Friday, August 7, 2009

How About This Whole Coyotes Mess Now?

So I don't know about you all but I'm pretty torn about this stuff with the Coyotes - Jim Balsille-Jerry Reinsdorf mess. First as a hockey fan, when I put myself into a Phoenix fans shoes I find myself rooting for the fans which means rooting for Reinsdorf which means rooting for - Gary Bettmann - and that is something I just can't do, at all.

Then I read an article/post about the business deal aspect of the whole staying in Glendale thing, with the likely concessions and or the concessions the Reinsdorf bid wants. Now for me it's clear I can't support it. First it screws the creditors, not at all the intent of US Bankruptcy Laws and the process, second it screws a super set of folks that likely includes some of the same Coyotes fans that don't want to see the team moved - the taxpayers of Glendale (see this post at From The Rink.) Whatever happens I just can't be for any outcome that so compromises the rights of the real victims of this mess the Coyotes creditors - and its more and more clear that Bankruptcy was indeed the only right thing to do to stop the bleeding.

Finally as more and more comes out about the Reinsdorfs, their bid, and the other business dealings of Reinsdorfs etc. I find it harder and harder to understand the stiff necked, resolute opposition of the other owners to Jim Balsillie. I don't dispute that like a bunch of affluent owners of Co-Ops in a pricey, exclusive building in NYC, the members of the Co-Op board have rights and can pick their neighbors or at least exercises some control and due process when one of them wants to or has to sell their shares/unit. My wonderment is grounded in their opposition to Balsillie in such overwhelming fave to a group of buyers who have at least as many issues as the Blackberry Billionaire from Southern Ontario.

Now to be sure Balsillie has done nothing this time around but rub the other NHL owners "faces in it". Clearly a stupid way to start out with folks who you want to be neighbors with. Comparing Balsillie with Al Davis of the Oakland Raiders just isn't at all right. Davis was one of the pioneers of the AFL and had been a long time owner and peer of the his NFL Colleagues when he decided not to go along with them. Balsillie isn't in the club yet. Even Billionaires understand that the key is to do what it takes to get into the club and then once you're in then you can act like Al Davis, or any other of "the boys." To me, now that he's won the right to put in a bid, it's time for Balsillie to go out of his way to make some amends with the other NHL owners and even Gary Buttmann. The first step and a smart one all around would be to say openly and in his bid that this season, if he wins and buys the Coyotes they will stay and play in Glendale, but they will move next season to their upgraded arena in Hamilton. That move will help salve some wounds and will help his bid given with his court win, it's likely other bids that move the team out of Phoenix will also come forth and be considered. He should also offer some compensation to the Maple Leafs and the Sabres, but nothing on the order of the crazy stuff the Nationals Ownership had to concede to Peter Angelos.

Finally to sweeten the bid to the folks in the jurisdiction that the Bankruptcy Court will hear this case, he should put some offers on the table to the City of Glendale for breaking the lease...

This still might not win it for the Blackberry Billionaire but it'll certainly raise the ante should anyone else want to come to the table and I think it'll send Reinsdorf on his way.

Besides I want to see Gary Buttmann with a sour puss face meeting with Jim Balsillie to give him the keys. Maybe then he won't have time to think about the next dumb rule change he wants to put in place to try and ruin the NHL by assuming it's hard core fans are like and want what NBA fans want.

Obviously there was no significant Washington Capitals related news to muse about today... I can't wait till Camp opens.



Dan, Jr. said...

Hey Mark,

I totally agree with all your points in this matter. The Phoenix fans do deserve the ... shall we call it a "Farewell Season", if 'sille or anybody wants to move the team. The NHL clearly hate Basille so much they'll accept just about anybody else as a new owner. He hasn't been terribly cordial to them, but they've black balled him a few times now. Is there any scenario in which they can possibly make up and pick him?

"... But it's gonna take money
A whole lotta spending money
It's gonna take plenty of money
To do it right child

It's gonna take time
A whole lot of precious time
It's gonna take patience and time, ummm
To do it, to do it, to do it, to do it, to do it,
To do it right child ..."
George Harrison - "Got My Mind Set On You"

Usually Frustrated Caps Fan said...

Great Comment!

If anyboby has proven they've got their mind set on owning an NHL team out there who has "the whole lot of money" it's gonna take - I'd say it was Jim Balsillie..

Whether he can now get through the 32+ guys who are as you point out blackballing him is yet to be seen.

One thing is for sure, if he succeeds those firt few owners meetings he is at after he does won't all be "Peaches and Cream."

Also I hope if he does succeed once he does he won't loose interest.