Alleged Bettman Interference in Balsillie Bid for Predators

A report by Scott Burnside on espn.com today sheds more light on the bid by James Balsillie to purchase the Nashville Predators franchise. Apparently, Richard Rodier, the lawyer for Balsillie, is alleging direct interference by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in thwarting the bid and espn.com has obtained emails between Rodier and Predators' owner Craig Leipold to that effect. The NHL Board of Governors meeting in September, 2007 will be very interesting.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=2943692

Great read! Thanks TCTD!

I wouldn't be at all surprised if this becomes Bettman's undoing.

Balsillie is determined to get a team and he's in no hurry.

One thing is for sure, Balsillie would be infinitely better for the NHL than Bettman ever could.

But who is pulling Bettman's strings?

MLSE?

We know, according to Phil Esposito, who was in charge of the Tampa Bay bid at the time, the reason Ottawa got the expansion franchise was because the Leafs wouldn't allow a team on their territory.

Has anything happened to change their position?

I think Bettman, MLSE and the Sabres are the only parties who have a direct interest in opposing Balsillies intentions.

  1. Bettman is so pro U.S. and U.S. TV contract that it makes him anti Canadian. His vision is a proven failure. Since Hamilton’s rejection in '91, Bettman has covered the U.S. map with teams in Tampa, Miami, Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix, Anaheim, San Jose. That’s 7 large TV markets. Ratings are abysmal. Even the CONCACAF final drew more TV viewers than did any Stanley Cup final game. Give it up Bettman, it won’t work.

  2. MLSE is super greedy. I don’t think a Hamilton team would hurt their bottom line. Ever!

They’re concern is not for the game of hockey, the league nor their fans. All they’re concerned with is making as much money as possible.

  1. Buffalo, in my estimation, has the only legitimate concern of being hurt by a tam in Hamilton. I think Buffalo could manage, but if they couldn’t, then c’est la vie. Free markets and all that.

So is every other NHL owner, including Jim Balsillie. make no mistake he sees a profit to be made here no doubt. The reason NHL owners are against small-market Canada, is because i've read that a team in Hamilton would result in more revenue and an increase in the cap, but the teams in Miami and Phoenix would still be generating the same revenue, so they'd be losing more money cause of increased costs and lack of an increase in revenue.

I'm starting to think the Leafs are pulling bettman's strings....which is a real slap in the face to Canadian fans...as a Leaf fan, it gets harder everyday to cheer for them...especially, if it comes out that they are actively blocking this.

Ot boys . Take this somewhere else.

No, that is not all he's concerned with. If you read up on him, you'll find out about his philanthropy and his love for the game.

Not true,

  1. Who would be against more revenue? Ridiculous.

  2. There are teams now that are not spending to the salary cap max, so they would not have to incur more cost. You do not have to spend to the cap max.

  3. Furthermore, there is a revenue sharing agreement in place in which the teams that are losing money are compensated by the rich, so Miamai and Phoenix would be compensated.

So a rich, revenue generating team like Hamilton would share their revenue with Phoenix and Miami,

I think CaptainKirk is right inaslump, Balsillie really isn't in it for the money. It's largely a partiotism thing for him, at least according to sources close to him.

I loved this part of the article by the way,

"At the heart of the matter is a team whose sale will have repercussions for the NHL for years to come. The battle for ownership of the Nashville Predators might be the single-most important moment for the league in decades, even eclipsing in importance the lockout that scuttled the 2004-05 season."

Its so true, this fight will make or break Bettman's vision for the league. We all know his vision is flawed of course and will never work, but that hasn't stopped him before.

Since we've got a billionaire fighting the good fight, maybe this time (), somehow (), reason () and logic () can prevail.

I've reserved my seats, not planning on cancelling the deposit anytime soon. :wink:

Very well said ILoveHamilton.

He's got me excited about the potential, not only for Hamilton, but for what he means for the game and the league.

I've got my deposits in for the long haul too.

I'm not so sure teams not spending to the max is a good thing. The cap was brought in for cost certainty and competitive balance. If teams aren't fitting as much talent under the cap as possible, this might indicate that despite revenue sharing, teams can not afford such high salaries even within the cap. It might suggest that the still freshly minted CBA and NHL economic model may already be antiquated and broken.

Ummm... Football? Three downs? No curved sticks?

[url=http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070718.wstpnhlpa18/GSStory/GlobeSportsHockey/home]http://www.globesports.com/servlet/stor ... ockey/home[/url]
[quote=""CaptainKirk""] 2) There are teams now that are not spending to the salary cap max, so they would not have to incur more cost. You do not have to spend to the cap max. [/quote] but there are teams that can and are. not spending to the cap max while other teams are, will not give you a competitive team. therefore to compete with the big spenders, they have to borrow more money while bringing in the same individual team revenue. why do u think Nasville owner wants to sell his team? cause of all the profits he's making ? no. Even with a cup contender and revenue sharing he is losing money based on crummy attendance and no TV money/radio money. His individual team is not bringing in any money. More teams in Canada will result in even less U.S TV money and the same revenue generation their getting now meaning that more teams can afford to spend up to the cap while they cant.

The 10 'most money-losing' teams only get a small percentage of money-making teams' profits. I believe you're grosly over-estimating the revenue-sharing aspect of the CBA. You think individual owners want to give up most of their money

3) Furthermore, there is a revenue sharing agreement in place in which the teams that are losing money are compensated by the rich, so Miamai and Phoenix would be compensated.

So a rich, revenue generating team like Hamilton would share their revenue with Phoenix and Miami


That's the thing, not to the point where they make up for all the losses. You're right in that Balsillie is doing this partly for patriotism, but he is also a businessman. he can individually make more of a profit in hamilton than in nasville.

On the Prime Time Sports show on The Fan 590 radio last week, it was said by one of the panelists that Jim Balsillie has apparently promised the NHL that, if he was permitted to move an NHL team to southern Ontario, the team would not seek compensation out of the revenue sharing agreement if it lost money. Inaslump is probably correct that Jim Balsillie's bid to bring an NHL team to southern Ontario is driven by a combination of patriotism and profit expectation.

You're gonna love this story from the N.Y. Post

[url=http://www.nypost.com/seven/07222007/sports/power_play_sports_larry_brooks.htm]http://www.nypost.com/seven/07222007/sp ... brooks.htm[/url]

I have kinda lost my drive for this story when the news reported that Leopold was supposed to sell the team to a LA millionaire that agreed to move the team to KC for $50-80 million less than what Balsillie had offered. I thought there…either BOG interference or Bettman, and it turns out to some degree I am right.

I had no idea that a new plan to expand the NHL to 32 teams was even out there. I am not sure this is good or bad. I think I’d rather see 30 teams one of which being Hamilton. I think I will save my judgement for when this issue goes before the Board of Governers and a final solution is put ahead but if Bettman is responsible for putting a stop on another Canadian expansion, lets hope he is fired for it.

Thanks for finding and posting the article by Larry Brooks in today's edition of the New York Post, 55yardlineguy. An interesting read indeed!

Interesting 55yardlineguy, thanks for posting it.

I'm not sure if Hamilton could really be in contention for expansion or not though, again I think that would depend on how much power Bettman has. I personally think his power and influence within the NHL is dwindling as the controversy grows. Other owners might not like one of their own being strong-armed into taking a much less lucrative offer for instance.