Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The ice is melting in the desert

In other NHL news, the Phoenix Coyotes have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This move comes after many years of financial losses and toiling in the lower ranks of the NHL. Since moving from Winnipeg for the 1996-1997 season, the Coyotes qualified for the playoffs five teams, losing each series in the opening round.

The Coyotes best season? A 40 win season in 2001-2002. This was the high point of franchise history and shortly there after the team dropped like a rock from any playoff contention and has remained there since.

Shortly after the announcement, Jim Balsillie and PSE Sports & Entertainment LP placed a bid to buy the team for $215.5 million dollars. Balsillie is a name familiar to Pens and Nashville Predators fans alike as the shmuck who keeps trying to buy every damn team in the NHL. He failed in both bids to buy the aforementioned teams and is now tossing his hat into the desert. The one stipulation to this purchase is that Jimmy boy gets to move the team to his promised land in southern Ontario.

Not so fast Mr. Silly balls... Gary Bettman, czar of all things NHL, stepped in.

The NHL, which has said the Coyotes won’t relocate, later issued its own statement saying it’s investigating the circumstances surrounding the filing. The league also stripped Coyotes Chief Executive OfficerJerry Moyes of authority to act on behalf of the club.

Once again Gary, you're fucking with hockey. In his attempt to expand hockey's appeal to audiences beyond their current niche markets (see also Canada and cities above the Mason-Dixon line), Gary is potentially hurting the league. Yes, the Jets left Winnipeg because they ran out of money, but they also had the smallest arena in the league and played in a time when player salaries would make Bill Gates look like a beggar... ok, maybe not, but you get the idea.

While Balsillie may be the bizzaro Mark Cuban of hockey, this move has to be done.
The Coyotes were never really feasible in this market that already has the Suns and Cardinals with established fanbases. Their original arena was shared with the Suns, and when they finally did build a new one, they consistantly had trouble filling the seats. The possibility of the Coyotes going bankrupt was prominent throughout the season, and the NHL bailed the club out with a loan in late February after having already repeatidly loaned them money.

Bettman's attempts to keep the current franchises in their cities is not going to work, and above all else he fails to realize that the other clubs must approve an ownership change before it can happen. LET HOCKEY GOVERN ITSELF YOU POMPOUS JACKASS! Many of the ownership groups in place have a better idea of where and how this sport should develop and what will be best for the sport. Along with this, not only is the fate of hockey in North America on the line, but with the current profit sharing agreement... so are their asses. No one ownership group is stupid enough to make a move that would bring down the NHL, and to be honest Jimmy boy cannot do much worse in Southern Ontario than all parties did in Phoenix.

Moving a club back to Canada isn't a bad idea Mr. Bettman... it just isn't yours. Remove your head from your ass and let the actual club owners figure this one out.


  1. hockey should have like 12 teams...15 or 18 at most. And every team in a climate that does not naturally encounter snow/frozen outside water should be abolished.

    Starting with the Hurricanes, because I hate the bastards.

  2. Why? I have no problems with trying to expand the league and San Jose and Anaheim both have very passionate followings. So does Dallas. Not all of the moves were bad... Phoenix was simply doomed to begin with. Hockey has markets outside of the areas where it is currently implanted, but Bettman is just too big of a dumbass to do his homework and look into it.

    Also why the hell are you cutting down the number of teams?

  3. Because, in my humble little opinion, hockey would benefit from being limited to the rabid markets/fan bases. It would increase the level of play and fan interest, also I think the season should be shorter and there should be fewer games. 82 games and a season that lasts half the year is bo-ring.

    Dallas should go back to Minnesota, the Sharks are marginally ok because they have been around 15+ years and the Ducks...I liked them better when they wore the Disney jerseys.

    I'm just saying, hockey fans are a niche market, and it would be smarter to not spread that market so thinly among 30 teams.

  4. First... there is no reason for the season to be shortened. Period. A change in the way points are given out? Yes, but the schedule is just fine at 82 games. It gives rabid fans a great deal of time to drool over one of the greatest sports ever, and gives casual fans many opportunities to watch here in there much like what happens in baseball and basketball.

    Minnesota doesn't need the Stars (and if you take a real look at it the true North Stars are in San Jose not Dallas) they just need a new coach.

    The point is the teams you mentioned have some of the higher attendance and revenue averages in the league. Do I feel we need to add more teams to the league? Not at all, but that doesn't mean we need to have a fire sale on franchises either.

    Also you are forever cut off from further hockey commentary for mentioning that the Ducks should go back to those god awful purple jerseys.