Investigation of NHL veto issue by Competition Bureau in 2007

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?

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8 responses to “Investigation of NHL veto issue by Competition Bureau in 2007

  1. Pingback: Are we onto ‘Something’? Time for the ‘Real Truth’! « Make It Eight, eh? Hockey again for Winnipeg!

  2. great stuff! I love watching this fire get bigger and bigger. No doubt this letter from MLSE legal has been withheld! if it hadnt we would be watching the Hamilton Predators sophmore season as we speak……….ah to dream…but my question along with many others is again why? Why isnt the CBC looking deeper? Why not CTV?Why not TSN?

    Surely MLSE has a perverted stranglehold on these media stations but what about there competitors? Why isnt anyone screaming foul? There is a very small amount of people that actually know what has been released through court filings and dug up through investigative journalism (make it eight). By the way you guys are awesome!!

    This has now spilled over in my eyes as a debate for our political higher ups. What the hell are our politicians doin? Theres VOTES on the table for whoever champions the actually battle and gets directly involved in this mess, they could wrap themselves in the flag and pontificate patiotism! Why not?

    Where is “ANYONE” who wants my vote, money, viewership whatever to actaully make it 7 for christs sake!!

    This is my advice take iy or leave iy….. You should direct theses articles from Make it Eight to the appropriate editors in a way that paints a picture of whats been uncovered, and get them to take a position publically´

    The more we can drive wedges in between these age old relationships the sooner we will realize the dream!!! Until the NHL stops- We Dont STOP!!

  3. PeterPiperPicks

    Subpoena MLSE’s Emails to the NHL

    Hopefully JB’s legal team is onto this. These guys from the NHL and BOG are not used to playing out in the open. On the otherhand, JB has been upfront about his intentions from the get-go.

    The only silence more deafening than the media in investigating these NHL backroom deals, is the silence of those assigned to advertising then selling season tickets to the next Coyotes games.

  4. PeterPiperPicks

    The NHL’s and Ice Edge’s bids are dead in the water unless they can get Glendale to amend the current lease agreement on the arena.

    JR was not able to obtain concessions (ever wonder why?), but then you can never count him out. The NHL cannot be trusted since if they can flummox Glendale into making some token “out clause”, then they take the team out of bankrupcy, and flip it to JR.

  5. sp errors typing by monitor lihjy……

    THE LEGAL LOOPHOLE FOR JIM *************************** Section 4.3 of the league constitution grants each team exclusive control over its “home territory,” stating that, “no other member of the League shall be permitted to play games … in the home territory of a member without the latter member’s consent. No franchise shall be granted for a home territory within the home territory of a member, without the written consent of such a member.” *********************************************************** Since the Coyotes franchise is not “GRANTED” by the NHL, this point is moot, it will be purchased! ******* The section stating “”no other member of the League shall be permitted to play games … in the home territory of a member without the latter member’s consent.” Is thus illegal & a pure case of restraint of trade!!!

  6. There’s no ‘proof’ of any dirty deed at all. There’s no evidence whatsoever a veto was ever used. The CCB investigation supports that. There’s no proof of veto rights in the letter – there’s the MLSE claim, and the 100% reference is to amending the NHL constitution on Article 4.

    The NHL states its position. Showing this letter to the CCB (if wasn’t already done) means jack squat.

    The statement twisting a majority vote rejecting the relocation into “a conspiracy to avoid competition” is absurd. It wouldn’t get past the laughter of DA’s rep.

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