We’ve reached the abyss….Nothing more to say: Just put hockey back in the ‘Hammer’!

For the bullet summary, please go here. To contact your MP regarding the Veto issue, please go here. Click here to file your complaint about the Veto of the MLSE (Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment) to the Canadian Competition Bureau (CCB).

Time for a little recap……..

Has the NHL lost it?

Has the NHL lost it?

Is this insanely ridiculous or what? (rhetorical question)

Of course it has been an insane ride.

Many of us over the past several months have experienced highs and lows, and many of us have become friends with a common cause.

Trying to sell hockey in the desert of Arizona at the expense of hockey crazed Canadians is well, crazy.

 

Many of us who were true Leaf fans have sworn against the Toronto team because of the greed that has been demonstrated by the Leaf team, and MLSE in particular.

Soon, we hope, Judge Baum will come to a decision, and we can see where we stand.

Judging by the looks of things, several of us have surmized that the judge is ready to hand a decision in favor of PSE.

We have had the media  in Toronto go from not giving PSE a chance, to now joining the ranks of us “giving it” to the league, and ensuring we all show just how “not appreciated” they are. I say bravo to those that have made a living on reporting on the Leafs, and are more fed up than worried about the fallout to their careers. A few dirty looks their way, they have determined, must be worth it.

Look at Damien Cox  of the Toronto Star, in his last article, saying to just give it to Jim Balsillie already. We had not seen that side of Cox in a while. A refreshing move from the normal Toronto publishing party line.

Way to go Coxy.

Damien Cox would likely not remember me from years ago, as we were both students at McMaster University. It was Whidden Hall, and it was my first year. The year before on CH News, they were showing the animal house qualities of Whidden, when it was a male only residence. It tamed down a lot the year I moved in, when it became co-ed.

If anyone is reading this and the lightbulb has just gone off, give me an email at ferguson@makeiteighteh.com. I would love to talk with you again, about the old days. Anyhow, Coxy wasn’t the reporter he is today then, we were just students. But his love for sport was certainly there! He has done well for himself, and I am proud of him.

Yes, the NHL has messed with us all – from the sports fan, to the current owners of the Coyotes, to us all.

It’s as if the NHL just doesn’t care.

Now the NHL has shown their true colors to the Great One too

Now the NHL has shown their true colors to the Great One too

If the NHL loses in court (sorry, when), they have said they will appeal.

They have got to be kidding. It would be wise to cut their losses.

Can you imagine how many people are going to be extremely p’oed at them then? I don’t even want to know.

As Patrick Romanoski pointed out today on Make it Seven:

Bettmans ignorance has delayed the NHL from entering the homes of every fan that wants to see the game. ……… His blindness to the future is stunning. The fact that he cannot comprehend it is technology like RIMs that will bring video into the home in the near future will cost the owners & players a bundle. ……….. What a dolt, to turn down someone who can help make that happen. Moving first, instead of waiting for the other sports to adopt technology, could vault the NHL ahead of several sports in popularity. Instead mediocrity will reign & ESPN will continue to see BMX bike racing as a more lucrative broadcast & Canadians will continue the mass exodus already underway to other sports. ……. He has failed to maintain the fine balance of keeping the fans while changing the game. The imminent collapse in Canadian support for NHL hockey is an indicator that not only has Gary failed but he has failed brilliantly.

I started my blogging on this topic, as many of you know, from a point of view of not being able to grasp the concept of utter disrespect for Jerry Moyes from a very arrogant NHL.

No, the NHL did not want Jerry to get any of his money out of this team, and it drove me bananas!

I built the site, and added a very needed stat counter feature, and it became a catalyst to see what was happening, who was getting strirred, and it set the stage for the bigger quest for truth.

A simple hit from a developer that partnered with IFG (International Facilities Group), as many of you know, led to a long run of investigations into the connections and motives of several of the key parties to the Coyotes’ drama.

It was quite honestly pathetic.

A complete collaboration against Jerry Moyes by just about everyone around him.

And that  brings us back to the question, “how could anybody be so cruel?”

Well, it is nearing the end, we all hope, but we must admit it was quite a ride.

