1) Many in the hockey world were shocked that Jim Balsillie decided to suddenly back out of a deal to buy the Penguins. The official story out of the league is that Balsillie balked at the NHL's insistence in keeping the Pens in Pittsburgh. Regular readers to this blog of course were not shocked to find out that it was Balsillie's intention all along to move the team to Southern Ontario
2) At the time the NHL was also on board with that scenario. However since that time many powerful figures, including the owners of the Maple Leafs and Flyers have gone to Gary Bettman and pleaded that he not push for the Penguins to move. The Leafs for obvious reasons. They didn't want to lose their virtual monopoly of NHL hockey in the southern part of Ontario. The Flyers for also for selfish reasons, as they felt losing their cross state rival might also hurt. 3) Several other owners also approached Bettman as well. Voicing their opposition more for personal reasons. Apparently Jim Balsillie isn't a well liked individual among the wealthy in North America. As one prominent team President mentioned to FAUXRUMORS last Friday, "Jim Balsillie's an asshole who thinks his shit doesn't stink". They didn't want his bully tactics to be a part of their very small/exclusive fraternity.
4) Where does this leave the Penguins? Well, for fans of the team its actually great news! The chances of the team staying in Pittsburgh past next season jumped from 25% or less to almost 75%. It appears that the interested parties involved now are so wealthy that they themselves could build their own arena even without much in the way of tax dollars or the need for a casino. 5) The approval for the 'Isle of Capri' deal will be announced next week. Its any one's guess how the state will rule. One law maker told FAUXRUMORS not to be surprised to see that deal be denied now that others have expressed a willingness to pony up the dough on their own without the negative image of a casino paying for one.Stay tuned as this situation is still fluid enough that anything is possible, but something firm about the future of the Penguins WILL be known before this current season concludes
Here's Hoping the Pens stay in Steel Town!