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GeneHart2

Vancouver group looks to move Thrashers to Hamilton

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What people don't understand, is the complexity involved in moving the Thrashers:

1.) The Philips Arena naming rights deal, is tied to the arena housing both an NBA and NHL franchise. If you aren't in the know, the Atlanta Spirit owns the Thrashers, Hawks AND the lease on Philips Arena. Why would they choose the jeopardize the naming deal, as well as lose 41 days of operation each year?

2.) The Atlanta Spirit is still in a legal battle with Steve Belkin (a member of the ownership group looking to leave, due to a management feud over the Hawks), making any sale of the team impossible until that case has been worked out. There is no sign of that happening any time soon.

3.) The Atlanta Spirit signed a letter of commitment with the NHL upon purchasing the team, committing the team to Atlanta for an unknown number of years.

I hate all the rumors surrounding teams that do poorly in the standings. I would never wish such a thing on any other franchise - or it's fans. I especially despise these kinds of rumors when they are void of any specific sources, and pay no attention to the actual facts involved.

Don Waddell recently denied the report to the AJC.

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I hope the Thrashers stay! I like this rivalry... it is a healthy and exciting one. I'd much rather see Phoenix go, but in truth I don't want them to have to move either. It would be sad... for the fans.

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What people don't understand, is the complexity involved in moving the Thrashers:

1.) The Philips Arena naming rights deal, is tied to the arena housing both an NBA and NHL franchise. If you aren't in the know, the Atlanta Spirit owns the Thrashers, Hawks AND the lease on Philips Arena. Why would they choose the jeopardize the naming deal, as well as lose 41 days of operation each year?

2.) The Atlanta Spirit is still in a legal battle with Steve Belkin (a member of the ownership group looking to leave, due to a management feud over the Hawks), making any sale of the team impossible until that case has been worked out. There is no sign of that happening any time soon.

3.) The Atlanta Spirit signed a letter of commitment with the NHL upon purchasing the team, committing the team to Atlanta for an unknown number of years.

I hate all the rumors surrounding teams that do poorly in the standings. I would never wish such a thing on any other franchise - or it's fans. I especially despise these kinds of rumors when they are void of any specific sources, and pay no attention to the actual facts involved.

http://www.ajc.com/thrashers/content/metro/atlanta/stories/2009/05/09/thrashers_move_ontario.html' target="_blank">Don Waddell recently denied the report to the AJC[/post].

After reading your post, I'm thoroughly convinced the rumor about moving the Thrashers is just that, another rumor. And even if there is substance to it, you've shown why it doesn't have a leg to stand on at the end of the day. I'm not gonna even say I hope Atlanta keeps their team, not because I don't want them to (I do), because I feel like they just aren't going anywhere. At least on the surface, it seems there are a handful of teams with bigger problems than anything Atlanta could be dealing with.

Why do these rumors pop up every stinkin' year?

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http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=278109''>http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=278109' target="_blank">http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=278109[/post]

Hamilton is suddenly an NHL property hotbed.

As Research In Motion CEO Jim Balsillie battles Gary Bettman for control of the Phoenix Coyotes, there is reportedly a group interested in relocating the Atlanta Thrashers to Steeltown.

According to The Hamilton Spectator, city mayor Fred Eisenberger will meet with a Vancouver-based group on Monday to discuss a proposed lease for Copps Coliseum.

Eisenberger would not disclose any details of the second group, but a source confirmed to The Spectator that Vancouver developer Tom Gaglardi is leading the charge.

''By next Tuesday we will have a clearer picture of where we are'' Eisenberger told The Spectator. ''We're in the middle of discussions with Mr. Balsillie and his group and I will be meeting with the second group. We need to understand their intentions. It's fair to say I will be talking to that second group," Eisenberger said.

Gaglardi's group is Hamilton's second NHL suitor. City staff is currently working on a proposed lease with Balsillie, who hopes to buy and relocate the Coyotes to Hamilton for the 2009 season.

