|Thursday morning's news that current Predators' owner Craig Leipold has decided to walk away from a $238 million team purchase offer from Jim Balsille in favor of a $190 million offer from William "Boots" DelBiaggio is almost unbelievable.
Balsillie has made no bones about moving the franchise to Hamilton, an area that lies roughly half-way between two existing franchises, Toronto and Buffalo. DelBiaggio has made no bones about moving the franchise to Kansas City, a place that was once home to an NHL expansion team, the ill-fated Scouts.
So why in the world would you take $48 million less if the same result -- team relocation -- was to occur? It makes no sense. That is, unless there is something brewing below the surface. I'm not a conspiracy theorist but consider just a couple of possible options; there are reams more.
1. Leipold will get his $48 million from the Leafs and Sabres (mostly the Leafs who can't stand the thought of people in their city wearing a Predators jersey(.
2. worse still, the NHL is anteing up the $48 mill to allow Gary Bettman to keep the franchise south of the border.
Business is business. $48 mill buys a lot of Blizzards at Dairy Queen and sure helps lessen the sting of the $70 million in losses already accrued by that franchise over the last 10 years.
Which market is better? A hockey-crazed spot in southern Ontario without a pro-quality arena or a non-traditional hockey town south of the border with an awesome new rink? Wasn't Nashville's "failure" the result of the latter?
Something isn't right in the state of Tennessee; let's hope it isn't an anti-Canadian jab by Bettman.
Read more on the issue at the National Post.
Posted by Janet Eagleson at 6/28/2007 7:43:00 AM