I am hoping Judge Baum, at least in the next couple of days will render his ruling, or at the very least force mediation between the NHL, Glendale, and PSE.

I welcome you all to peruse the articles on this site, if you haven’t already, and see what we have here – an interesting and muckety situation indeed.

And what has it all been about?

Keeping hockey from the people of Hamilton and surrounding areas? It would certainly seem that way.

Thanks Ic Arus for the link to this picture…..

This is September 26th against the Sharks. Imagine if this was Winnipeg way back when? What kind of support would the people of Winninpeg shown their team to convince the judge?

This is September 26th against the Sharks. Imagine if this was Winnipeg way back when? What kind of support would the fans of Winnipeg have shown their team to convince the judge?

 

Bryan Kirkham  (of Make it seven) has informed me of this latest news:

Heard this on CHCH
 
depending on what happens in the BK Councillor Whithead has notified Hamilton City Council that he may be calling on them to pass a notion asking for an all party Committee of the federal government to investigate the NHL and how its dealt with efforts to bring the Coyotes to Hamilton.

 

Gregory Galante had this to say regarding the above photo:

If one need any further evidence that the Coyotes ARE NOT STAYING IN GLENDALE, that one single powerful photograph should be all that is required. To the NHL. HURRY UP AND MAKE A DEAL WITH DIAMOND JIM AND SALVAGE WHAT YOU CAN IN THE PR DEPARTMENT. The NHL in their obstinance and desperation to sheild there despicable business practices are fulfilling the BUSH LEAGUE reputation it is perceived to have in many parts of North America.

I’d like to think that what the Make it Seven team had said from the outset as being very important, turned out to be very important indeed.

People can make a difference.

The people at the Make it Seven Rant page, those leaving videos, those drawing up new jersey ideas – these people have made an impact on this case.

I am willing to bet that mainstream media checks Make it Seven and the rant page to find out what’s going on! I am not kidding.

At Make it Seven, we have taken ideas from media, and media has taken information from us. We were a team!

And the impact that it has had is the fundamental principle that if you work together and share ideas, a common purpose can be achieved.

We in Canada are a little slow, but rather surprisingly we are rising to the occasion, coming together, and our voices are being heard. Our passion for Canada’s game is being refueled.

I for one have never felt more sure that we have a voice, and our collective voices are making a difference!

The team is coming to Hamilton, Ontario.

Can’t you just feel it?

No amount of manipulation by those at the NHL will do it this time.

Many of us have been left to analyze the moves of the NHL, and to ask what their strategy has been. It was a game of countering the less than ethical. If you need a fix, you can see a summary of past articles here.

We ex-Leaf fans have had enough. I share the sentiments. Sad really, for years I supported the Blue and white, win or lose. But they have lost my respect with the simple notion of  showing their greed.

I have reached the abyss of what to write. Sorry about this. I have hit the bottom of the tank, and like you,am waiting, waiting, and waiting.

It’s time for the decision to come from court.

Come on Judge Baum. Do the right thing.

Hockey needs to return to the ‘Hammer’!

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9 responses to “We’ve reached the abyss….Nothing more to say: Just put hockey back in the ‘Hammer’!