Gaglardi is reportedly interested in having the Thrashers in Hamilton in time for the 2010 season.

With files from The Hamilton Spectator

Where in the hell is Hamilton? Indiana?

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Extra large battle brews for Balsillie

Hortons magnate once craved his NHL fix, too

Joe O'Connor, National Post

Published: Saturday, May 09, 2009

Ron Joyce knows Jim Balsillie, and he respects and admires him as a businessman. Joyce is a businessman, too. He helped transform a small coffee and doughnut shop that was opened in Hamilton by his hockey-playing buddy, Tim Horton, into a Canadian cultural icon and internationally recognized brand.

Joyce has done some other things with his life along the way, including the very thing that Balsillie, the BlackBerry king, is attempting to do now.

In 1990, Joyce was Jim Balsillie. He was the guy with the deep pockets trying to bring a National Hockey League team to Hamilton. Unlike the Canadian maverick now confronting Gary Bettman and the NHL in an Arizona bankruptcy court for control of the Phoenix Coyotes, Joyce's Hamilton bid played by the rules. His group was not trying to move an existing franchise, it was trying to win a bid for an expansion team. They were convinced they would be successful right up until learning they had been rejected in favour of Ottawa and Tampa Bay.

It was a devastating blow to Joyce, his group, and the city of Hamilton, and it was largely delivered by the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Buffalo Sabres, two existing franchises with no interest in seeing an upstart appear in what was -- at least in the Leafs case -- their recognized territory. Joyce was so upset by the news he broke down in tears during a television interview.

Nearly two decades later, Balsillie is making another run but by his own rules. Balsillie's legal team in Phoenix has accused the NHL of running its business like an "illegal cartel" in court documents, while alleging the Leafs have long been colluding with the league to preserve their lucrative financial fiefdom in the Greater Toronto Area. The gloves are off, and Joyce suspects that getting into to a legal brawl with a league you want to join is not the best way to bring an NHL team to Hamilton.

"If [Gary Bettman] does not want Mr. Balsillie to have the franchise in Hamilton, or anywhere as far as that goes, he has got a bit of an uphill battle," Joyce said yesterday. "If you depend on the courts, the courts could make a decision. And let's assume Balsillie wins. Are they going to accept that as a win, or will they challenge it with an appeal? So, I guess what I am saying, if they don't want him at all as an owner, and they don't want him in Hamilton, [balsillie] has got a real uphill battle legally."

The courtroom fight is not the only problem facing Balsillie, according to the former coffee-shop magnate. There are larger issues. Is Hamilton an economically viable destination for the NHL? Joyce does not think so. He loves the Steeltown, but discounts the notion that having a professional sports team puts a city on the map. Teams do not matter. Money does. And with the NHL business model dependent on ticket sales and, more importantly, selling corporate boxes, Hamilton is an unnatural economic fit for the big leagues.

"I count my lucky stars that I didn't get the team, because of the financial mess the NHL is in today," Joyce said. "Mr. Balsillie, if he is successful, has deep pockets and he is going to need them, because you don't have enough head offices in Hamilton, in my opinion, to support the private boxes program which is such an integral part of making it work today."Joyce should know. The Hamilton bid failed, but the multimillionaire philanthropist did get into the hockey business for a time as a part owner of the Calgary Flames. Skyrocketing player salaries and a weak Canadian dollar in the 1990s, as well as questions as to how the team was being run, prompted Joyce sell his stake in the Flames in 2001.

Now, the man who played by all the rules and lost in 1990 believes the billionaire who is breaking them in 2009, would be best advised to close his wallet and walk away.

"Now, we as Canadians would love to get another Canadian team," Joyce says. "Would Quebec City work? Probably not. Would Halifax work? Definitely not. Would Winnipeg work? Maybe, I don't know, they sure want one. But you need a lot of head offices and you need a lot of capital, and especially when you look at what is going on in the world economy today, owning a NHL team -- or any professional sport, really -- is a challenge, profitability wise, with a lot of different cities. To answer your question: There is not a lot of optimism. I see more negatives than positive."

