Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I Heart Jim

You know what? While this might be an unpopular opinion around these parts, I love Jim Balsillie. If he wasn't trying to put his team right on top of the Sabres, I'd be all about that crazy kook getting a team. I don't understand half of what's going on with the bankruptcy hearings but so far dude has taken deposits on season tickets for a franchise that doesn't exist and made big plans for renovating an arena he has nothing to do with. He's causing huge problems for Gary Bettman (love that Bettman is going on and on about keeping the franchise in Phoenix while the NHLPA is all, "Eh, Phoenix blows") and the NHL. This is a total mess but I kind of love his "I'm just gonna throw everything at the wall and see what sticks" method to trying to get a team. If I'm ever a multi-billionaire I plan to run around, partaking in all kinds of crazy shenanigans like this.

I have a few posts half started that I'll hopefully get around to finishing in the next few days but things might stay pretty quiet for the next week and a half or so. The end of the school year sucks and by the time I get home I just want to eat and crawl into bed. For those of you who are interested however, I did recently sign up for Twitter. I spent many, many months refusing Twitter but so far it's kind of fun. We'll see if it has staying power or if I'll get bored with it but for now I'm totally down. You can find me here. If you're not into it, it's cool. When I want to expound on a subject - and let's face it, I almost always do - it'll still happen here.


Becky said...

Is there a breakdown somewhere of the owners of professional teams that looks into their motivation? By this I mean is it a business investment? Or merely an icebreaker to further interests in another arena, like say politics?

How unique is loving a sport as the prime reason for owning a team? The Sabres had that with the Knox family, but even they weren't big on losing money.

Vanek's Hair said...

I don't know if I am against Jim Balsillie, or if I am against the condescending hockey people (Like Don Cherry just to name one) who think Hamilton is very deserving of an NHL franchise mainly because they are in Canada. Phoenix is not deserving of an NHL franchise because they are not in Canada.

I am fine with Balsillie trying to purchase a franchise, but I side with the NHL and Bettman in their position that Balsillie can purchase a franchise, but he has to leave it where the NHL says. I actually am surprised the NFL, MLB and NBA aren't more involved in helping the NHL, though I know they are monitoring the situation. Those leagues don't want the precedent that would come if Balsillie wins.

I think the only way the NHL can grow is to have it succeed in markets like Phoenix, Florida, Carolina, etc. It is good evidence of the poor business sense in the NHL that when Phoenix struggles, it obviously because those sun belt fans are too dumb to understand hockey. The better approach is to figure out why the product is being rejected and figure out a way to make it more palatable.

Oh, and the previous franchises that have struggled financially: Ottawa, Buffalo, Pittsburgh. Three cities regarded as "hockey markets" where the people "get" hockey.

Becky said...

Don't forget the Quebec Nordiques and the Winnipeg Jets. Winnipeg still wants a team...Maybe Balsillie should move.