Friday, August 21, 2009

Canada: Be Careful What You Wish For!

1) As the old adage goes: Be Careful what you wish for, you may just get it'. The meaning being that you may not like the end result of your wish. We at FR2 believe this may be true of Canadian hockey fans with respect to the current morass in the Phoenix Coyote bankruptcy case. Most fans in the Great White North are pulling for Canadian billionaire Jim Balsille to be victorious in his bid to buy the trouble Arizona based franchise and move it to southern Ontario (Hamilton) A near nationalistic fervor has grown out of this issue with Canadian hockey fans seeing this as yet another slap by the American born NHL commissioner Gary Bettman against them. Many are still smarting from the losses of the Quebec Nordique (Colorado) and the Winnipeg Jets ( The now Phoenix Coyote) under his watch. With subsequent NHL expansion into the southern United States.

2) As any one knows who reads this blog regularly we dislike Gary Bettman. Some might say, quite a bit, BUT we are also honest and give folks (even those we disagree with) their due when earned. Those folks who are now blindly allying themselves with Jim balsille mearly because they are for more teams up north And/or hate Ggary Bettman might be advised that they are incorrect on multiple fronts. Firstly many might recall that in the mid 90's the economic landscape was far different than today. Back then the exchange rate placed the teams up north at a great disadvantage with their US based counterparts. Bettman devised a plan to assist Canadian based franchises back then. If not for this its entirely possible Edmonton, Calgary and perhaps even Vancouver may not have survived the 1990's intact within Canada.

3) Next, and more to the point of this post is IF Jim Balsille is victorious Canada would gain a franchise BUT if economics should reverse to where we were 15 or so years ago there would be little to prevent a move back south of one or more teams. If someone can force their way in through the bankruptcy process, it goes to the fundamental nature of the league and how it governs itself. What can be at risk here is the ability of an outsider like Balsille to force his way into ownership. Another rogue owner could to turn a sport franchise into just another commodity that can be bought and sold without the control of the league. Gary Bettman and the Board of governors(BOG) would have no say so of who owns the other teams and as importantly couldn't stop/block a team from moving from one city to the next. It could be chaos. Now currently that might mean more teams in Canada as the Loonie is relatively strong, but if it were to fall we could see another exodus from Canada that could potentially be even more precipitous than the last. Be careful what you wish for Canada, indeed!

Post script: A hearty "You're Welcome' to Fauxrumors and to all the folks who we hosted in this years annual Faux Vaction. We all had a blast and this seems to get better (if not bigger-LOL) every year!

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