Sometimes it’s best to be up late here in the Roost, especially when stories like this break.
At first glance I was surprised, but then again, we all know the dire shape the Preds have been in since first donning those ugly unis down South. Ticket sales and corporate investments really do make or break a franchise nowadays, and from reports neither have been happening in Nashville. (Anyone can watch a game on Comcast and take away from it the fact that people simply aren’t showing up.)
Prospective buyer Jim Balsillie does have some recent history in buying a hockey team with shady interests in mind. Maybe this time he will make a commitment to keeping the team in the Music City. Either way, it’s going to be a tough road ahead for Jordin Tootoo and his whistle.
All joking aside, a potential move may be a good thing for the Board of Governors to go through with. While Gary Bettman and his dream of expanding the game may be at stake in places such as Nashville and Florida, the idea of moving a struggling franchise may not be a bad one. While being ad admission of failure to some, a return of hockey to an area capable of a stable franchise would strengthen the league itself and may give old school hockey fans some hope as to the future of the league.
While there are many true hockey fans in Nashville, there simply may not be enough. A decade is more than enough time to gauge how a franchise will fare, especially when being graced with some good teams. (2003 and this year, most notably) It simply may not be their fault, there are simply other interests in some towns, and if cities are begging for an NHL franchise, wooing will ensue.
I am not saying a move should and will happen, at the moment Mr. Blackberry isn’t even the owner yet. However, I am in favor of the possibility being explored. There is no proof that Kansas City can sustain interest, (See New Jersey Devils) and Winnepeg doesn’t even have the proper sized venue available; but nothing makes a franchise stabilize faster than putting the fear of God into its fans. Sporting a winning team is one thing, but putting that city on the brink seems to show what a town is truly made of. Look no further than Buffalo for evidence of that.
Either way, I’m still getting one of these bad boys…