Thursday, June 4, 2009

Kansas City Here We Come!?!

1) Late this afternoon we got a call from a usually reliable source from within NHL headquarters. He told FAUXRUMORS (off the record, of course) that its looking like Kansas City will definitely have an NHL franchise before the 2010-2011 season commences. While this is hardly Earth-shattering to any of us who have been following the MANY teams that potentially be on the move, its the first concrete admission(albeit an unofficial one) that the NHL sees the move as coming in only a year.

2) The source went on to say that the situation in at least two current NHL cities has almost come to a head, and that both may be vying for the KC market . He refused to say which two markets those were, but again, it doesn't take an NHL insider to see it almost has to include the Coyotes who are now in bankruptcy hearings. Gary Bettman will do almost ANYTHING to keep the franchise from being acquired by Jim Basille and moving to southern Ontario. As another source told us, "Bettman would sooner cut off his right hand then have Basille get his way" here. It simply would be the death knell for his southern US policy, and would open up a huge can of worms with respect to unstoppable franchise re-location. Its this reason that the other major team sports have been very supporting of the NHL's case in Phoenix as they too don't want to see renegade owners up and moving(ala Al Davis). So if that meant a move to KC, Bettman would certainly approve such a move.

3) The other franchise we believe from talking to other sources around the league is the N.Y. Islanders. From what we have been told Charles Wang has set a firm time line. His "line in the sand", you might say. Its October 3rd or thereabouts. If his arena and area development plan(known as "The Light House") isn't approved by then he will open up the bidding to either sell the team, or to other cities to move them away. Its in dispute if he can break his current lease or not which we are told runs another 4 years, but one legal source tell us there are ways if it comes to that, which Wang can get away from Nassau "although it might cost him a few bucks". The current stalemate between he and the Town of Hempstead appears that it won't be resolved by then so if Wang blinks first Isles fans may have to resolve to either root for a team 1000 miles away, or God forbid, root for the Rangers. LOL. The source did say the Isles have "other NY options", but those are far less NHL ready than KC. Of course the source told us the Isles have a great TV deal that they could continue if they stayed in the NY metro region. " No way do they get 1/4 of what they get now if they move to KC". So we believe that is more of a long shot right now.
4) What is clear though is that the NHL will be in KC in the NEAR future. Its almost a 100% chance that Phoenix is a "dead team walking". Few analysts we spoke to can see a scenario where the team stays put. " They simply have an unsustainable business model". So be it Reinsdorf or another ownership coalition that ultimately gets to control the team, they will have to include an option to relocate. That place will almost definitely be KC. With all due respect to the good folks of that great American city its a bad move. Southern Ontario just is the best option even if a stubborn Gary Bettman spites his nose to prevent Balsille from attaining the Coyotes.

No comments:

Contact the Media