which he hasn’t) and that his building would be self-sufficient without an NHL team, there is no doubt getting one is the end game.

Then you start to connect the dots. The venue manager just happens to be Global Spectrum, which is a subsidiary of Comcast-Spectacor, which is a company owned by Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider. The food and beverage provider is none other than Delaware North Companies, which just happens to be the property of Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs.

So you have the chairman of the NHL’s board of governors (Jacobs) and one of the most influential and powerful members of the league’s executive committee (Snider) now doing business with an NHL-sized rink in the most underserviced hockey market in the world.

The fact is, with an NHL team, the companies owned by those men will stand to make far more money than they would without a big-league tenant. You don’t suppose Snider and Jacobs would be in favor of a struggling market relocating to the most fertile hockey market on the planet, do you? And you’d have to think Jacobs and Snider could rally far more board of governors support for a team in Toronto than the Maple Leafs could muster to oppose the move.

The Maple Leafs, by the way, believe they have a veto over any NHL competitor moving into their territory. The league disagrees and feels it has the legal foundation to put a team wherever it wants. And that will someday be in Toronto.


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Which non-traditional market will lose their team next?  The Islanders seem like the obvious choice, but I think Dallas is a major darkhorse.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 09/21/12 at 05:00 PM ET


snider is a smart business man, do you blame him?

Posted by FlyersFan on 09/22/12 at 01:11 PM ET

phillyd's avatar

Both of those companies mentioned in the article operate or provide concessions to many minor league arenas. In fact, that’s where Comcast Spectacor has most of its holdings. The only major league arena that I know of that they operate is the WF Center in Philly.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 09/23/12 at 10:00 AM 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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