  1. There’s No Time Like The Precedent! Everyone has gone on about the fact that Judge Baum either can’t or won’t set a precedent in the Coyotes BK issue. Well let’s look at why the judge should set a precedent. The NHL Constitution “The NHL doesn’t always follow what’s in the constitution, does it?” Baum knows that the NHL Constitution is a flawed document because it is a “Constitution of Convenience”. Sometimes the NHL follows it and sometimes it doesn’t. A classic example is relocation fees. Sometimes the NHL charges one and sometimes it doesn’t. Also the NHL Constitution contradicts itself further proving it is a very flawed document. Article IV 4.3 confirms the veto by declaring that “No franchise shall be granted for a home territory within the home territory of a member, without the written consent of such member.” However, GB says that this clause has no standing and that in fact all that is required is a two thirds vote. Further it is the position of the NHL that: “While we respect that the Leafs may have a different interpretation (although it’s not even clear that they do at this point), at the end of the day, it is the Commissioner and the League that is ultimately charged with interpreting the NHL Constitution and by-laws.” So what we have is an NHL Constitution that contradicts itself and therefore must be interpreted by the Commissioner. Well we have seen just how much weight GB’s interpretation carries with the owners. Leipold in his deposition said he believed there was a veto. MLSE’s letter confirmed the veto and clearly indicated that they disagree with Bettman’s “interpretation. Finally, we have Eugenius Melnyk confirming on public radio that he has a veto. The fact that there is no consensus of opinion between GB and the owners on this important provision of the Constitution proves that the document is flawed. However, the important point made above is that the NHL’s Constitution is open to interpretation and if the Commissioner can interpret it, so can a judge since, regardless of what the NHL might think, the highest and last authority in the land is the courts, not a league commissioner. GB opened a door that he will regret opening and Baum will have no problem walking through that open door. Is the NHL’s Constitution enforceable if it is determined to be so badly flawed? The fact the NHL doesn’t always enforce their Constitution or they opt out of it at their whim would seem to indicated that holding others to the letter of their Constitution when they don’t always follow it themselves is highly prejudicial. It should be noted that when JB was rejected by the BoG, it was on character. Relo was never an issue. The NHL refused to even look at JB’s relo application on the grounds that there was no point since he hadn’t been approved as an owner. Therefore relo isn’t an issue, it’s all about character. Many of us here have wondered why the NHL didn’t tie in the relo issue with the rejection especially since many of us felt there might be some, although very limited merit to an argument that relo to Hamilton would cause some financial pain to Buffalo. The NHL had that option and didn’t take it. Why? Is it because the NHL doesn’t want that part of their Constitution dealing with relo tested in court? Why not? Is it because the NHL themselves believes their Constitution as it deals with relo would not survive any court challenge? Very likely that is true and if a part of your Constitution can’t survive a court challenge, it’s likely the document as a whole won’t survive a challenge. It would seem the NHL itself realizes their Constitution is flawed and won’t hold up in court. Baum should have very little trouble working around or “interpreting” this very flawed Constitution and making it work so that the court can award JB the team.

  2. Oh, That Balsillie Is Quite The ‘Character”! Now let’s take a look at the “rejection” of JB on grounds of “character” Quote from the CBC: The NHL may have to justify its rejection of Balsillie to the court. Citing a 1986 case involving the Los Angeles Raiders and the NFL, Baum said in his mid-June ruling that the NHL needed to show good faith in assessing Balsillie, who was twice previously greeted with initial enthusiasm as a prospective owner before negotiations to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators broke down. “Significant to the court here regarding the objection to the transfer of ownership of the Phoenix Coyotes is the fact that in 2006 the NHL approved PSE to become a member,” Baum wrote. “Absent some showing by the NHL that there have been material changes in PSE’s circumstances since 2006, it appears that the NHL can not object or withhold its consent to PSE becoming the controlling owner of the Phoenix Coyotes.” So did the NHL show any material change in PSE’s circumstances? Well it is interesting here to note that JB was never rejected on the grounds of relo, merely on “character & integrity”. So what has changed with JB from 2006 when he was approved and 2009 when he was rejected? The only change cited by the NHL was JB’s SEC issue. Is that enough of a material change to warrant rejection? No, it is not. In fact, I am sure Baum will note that to reject JB on this “material change” is high handed, defamatory, discriminatory, prejudicial and most importantly, unreasonable. This is so because of the NHL’s own track record in the company the NHL ownership welcomes and keeps. We do not need to go over the various past & present owners who have run afoul of the SEC and the law and even spent time in jail. Talk about the kettle calling the pot black. Baum will again see that the application of the flawed NHL Constitution to reject JB by the BoG was unreasonable and more so, the NHL has not shown any material change in PSE’s circumstances since approval in 2006 to merit the rejection. You can’t reject JB on the grounds of his SEC issue when your own membership is rife with problem individuals and you aren’t holding them to the same standard. Is the NHL kicking Sameuli and Melnyk out of the league? No, so clearly running afoul of the SEC is not against the NHL Constitution and therefore no basis for rejecting a prospective owner. Also rejecting JB on an SEC issue while turning a blind eye to your own members with their SEC issues in acting in bad faith towards JB and Baum also said the NHL needed to show good faith in assessing JB. They did not therefore the rejection must be invalidated by Baum. Therefore Baum can rescind the rejection and run with JB’s bid as an approved NHL owner and further, since the NHL never objected to relo, they can’t be heard to reject now on relo especially when they themselves now want to relo the Coyotes. Baum also will overturn or set aside the rejection of JB on the grounds of a conflict of interest.

