Finally some good news on the NHL financial front: The Penguins have good credit.
More importantly, however, the Pens are now all but locked into the city for another 30 years. Bad news for those who still held out on those Sidney Crosby Scouts jerseys, but personally I’m happy to see some much needed stability in Pittsburgh. It is only the first step, but anyone in Buffalo knows that a simple agreement is nothing if the finances aren’t in place.
The whole situation was very similar to the Sabres’ plight just a few years ago. Anytime I thought of the Pens relocating I remembered how close we were to losing the Sabres to Seattle and Paul Allen. (How ridiculous does that sound now? Seattle is having trouble keeping the Sonics as we speak…)
The point is this: regardless of the state of the league, and no matter who has the cup right now and is doing God knows what to it, I’m happy for the Pens. Pittsburgh is slowly becoming one of those places where hockey matters again, and ensuring a team will be around for them is good for us all. No matter what Neilson ratings show, no matter what columnists say about the sport, hockey still matters to some people.
Pittsburgh is showing signs that it can become the “next Buffalo”, with a great group of young talent and surging fan interest. To get this league going again, it’s going to take a couple of cities making that leap. Besides, it would be nice to know that we aren’t all just out of our minds…