Undeserved market... this is what you are going to hear from Jim Balsillie now and into the future. The future that I speak of involves the Phoenix Coyotes and the news that they have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday. We all knew for some time that things were bad in the desert but I don’t think many knew that it was just this bad.
The RIM (Research in Motion) CEO made his intentions known in a media release on Tuesday stating that a $212.5 million (US) offer was on the table to purchase the team. One of the condition was that the team would relocate to an unspecified region in Southern Ontario.
I am all for this move. Take a team from a struggling US market and place them back in Canada in, as we we have heard before, an undeserved market. If it is true that there were talks about a possible second team in Toronto then a team in Southern Ontario isn’t far fetched. Only question is, just because it may be a viable and a good market and the NHLPA would probably be in favor of it, will Gary Bettman want to allow Jim Balsillie into the league. It almost seems that there is a personal vendetta from Bettman and it may be getting in the way of business.
The NHL and the Board of Governors will have some things to say about this for sure and this is sure to be an interesting story not only on sports talk shows but also for the court reporters. Even if Balsillie gets the team, which is not a sure thing, be assured that the NHL is going to throw up some bumps saying that any team movement needs league approval and no doubt use the NHL shield as a battery ram to flex it’s muscle. The potential for a lengthy battle is very probable. This will be very interesting to follow and see what direction this takes. I will be sure to keep an eye on this going forward.
I have also yet to announce the selection of a new favorite team from the west...I had it down to the Blues and the Kings...does a team in the Golden Horseshoe make a re-emergence on the list? Stay tuned.