  3. I Am Feeling Very Conflicted! The judge again floated the idea that he might reject both bids, noting that a potential purchaser must satisfy several legal requirements. “If you don’t both get there, it’s going to be hard to approve it,” he said. The NHL simply cannot be both a bidder and the governing body who decides who get to bid against them. This is an obvious conflict and goes against BK law. The NHL by discussing the option of placing the bid prior to their rejection of JB and then actually rejecting him knowing they were going to bid means they deliberately and knowingly walked into a conflict of interest. The NHL can’t be rewarded for that. If they were, it would make Baum’s decision very easy to overturn and he doesn’t want that. The NHL’s actions create the very real impression that “the fix is in”. No judge can go along with a bid where there is even the slightest hint of impropriety. Here is another conflict for the judge to have to deal with. As mentioned earlier, JB was rejected and the only material change cited was JB’s SEC run in. Well, both the Ducks and Senators voted at the BoG meeting to reject JB. That is a conflict of interest right there. Both Sameuli and Melnyk have had their own run in with the SEC and Sameuli may be going to jail. How can 2 BoG members be allowed to vote on a rejection whereby the only material fact cited was an SEC issue? Melnyk & Sameuli, with their own records can’t and should not have voted or been allowed to vote due to a clear conflict. More to the point, their votes are sheer hypocrisy in that they are rejecting JB on the basis that JB did what they did? Finally, the BoG vote is tainted because of both the direct and implied threat by MLSE if the board voted in favor of JB. JB’s intent is to move the team to Hamilton which MLSE considers its territory. The MLSE letter makes it very plain that MLSE has a veto over its territory and that they would take any and all legal means necessary to enforce their veto. Therefore the BoG vote was held under duress to the other owners because of the direct and implied threat of litigation if the BoG voted in favor of JB. A vote made under threat is an illegal vote and must be overturned. We will never know if all the voters voted with their conscience because every voter faced the threat of being hauled into court by MLSE if they voted in favor of JB. Again, it’s so easy for Baum to overturn a decision from a vote made under a threat of litigation if you don’t vote a particular way. Sort of like the “free democratic” votes in the old Soviet Union. Everybody had a right to vote…..for the one single candidate running and selected by the ruling party. Therefore the vote to reject is tainted by these conflicts of interest and therefore in the interests of justice, the rejection must be overturned. Baum will have probably his easiest time in rejecting the NHL bid on the conflict issue, but more importantly, will have an easy time overturning the NHL’s rejection and then running with JB as an approved owner from 2006.

  4. Aw, You’re Not Playin’ By The Rules! The NHL and many posters here have stated JB can’t or shouldn’t get in because either he has broken some NHL rules or because he will break some NHL rules and therefore the NHL can’t work with him. This point is pure crap. First, what rules has JB broken? None. How could he break any rules, he isn’t an NHL owner yet and therefore he isn’t bound by the NHLs rules therefore he can’t have broken any. Can anyone cite a rule that JB has broken? No and neither has the NHL. There is not a single rule the NHL has quoted that JB supposedly broke. So let’s look at the NHL’s point that they presume JB won’t follow the rules. Again, what proof do they have? None. Have they ever quoted a rule that JB is expected to break? No, they can’t because you can’t prove a negative. Again, the presumption that JB will break the rules will never fly in court. There is no basis to reject anyone on the basis where you have no proof that they will do something, only a presumption that they might. The judge will see the hypocrisy of this point as well because you can’t charge someone for something you think they might do; you can only charge them for something they did. This hypocrisy is emphasized by the acceptance of JR as an approved owner. JR has a history of going against his own leagues rules in MLB and in the NBA. It’s well documented, all one has to do is Google it. So let’s see, Baum is supposed to respect the NHL’s rejection of JB when there has been no significant material change since 2006 and also Baum should respect the NHL’s rejection of JB because they think, not know, but think he might be a bad boy as an owner and break their rules, however Baum should overlook the fact that the NHL approved an owner with a history of breaking the rules governing him in two other major sports leagues? The NHL approved an owner with a track record of breaking the rules, but rejected an owner who they think might break the rules? That sounded stupid to me as I wrote it. Does it sound as stupid to you? It should. Again, overturning the NHL’s rejection of JB is about the easiest thing for Baum to do.

