Here we go again, David Shoalts is chasing down the story that will never go away (and no I don’t mean Brian Burke), another team in Toronto. This time Shoalts is quoting sources, some on the record and some, not so much…
“Why shouldn’t we put another team in the best and biggest market in the world?” one of several NHL governors who spoke with The Globe anonymously said of the Greater Toronto Area.According to this governor, one idea floated is for prospective owner Jim Balsillie to be rewarded with an expansion team in Toronto after helping to restore financial ballast to the Nashville Predators.“I’ve heard this exact scenario,” a second governor said.”
Now these guys aren’t as dumb as they sometimes act, but is says here they are having fun with the Toronto media. Bettman inc. isn’t going to reward Balsillie with anything. More importantly, the league has enough struggling teams to make expansion a laughable notion…
“Calgary Flames co-owner Harley Hotchkiss, a former chairman of the NHL board of governors, is also aware of the Balsillie movement.“I’ve heard bits and pieces of this scenario, although not in that kind of detail,” he said. “Our priority is to have the existing franchises solid.“[It is] an interesting scenario,” Mr. Hotchkiss added, “ but I can only speak generally.”
Right, not in that kind of detail….
Now, take a deep breath, and get ready for this…
“Richard Peddie, president of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, said the organization would not automatically reject the idea of a second team in Toronto.“When and if the league brings expansion to the table, we’ll listen and decide what is best [for hockey],” he said.”
What’s best for hockey?????? Yeah right! What a joke that is. MLSE is not going to do what is best for hockey, they do what is best for shareholders (as other businesses do too). Please, call a spade a spade. There is only one way the Leafs agree to this, they get boatloads of cash.
“As to the potential impact on the Maple Leafs, the first governor dismissively waved his hand. “The Maple Leafs would not be hurt one bit. In fact, it would help them. They could make all kinds of money renting the Air Canada Centre to the other team.”
Help them? I am not so sure, but bet on this, if it happens, there will be $ to be made, lots and lots of money.
So, why Toronto and not Hamilton:
“The league will never allow Mr. Balsillie to put a team in Hamilton for two reasons, according to one governor. One is that the city would be a tough sell for U.S.-based teams, and the other, more significant reason, is the belief it would ruin the Buffalo Sabres.“It’s a minor-league town,” the governor said of Hamilton. “How could we sell a team from Hamilton? Do you think the New York Rangers want to put the Hamilton Steelers on their marquee at Madison Square Garden? Do you think anyone in Manhattan would buy tickets to see them?”
LOL, the old boys network never ceases to amaze.
“We do not want to kill the Sabres,” the governor said. “But if there was a second team in Toronto, that would not hurt Buffalo.” A comparable situation exists in Los Angeles, where the Staples Center houses three professional teams – the Kings of the NHL, plus the Lakers and Clippers of the NBA.A third governor thinks the Buffalo Sabres might accept a second team in Southern Ontario as well if it made business sense. He said that means charging Mr. Balsillie as much as $700-million (U.S.) for an expansion franchise.”
$700 million?????? More then an NFL franchise????? What are these guys smoking???? If they can get $700 million from anyone, they should jump at it. $700 million…sorry, I can’t stop laughing. That is what the NFL charged the owner of the new franchise in Houston for its franchise.
I will say it again, if the New York area has 3 teams and the LA area has 2, Toronto should get a shot at a second team…That doesn’t mean it will happen, but until it does, these stories will continue to appear… What do you think?
you can read Shoalts here