Friday, June 29, 2007

A funny thing happened on the way to Hamilton...

Gary Bettman must be working out on his ABS, (Anyone but Balsillie Strategy) these days, as the latest twist in the soap opera gripping the HockeyNation heads possibly to the west.

When we last left Craig Leipold, he was putting a bit of pressure on Canadian Blackberry guru Jim Balsillie, to get a bit more urgency into his due diligence and head for his favourite bank to get that 239 million dollar cheque.

While that bit of drama was playing out, the NHL seemed to be mounting a campaign to ensure that if Mr. Balsillie was to be the successful bidder for Nashville's Predators, that no roadblock would be left unmoved to make sure that his road to Hamilton was a rather hard one to travel.

But, if the latest maneuvers seem to be playing out right, Leipold has had a change of heart (and direction) and is singing Kansas City, Kansas City here they come...

It's a rather intense case of hardball negotiating that seems to be going on, most of it designed to keep Hamilton from joining the fold as Canada's seventh current franchise in Mr. Bettman's NHL.

While those who are holding out hope that Mr. Balsillie will rule the day, the last minute entry of the Kansas City money makes for an interesting situation, where if we're to believe the spin, Leipold, the owner of the Predators will be more than willing to take a thirty, forty or fifty million dollar hit for his fellow lodge members in the NHL.

Conspiracy buffs, start your engines.

The latest from the Balsillie/Bettman battles can be found below.

Balsillie bid in jeopardy
Leipold's Plan B likely not the end for Balsillie
Balsillie's bid hits a snag
Boots walks back into sale of Predators
Predators sale reportedly looking past Balsillie
Money isn't everything
Balsillie's bid to buy the Predators nixed: report
KC zeroes in on Nashville Predators of NHL as main Sprint Center tenant
Twists and Turns of Predators soap-opera
Gary Bettman is no fool
The Rant
Looks like Balsillie's shut out again
Balsillie's waiting game
Hamilton out as home for Preds: report
Shut out again

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