Plastic Ice may be a metaphor for the phony integrity of a league gone south
Plastic Ice at Caesar’s Palace? ‘Shut up!”
What would Tim Horton say about that?
The Commissioner had mentioned repeatedly, that the NHL is not looking to expand the league at this time.
At this time is the operative words. But, folks in Vegas can head the words, ‘Put your money where your mouth is!‘
What could change the thinking of the NHL?
Could an emergency situation change thinking from an expansion opportunity to a relocation one? If you went to the Awards Show, it’s your own fault for enjoying it. ‘That’s what you get for waking up in Vegas!’
The boys on the Globe and Mail on a June 6, 2009 podcast discussed this too. (please go to this link, and look for the show on the radio).
The big question is, how would they be able to pull this off at this time, in light of the promises made and the support given to the Phoenix Coyotes’ fans over the past several months? Well, hold that thought. We will return to it in a short while.
I am here to speak to all, but am hoping that the fans in Phoenix pay close attention. For they have supported and backed the efforts of the NHL to keep the team in Glendale. So, please, without bias against me, listen carefully.
Back on July 5th, I wrote an article (almost the first) that looked at the initial reaction to the ‘no money down bid’ of Jerry Reinsdorf. There were conflicts there. On the one hand, it appeared that the presumptuous nature of it – expecting all kinds of renegotations and concessions, raised several red flags. It seemed to be an intentional making of a deal-breaker. Nobody would expect at the end of the day for it to come off.
So, if the NHL is backing Jerry Reinsdorf, we must look beyond the obvious, to a reasonable plan of attack.
Firstly, it is no secret in the league’s inner circle that the players would welcome a venue in Vegas. The joke as explained by the Globe and Mail Roundtable, is that the home team would be 41 and 0. The visiting team would be out all night enjoying the atmosphere.
Is it a coincidence the Awards Show ends up in Vegas? Testing the waters like foreshadowing coming events or intentions? They went as far as laying plastic ice at Caesar’s Palace to the amusement of the passers-by.
So, you don’t think Vegas is a viable location? Well, entertain these ideas.
Nobody expects a Casino to be an owner in the NHL. But, Casinos have lots of money, and they are in a competition of their own amongst the high roller gamblers. So, would they all buy luxury suites that pale in comparison to what’s available today? The supersuite that is to be part of the new Madison Square Garden could very well be multi in nature in Vegas, where money is a tool to stay up late, and the economy, like sleep, is almost imaginary.
For that reason, they likely could sell seats and corporate boxes a whole lot easier than in a suburb of Phoenix, where the majority of the population are die hard, blue collar workers. People with passion, but reducing disposable income.
All income in Vegas is disposable! That would almost make NHL hockey rates a bargain, that is not seen that way elsewhere.
Sorry folks, when did you think loyalty and love for hockey would protect your team? For the precedent, oh ya, look at where the Coyotes hailed from. Winnipeg had passion, but wasn’t glitzy enough for the new NHL. You folks in Glendale are becoming a sister city to Winnipeg in the sense that you too are soon to be shunned like the other. The new glitzy may be a lot more than you can now offer. As the NHL becomes more show and less memories and dreams, welcome to our nightmare.
OK, back to the bid and more importantly the contacts and team of Reinsdorf, Reinsdorf, Kaites, and Tavares. Yes! Remember those names. The white knight and the robust group! It’s a robust group with an even greater robust plan. You can place a wager on that (sorry, considering the whole Vegas thing)!
The bid, as we are to learn now through an innocent slip of a lawyer’s tongue, included an all important out-clause in five years (2014). So, if the team did not do well, Reinsdorf, with the blessings of the concocting NHL would be free to move to plan B. Kinda like the Plan B bidders we saw come and now disappear. You know who we are talking about. But, don’t count them out, they may be needed again, and soon. Or, somebody they know. Or, a friend of a friend, of a friend. ‘And so on, and so on, and so on.’
You see, the way it would appear to work, is there is a front man, and then a whole pile of ‘secret investors’ in the background that might get scared off if too much information is made public. Give you and me a break!
Kaites, saying the group was robust, but not disclosing who they were, is what I am talking about. Reinsdorf, knowing now that the cat is out of the bag, and the relocation clause is now known, is ready to run too. If everything was as it should be, if you in Phoenix knew the truth up front, the white knight and the boys would be just human again. But, nobody is ever supposed to know anything. Just pay for your tickets and be thankful we decided to let you see hockey. OK?
It’s not acceptable to me. It should not be acceptable to you! Period. End of story.
I ramble. Sorry, but my prediction from July 5th is sadly coming true. The NHL and the kingpins behind the BOG do not want Jim Balsillie in the club. Why? He is a straight shooter for one.
Jim Balsillie has always professed the truth and his offer did not say, ‘OK, I will keep the team in Glendale. But if the sun and moon do not line up on the third Tuesday in July, and it is over 70 degrees at night, then I get to relocate the team.’
Let’s return to the ‘robust group’.
Tony ‘grease the skids’ Tavares moved the Montreal Expos from their long term home in Montreal, to Washington. Ron Reusch, a long time Montreal reporter and broadcaster said it best in one of his warnings to the fans of Phoenix. Ohhh, that cannot be good. He was right. When you see Tony, don’t expect to carve your initials in ‘your’ seat. It won’t likely matter. Hence, 2014? Hence, all kinds of miracle expectations?
I will end with this thought.
To the loyal fans in Glendale. I feel your pain. But the bigger pain I feel is you being taken for an emotional rollercoaster ride by the powers that be.
The bottom line is that if your town cannot, and your City cannot give the big boys what they want, then adios amigos.
It won’t matter where this team goes in their eyes. They will find another ‘front man’, with financing hidden from view, and move the team to KC, or Vegas, or wherever else. That won’t matter.
What does matter is that the team will not be in Glendale, or Hamilton if the NHL can help it.
So, when Gary Bettman said that the offer will make Jim Balsillie’s ‘pale in comparison’ he said something he should not have said. It suggested the real plan. The real money with relocation. Who will front this plan? Who knows? Who cares? It’s just another deception in a long line of deception.
So Glendale, ‘Shut up and put your money where your mouth is, that’s what you get’….
‘…. you’ll be waking up in Vegas!’ Katy Perry may be right!
And as far as the new rabbit from the magician at the NHL? You don’t suppose they would have the nerve to change Reinsdorf’s offer to a relo bid do you? What nerve!
But, whoever takes this on, (whichever friend of the NHL) you can wager it will be another robust group!
You can almost bet on that!
It really make me wonder what, if anything the commissioner has to hide. Surround yourself with friends that don’t question you, eh?