Monday, July 23, 2007
Hell No, You Can't Go!
Ok, so ESPN.com of all places has broken the news that Gary Bettman has pressured Nashville Predators owner Craig Leipold to ditch crackberry mastermind Jim Balsillie and look to sell the team to an ownership group based in the United States - either one in Nashville or Kansas City.
The article is here, so feel free to check it out. Basically, Gary Bettman continuing to do his best to Americanize the game in the misdirected hope that the massive market of Middle Americans will flock to the sport. They won't, and the league is losing an insane amount of money by not bringing another team to Southern Ontario. New York and Los Angeles both have two teams (Anaheim is the second L.A. team - just wait, they will soon become the Los Angeles Ducks of Anaheim), so why not Toronto. The Leafs ownership is going to fight it as they won't be able to gouge their fans as much but a team in Hamilton can only impact the league's finances and image positively. The only negative, at least in Gary's eyes, is his reputation as he has sworn to insanely try to force hockey on Americans who would rather watch cars go around in circles and occasionally run into each other. Let's face it, the commish's rep, at least among hockey fans (i.e. the only people who know who he is), is total garbage anyway so maybe its time to suck it up and get a seventh team in Canada - even at the cost of one in a southern United States city that doesn't support the team they have. You won't gain the league many more corporate dollars with teams in places like Kansas City, Houston or (as has been proven) Nashville than you will with teams in Hamilton, Winnipeg or Quebec City.
Oh, and a thanks goes out to Barry Melrose Rocks for the (de)Motivator above.
On a happier side note, I just want to congratulate Ken Gernander on getting promoted to Head Coach of Hartford. Jim "eat another doughnut you fat pig' Schoenfeld for some reason decided to accept a move to Rangers assistant GM, when he swore he loved his work in Hartford as a teacher for NHL prospects. Schoenfeld should be fine, albiet as a puppet and legman for Sather. But whatever, back to the point, congrats to Kenny G. A man of grace and class, Gernander was the consummate professional and a very nice man. He taught me the Binghamton Rangers penalty kill while we sat in the press box during a rare game he missed back in '97. Best wishes!