Nashville Predators' Sale Tainted?

Here is an excellent article by Steve Simmons in today's edition of The Toronto Sun about the odd business arrangement for the sale the Nashville Predators franchise.

"August 5, 2007

The odour oozing from the Preds' sale is rather pungent ... Becks bending the rules ... Race card has no bearing on Vick ... HD rules

The franchise sale that kept the Predators in Nashville -- for now -- doesn't pass the smell test.

Among the questions that linger in the obvious slighting of potential owner Jim Balsillie and his overt and clumsy attempts to move the team to Hamilton, are these:

Who is making up the dollar difference for previous owner Craig Leipold, who seemed downright gleeful to sell his money-losing team for $40 million US less than Balsillie offered? Clearly the difference will be made up to him, some way, somehow, from somebody?

How did Boots del Baggio, a minority owner in the San Jose Sharks, who a minute ago was trying to move the Predators to Kansas City, end up as the single largest investor in keeping a team in a market that has no market?

And if the new owners were so committed to keeping hockey in Nashville, why is it that they didn't negotiate the end of the "out clause" that would allow the franchise to be moved if not enough tickets were sold?

And, if you're an NHL owner, please explain this: How do you fight to lower the price of a franchise for sale, which ultimately drops the value of all franchises, and at the same time fight against moving to a market assured of sellouts and success?

We anxiously await the explanations, assuming we ever get them."

Simmons has asked the right questions. However, answers to those questions are not likely forthcoming from Messrs. Leipold, Del Biaggio, and Bettman any time soon.

Yes, it is. LOL

Bettman has more machinations going than a time-travelled Machiavelli trapped in a phone booth, but I digress.

My prediction is that Del Biaggio will manoeuvre the Preds out of Nashville within three years. Big stink time.

For Balsillie, it has become a waiting game.

Oski Wee Wee,

If I were Balsillie, I'd just target another team ala FLA, ATL, BUF, with another too good to refuse offer and continue, I think his biggest misread of Leipold, he and Bettman are good friends and Leipold was too easily swayed.

Word is that other teams have already targeted Balsillie. Said to be Phoenix, Atlanta, Tampa and Miami.

Bettmans golden ticket, how he wanted to leave his mark on the NHL by expanding it heavily into the US market is falling apart on him.

4 of 30 teams - Phoenix, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Florida

All teams which were brought into being by Bettman are now in dire straights. Its only a matter of time before we see another Canadian team. Balsillie has made his intentions quite clear he wants to own a team, he wants to move it close to his home, just a wait and see now to see if he can break Bettmans hold over the BOG.

^^^ Don't forget Nashville.

It was the worst. It has the lowest revenue and receives the most equalization payments.

This sale to local owners solved nothing. It postponed the inevitable.

I’m sorry what does the deal have to do with the Cats.
Ticats Forever!!!

Yeah, Bettman’s legacy will be a poor one indeed. I would LOVE IT if Hamilton getting an NHL team came the same year Bettman leaves in disgrace.

And yes this is a Cats forum, but its also the best forum to possible discuss this issue seeing as there are no Hamilton Predators websites and the Tiger-Cats are the biggest sports team in town.

No Hamilton Preds website - surprising, actually, since they’ve got one of the strongest season ticket bases in the league. :lol: :stuck_out_tongue:

I am a hockey fan, much like most of you are I am sure, but does anyone else get the feeling that the NHL is a mess and has become a complete joke?

Gary Bettman does the exact opposite of what all hockey fans/pundits know what is right for the game. The lockout did nothing to address fiscal imbalances, and there is still this "old boys club" that secretly makes the decisions ala the Freemasons. (except the 'masons were successful at one point!)

I will be honest with you, I love sports almost as much as I love my girlfriend, but with the CFL and NFL, I just don't care about the NHL anymore!

WAR American businessmen ruining Canada's game.

  • paul

What about St Louis??

I was there in January and the company that we were visiting took us to a Blues game. We sat in a private box above the ice it was great having the view, the free beer and the food but what I saw in the arena was terrible.

The place was three quarters empty - no atmoshpere at all, just the usual horrible organist trying to get the fans going. We estimated that there was about 6,000 fans at the game, even though the official attendance was 12,000.

Let's face it only Canadians and a few places in the US really like hockey and are willing to put 18,000 people in the seats.

GOOD-BYE NHL and the American Cronnies - I'll now watch anything but from now on - of course I'll miss the 3 hour comedy show every week called The Toronto Maple Leafs

GOOD-BYE NHL and the American Cronnies - I'll now watch anything but from now on - of course I'll miss the 3 hour comedy show every week called The Toronto Maple Leafs

Yes but the blues now have Kariya and some other key players to help end the Post-Pronger & McInnis Days and write a new chapter in their franchise history.

It will be quite a before Hamilton franchise is created, you'd be better off watching our Calder Cup Winning Dogs :slight_smile:

I am a Blues fan. I have been to the games and they have great fans. Unlike Leaf fans they are fickle. The Blues have put bad teams on the ice for 2 seasons(not to mention the lockout) and they will not pay for tickets under those circumstances. By doing so they have also forced management to improve the hockey club prior to returning to the turnstiles. You may not like the organist in St. Louis, as I do not like the awful music at the Leaf games, nor the general sit on our hands fan base.
Betteman's tenure is appearing to be coming to an end. The dissention of certain owners is evident as the long term plan is failing. The current free agent signings for outrageous $$/terms has undermined the lockout, and the lockout has had huge negative impact on non traditional hockey markets. The question does remain that if the NHL does not care about the fans by not completing the season, why should they care. Many USA based teams do not have the luxury of alienating fans and having them still lining up to buy duckets, and the struggling markets have minimal local players or an infastructure of local hockey development.
Hamilton/KW may have a team yet.

Here's what will happen: There's no way del Biaggio decided to join the Nashville bid without his own agenda. Don't be surprised to find out that the difference in sale price was made up by him. The team will play in Nashville through the 2008/09 season, drawing more and more money from the revenue sharing system. By this time, it will be justifiable in the eyes of the NHL to move the team...and, surprise! One of the part-owners has everything set up in Kansas City. That would explain why the "out clause" wasn't negotiated out of the deal.

This team is moving, but it will be somewhere in the United States. Likely Kansas City.

First off, I like that organist in St. Loo! Boston does a similar job---feels/ sounds kinda classy...a bit old school!

Also, as much as I want a team in Hamilton, the Blues would be one of the few U.S teams that I hope would stay. The have some history and their fan support was very strong until the NHL and owners toyed with them.

I think there are probably 3 sunbelt teams (Phoenix, Miami and Atlanta) that are rip for the picking---no one would miss them at all.

I'm really hoping that this ridiculous slight only fuels Balsillie to keep trying. It be sweet to see the NHL in the Hammer.

Until such time, we definitely have something worth celebrating with our Bulldogs.

My comment against the Organist wasn't really directed at St Louis. I just don't like them at hockey games - but that's just me. I realize that the organ thing is one of those hockey traditions, I really can't see the point of it. I don't like the loud train horns they blow either, like the one here in Ottawa - why do we need a horn to tell us we just scored?? Isn't it obvious.