Pink Tacos and Black Berries

by Ryan

The news of the evening has been Jim Balsillie’s constant yearnings for a hockey team. On the heels of the Coyotes filing for bankruptcy, he’s made a pretty impressive push for the franchise.

Coyotes Balsillie Hockey

Now this is certainly something we’ve seen before, but it’s pretty clear that this is his best organized and well timed effort yet. With ownership nowhere to be found the Coyotes clearly have a need, and the support the City of Phoenix has given the franchise pales in comparison to Pittsburgh or Nashville.

Most importantly, Balsillie is getting better at this whole franchise-stealing thing. He’s clearly making a regional effort out of this, and getting some support generated is an important part of the process. When he tried to step in and take the Penguins and Predators it seemed like a one man show. This time he’s going about things a bit differently, and I think the NHL will have to take notice because of it.

I don’t think a franchise in Southern Ontario will be good for the Sabres, but I doubt that’s what the league takes into consideration first of foremost. They need an owner, and right now there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of outcry in Arizona just yet.

Either way, the franchise has plenty of portability value in their roster, and would make for an exciting hockey team if they were given some stability somewhere. I have a feeling that all this gets figured out sometime before October, if you know what I mean.

4 Comments

  1. I’m pretty freaked out by this. I seriously doubt that the longterm health of the Sabres organization will be considered at all in this process, and that scares me. I do think that there are a lot of unserved hockey fans in Southern Ontario, and I think the Sabres have benefited from that surplus. I’d love to see the numbers for Sabres season ticket holders living in Canada. Would those people remain Sabres customers? Hamilton is roughly the same distance away from Buffalo as Rochester is from Buffalo. Can the Sabres organization absorb that level of competition for fans? I’m worried that Hamilton will succeed at the expense of the Sabres.

    A few weeks ago when everyone was talking about a second team in Northern Toronto I was so happy because it was a temporary respite from this Hamilton threat. Someone needs to burn that damn arena in Hamilton down….for the sake of Sabres fans.

  2. The league has final say. And the Mirtle article is interesting.

    http://www.fromtherink.com/2009/5/6/866483/balsillies-battle-takes-to-the

    Bettman would rather fold the team, then sell it to Balsillie.

    Sabre fans shouldn’t worry too much. This is going to be a fight.

  3. Peter Farrell

    I’m wondering how many Canadians come down from metro Hamilton for games that don’t involve the Leafs or other Canadian based clubs. For some reason I don’t think it’s as many as people may believe. I’d say the real battle for fans with the Sabres will come for the people of the Niagara Region….The Falls, St. Catharine’s, Welland, Ft. Erie.

    Where would these fans go to games if another franchise showed up on the other side of the border?

  4. NoUseForANickname

    I hope he sues the NHL for a zillion dollars. If I was the Coyotes owner, I say fuck the NHL – he’s carried that team for years on their behest. Now…this guy wants to pay 210 million? Cripes…I’d rush to the bank. The idea that you don’t want another solvent team in the league is fine business policy and all…but this policy is hurting the league, the team, and the players. This team has been hemorrhaging money for a long time – in good ecomonic times. I don’t know what comes after hemorrhaging money, but that’s what’s going to happen now that the economy is in the crapper. And this is just the worst case!

    Lastly – screw Gary Bettman for putting the team there to begin with.