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The courtroom fight is not the only problem facing Balsillie, according to the former coffee-shop magnate. There are larger issues. Is Hamilton an economically viable destination for the NHL? Joyce does not think so. He loves the Steeltown, but discounts the notion that having a professional sports team puts a city on the map. Teams do not matter. Money does. And with the NHL business model dependent on ticket sales and, more importantly, selling corporate boxes, Hamilton is an unnatural economic fit for the big leagues.

Despite the fact that Balsillie's ticket drive last year received 13 000 season ticket deposits and corporate deposits for all the sky boxes.

Joyce also said the only way it'd work is if the team was run by a guy who had very deep pockets and need not worry about losing millions in the short term....he pointed to Balsillie as that possible man.

Despite Joyce's pessimistic stance on all this, Bettman isn't going to endorse anything he says as support for the NHL's cause. The NHL's involvement with Joyce would only make the league look like hypocrites. Bettman keeps preaching about "respect for the NHL's rules". In 1990 the NHL had three cities bid for 2 new expansion teams (Tampa Bay, Ottawa, and Hamilton). There was also 5 main criteria that HAD to be met for the league to seriously consider each city. I can't remember all of them off hand but they were something like this.

1. Certain number of sold season ticket deposits

2. Expansion Fee up front

3. An Arena that meets NHL standards

4. Certain amount of sponsorship.

5. I can't remember the 5th one.

Hamilton and Ron Joyce had met 4 out of the 5, but promised to pay the other half of the Expansion Fee before the season started. Tampa Bay and Ottawa only bet something like 1 or 2 of the criteria. Neither city had an arena and lacked a few of the other things. Pretty much it looked like a shoe-in for Hamilton, but we all know the two teams that won. Why make "rules" if you're not going to follow them, or only follow them when they work in favour of what you want?

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Why make "rules" if you're not going to follow them, or only follow them when they work in favour of what you want?

Well that's easy. Because your last name starts with B and ends with ettman.

(I know it was rhetorical, but I had no choice)

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Got a question Hoyle. If Hamilton does end up with a team, will you still be a Habs fan?

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Despite the fact that Balsillie's ticket drive last year received 13 000 season ticket deposits and corporate deposits for all the sky boxes.

Joyce also said the only way it'd work is if the team was run by a guy who had very deep pockets and need not worry about losing millions in the short term....he pointed to Balsillie as that possible man.

Despite Joyce's pessimistic stance on all this, Bettman isn't going to endorse anything he says as support for the NHL's cause. The NHL's involvement with Joyce would only make the league look like hypocrites. Bettman keeps preaching about "respect for the NHL's rules". In 1990 the NHL had three cities bid for 2 new expansion teams (Tampa Bay, Ottawa, and Hamilton). There was also 5 main criteria that HAD to be met for the league to seriously consider each city. I can't remember all of them off hand but they were something like this.

1. Certain number of sold season ticket deposits

2. Expansion Fee up front

3. An Arena that meets NHL standards

4. Certain amount of sponsorship.

5. I can't remember the 5th one.

Hamilton and Ron Joyce had met 4 out of the 5, but promised to pay the other half of the Expansion Fee before the season started. Tampa Bay and Ottawa only bet something like 1 or 2 of the criteria. Neither city had an arena and lacked a few of the other things. Pretty much it looked like a shoe-in for Hamilton, but we all know the two teams that won. Why make "rules" if you're not going to follow them, or only follow them when they work in favour of what you want?

Becuase Gary Bettman is supreme leader of the universe and can do whatever he wants.

But really, Bettman realzies that cities like Hamilton and Winnipeg would fit right in with the CBA created in 2005 and will do whatever it takes not to have teams there.

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