Every once in a while I get a little soft, and write something that is sappy and boring. Then I think of the injustices suffered in this case. Then, I put those sappy articles back in mothballs and get back to business.
Before I begin, I want to make a personal salute to a ranter on Makeitseven.ca. His name is Patrick Romanoski, and he has to be one of the most persistent diggers of information that I have ever witnessed. He is a wealth of information and wisdom. Patrick, thank you. And, there are several more contributors that I want to mention. Perhaps we can do this over the next while.
For the bullet summary, please go here.
Is it over yet?
OK, where are we now?
We are at the part where the NHL grovels so low that they what? They put their own bid in? No way! Get out! Really?
They say real life is stranger than anything we could possibly think up ourselves. Real life is stranger than fiction.
Did anyone think this case could get any more bizarre than it has? Is it close to over? Is it going to get any stranger?
Let’s think of the fans in Phoenix right now.
They must be suffering some kind of disbelief of what has happened.
At first, the NHL looked like their best friends. What must have been part of their thinking? How about this:
Isn’t Gary wonderful. Go Gary Go! Save the Coyotes! Game On Arizona!
Look, Gary sent us a memo to our rally! He supports the franchise, and says he sees us surviving long into the future.
Hey, did you hear? Jerry Reinsdorf is coming in with a bid, and the NHL supports Reinsdorf. He’s good. He’s got lots of experience and he knows how to make teams succesful. Jerry will be our white knight! Yeah Jerry!
Boy, that Jerry Moyes. He sure ran this team into the ground with poor management. That was it. Just poor management. The other Jerry will show Moyes how it’s done. What? He wants to get $104 million out of the team when he sells? Forget it! He doesn’t deserve it. Go Reinsdorf go! We’re with you! Save the Coyotes!
That was likely pretty close to the thinking of the Phoenix Coyotes fans at the outset of this case.
The NHL had found the white knight.
Now, the white knight is gone. He bowed out under what is described as a negative publicity campaign:
“We have faced an organized publicity effort designed to provide negative and misleading information to interested parties,” it said. “Not only has this stymied negotiations, but it has eroded local market demand for Coyotes tickets, luxury boxes, and sponsorships.”
Okay? Where is the negative publicity effort exactly? Did anyone see a negative PR campaign? Anybody?
I’d like to know how exactly the Balsillie group did this, and where it was from. How did they do it exactly?
Would this be about the collusion accusations from Moyes? Is that it? If so, those were justified accusations.
When it is claimed they had made great inroads in negotiations, would that have included the $23 million in annual concessions requested from a city already laying off staff to suck up the $14 million deficit? Is that it?
I’m sorry, but I do not see any favors to anybody in the negotiations. And the negative publicity? Don’t confuse that with any uncovering of truth that was presented. Don’t bother. Please.
As for the NHL’s promises to the fans of the Phoenix Coyotes.
I feel sorry for the fans in Phoenix because, let’s be real as Dr. Phil, you were fed a lot of snow.
The proof is in the realities that are now apparent.
Fact: Jerry Reinsdorf had incredibly high concession demands, and the city of Glendale would be on the hook for any team financial failures. Not a lot of risk there for anyone but the taxpayers of Glendale.
Fact: The Reinsdorf offer had a five year out clause despite the taxpayers liability. No amount of confidence or risk.
Fact: The NHL’s bid is even less supportive with a one season out clause.
So much for Bill Daly’s press conference where he claimed this in early July:
Daly stressed the new terms would not allow the Coyotes to break the lease in a year or two and move elsewhere.
The NHL must fight for the bankrupt Coyotes to stay in Glendale long-term, he said, to send a message to other cities that have spent money attracting or retaining hockey teams.
Yeah Bill! Go NHL go!
Sorry Phoenix, that was a snowjob!
This week, the NHL has filed it’s own offer with the bowing out of Reinsdorf, and the out clause as you know, is one season. No long term. Not even two years.
What happened to the ‘message’ the NHL wants to send? That was so last month, eh Bill?
This is late August and things are now a lot different. It’s snowing in August in Arizona.’Snow job’ that is.
Well, at the end of the day the NHL has to get it’s act together and get organized.
To that end, we thought we’d throw in this pic of the boys trying out the his and his Blackberries. Do you think they were compliments of RIM?
No way! Gary and Bill BBM'ing each other? Get out!
Anyhow, back to the issues…
What really bothers me is no matter how much exposure of the NHL’s shortcomings are made known, they continue to point the finger at others.
The NHL also cited ongoing harm to the franchise as the bankruptcy proceeding drags on.
“The bankruptcy petition and subsequent events have been incredibly damaging to the club’s business,” Daly said, “and the sooner the club can be extricated from the bankruptcy process, the sooner club personnel can begin to restore the team’s vitality and local fan base.”
Oh, Daly said ‘vitality’ not ‘viability’. OK, I can live with that. In July he said ‘viability’. I get it. Well, at least he is not saying long term viability anymore, especially with the huge lack of confidence the league has shown with that whole one year and out idea in their bid.
How did I get so off track? Well, this case has become a farce. Let’s call it. It’s officially a farce. A sick as all get out joke. A joke that is far from funny, really.
I actually feel sorry for mainstream media. They have to report the facts and the events as they occur.
“OK, now we have the NHL in, and Reinsdorf out, and Ice Edge also filed their bid, and yada, yada, yada”.
Come on! We all know they want to grab a blog and say “what the _____.”
We all want to say, come on!
But, let’s get back to reality for a moment. I will finish with this summary and opinion.
The Coyotes were never just about hockey. The city of Glendale colluded to get rid of Moyes, and they were assisted by certain parties in Glendale and this case, and they were helped also by the NHL. No doubt.
Jerry Moyes was stripped of his money and spat out like a used piece of gum.
The NHL has snowed the fans of Phoenix with a false sense of loyalty, and only now do the true colors of the NHL become obvious.
The NHL and the Reinsdorf group were looking to relocate this team either now, or within five years to another centre that fits the plan of the NHL.
The NHL has painted Jim Balsillie any way they can to avoid him putting a team in southern ontario because of the MLSE objection, and also because they would not get an expansion fee.
The NHL is looking really bad, and really dishonest. Who can trust the heads of this league anymore?
The NHL has shunned the fans of Canada, and is quickly shunning the fans of Phoenix.
Jim Balsillie has a brighter future in the NHL than Gary Bettman, and let’s see who is around in 10 years.
Jim Balsillie, despite being voted against, has been approached by other struggling franchises, and is the true white knight to help the destitute owners.
And, because I can, I have this to add. I hope Jerry Moyes gets his $104 million, and Jim Balsillie gets to move the franchise to Hamilton. I hope Jerry Moyes becomes an honorary lifetime member of the new team. It took great courage to bring this team in to court for the ride we are experiencing.
I hope those involved in hanging Moyes out to dry pay the piper.
I hope the league gets torn to the ground and is rebuilt with true, caring hockey people.
I hope we all learn that it is not OK to treat another human being with utter disrespect.
I hope one day some grown men will grow up and be able to take responsibility for their actions, and admit when they were wrong.
I hope the less than ethical officials at Glendale city hall find themselves not getting re-elected for the abuse of the taxpaying voters.
I hope the rich folks involved in this case learn that money and the quest for more is not what is important in life.
But, to start, let’s get this team to Hamilton, and get Jerry Moyes some money back.
It’s been snowing in Glendale long enough.