Friday, June 22, 2007

Leipold pulls the plug on Balsillie’s bid

Bye, Bye Hamilton, it's been nice to know you!

For the second time in less than three months, Jim Balsillie has been dumped at the altar by the NHL. Nashville Predators owner Craig Leipold apparently has sent a correspondence to the NHL office advising the NHL to no longer consider Jim Balsillie as a prospective owner of the team. It was the lack of a finalized deal, and the wish of Balsillie to seemingly move the team to Hamilton that were given as the two main reasons given for his reversal.

The latest development in the ongoing saga of the Predators was delivered by TSN as they opened up their coverage of the 2007 draft from Columbus, Ohio.

What will be fascinating to learn will be how much pressure the NHL put on Leipold to turn away the potential 240 million dollar windfall that the Balsillie bid would have provided to the Preds owner, who has seen hockey struggle for acceptance in Music City, USA.

What also will be interesting to watch will be the backlash against Gary Bettman in Canada, he has long played the song that he cares about hockey north of the border, but in this instance he seemed more than a little annoyed that Hamilton had arrived on the radar so quickly.
It will once again increase the decibel level in Canada that the Commissioner has no interest in returning the game to its strongest markets; and instead will continue on with an American agenda that seems to be failing in more than a few locations, including Nashville which at the moment still has a team... for now.

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