For the bullet summary, please go here.
I will let Anthony Woodjets explanation and suggestion speak for itself! Thanks Anthony for your correction, clarification, and great insight!!
Craig…the Canada Competition Bureau investigated the NHL, commencing June 14/07. It found that the NHL was NOT in violation of the Competition Act, in part because they saw no evidence of a “veto”. Here is a quote from their summary dated March 31/08……”The Bureau found no instance where a “veto” was exercised by an incumbent team to protect its local territory from entry by a competing franchise. Since at least 1993, no franchise has been permitted to exercise a veto to prevent a team from entering into its local territory. Further, under the NHL’s rules and procedures, in respect of the proposed relocation of a franchise to Southern Ontario, the NHL would not permit any single team to exercise a veto, but would only require a majority vote. The Bureau may have concerns under the Act if a single team were entitled to exercise a veto to prevent a franchise from entering into its local region within Canada, but such concerns would have to be evaluated having regard to the facts and law applicable at the time such an event occurred.” However….the “smoking gun” letter by the New York law firm, acting on behalf of MLSE is dated November 29, 2006. The Competition Bureau’s investigation did not begin until June 14, 2007. In other words, the NHL had this letter in their possession during the Bureau’s investigation. Either they lied to the Bureau, or at least did not show them the letter that the Leafs intended to protect their territory at all costs. I think it’s time the Canada Competition Bureau took another look at the blatant protectionism of territory MLSE is still imposing on Bettman, and the BoG. The “smoking gun” letter is clear evidence.
anthony woodjetts | burlington | Aug 30, 01:31pm
In the words of Harry Callahan (Dirty Harry), “So, are you feeling lucky, punk? Go ahead, make my day!”
So, the Balsillie legal team just needs to take letter in hand to the Competition Bureau, and ask if they had seen the letter, and ask whether it was disclosed by the NHL. Of obvious material nature, this would have been important as evidence to suggest there was an issue.
But, the rubber is now meeting the road, and this is where the proof of veto rights will be obvious. Does the MLSE have it in them to try to uphold an article that should have been removed from the constitution, as far as veto powers go?
Of larger interest, it would not seem to matter if the majority of owners would be for blocking a team, as the law is clear. That would be a conspiracy to avoid competition, and that violates the Competition Act in Canada.
Penalty again is $25 million per occurence, and potential 14 years imprisonment. It is not known if these features have yet been added, but I would not be surprised if they had. Who wants to take the risk of being guilty of this level of crime?
How many teams and the BOG members are willing to test this out?