  5. This Isn’t Very Sporting, You Know! Some say a ruling for the NHL will have a negative impact on all the other sports leagues? Why? Do the other leagues have a flawed Constitution that requires constant interpretation by the Commissioner? Do the other leagues have a history of opting out of their Constitutions at whim? Do the other leagues have a contradictory Constitution whereby one clause calls for one action and another clause contradicts it? Do the other leagues have a history of having their Commissioner step in and “interpret” their Constitution because the document is so badly written that it isn’t self explanatory? Do the other leagues haphazardly apply their rules such as sometimes charging a relo and sometimes not charging? The fact is that Judge Baum can write and set a precedent that impacts the NHL only. He merely cites that the NHL’s Constitution is badly written, requires judicial interpretation and also cites the fact that the NHL doesn’t always follow its own rules and if the NHL isn’t bound by its own Constitution, why should the court be bound by it? This is such an important point, I will repeat it again. If the NHL isn’t bound by its own Constitution, then why should a court of law be bound by it? Can anyone answer that? Judge Baum’s decision will clearly impact the NHL and the way it does business and it needs to be done. Running a business as an old boys club is no longer acceptable. It’s not acceptable to the public and it’s not acceptable to the courts and Baum will certainly show his displeasure with the NHL. The fact is that the other leagues might have well written Constitutions which they follow to the letter and never opt out of. So why should a ruling against the NHL impact them? So many people have said a victory by JB will impact all sports leagues ability to pick their owners. Really. How? If JB wins, how does that prevent the NBA from picking an owner they want for a franchise sale or expansion franchise. Fact is, it doesn’t impact them. Where it impacts everybody is if you are going to be looking for owners and soliciting bids, be careful how you turn prospective buyers away. If you discriminate against particular buyers and treat then unfairly even though they meet all your criteria for ownership, then you should be in trouble as a league.

  6. C’mon, Pick Me, Pick Me! Sports leagues have a right to choose their owners. Yes they should. Everyone seems to be going on about the right of leagues to select their owner members. But is that was this case is about? I think not. I think it’s about whom these leagues can turn away and what is the basis for turning an owner away who matches all the required criteria for ownership. Certainly, if there are multiple prospective bidders for a team, a league should select the best bidder of the group, the bidder that enhances the league the best. However, can a league turn away a potential owner who meets all the criteria for being an owner and is the only bidder? I think this is the real question here. It’s not who you let in, it’s who you turn away and why you turn them away. JB under any ownership criteria you want to put forward would be the type of owner any sports league would covet. He has the money, he is smart and he is passionate about the sport. It just doesn’t get any better than that. So the question is, when you are looking for an owner, do you have a right to turn one away who does meet all your criteria? In fact JB is even superior to many of the NHL’s existing owners and if they do have that right, is it required to be a turn away that is reasonable? I would say yes, anyone can be turned away if it is found to be reasonable and those reasons would also hold up in court without being high handed, discriminatory, defamatory, and prejudicial. However any rejection that falls afoul of that must be overturned and the NHL’s rejection does indeed fall afoul of all those points and therefore it leaves Baum with no choice but to overturn the rejection.

  7. Will The NHL Find Baum Appealing? Everyone assumes that if Baum finds for JB, an appeal is automatic. Not so. It is easy to file an appeal, it is very hard to follow through, find judicial error and get an appeals court to agree with you. If Baum’s decision can show and outline the flaws of the NHL Constitution and show that the NHL itself doesn’t follow their own Constitution and opts out of it at whim, then how does the NHL appeal that? They can try, but they won’t win. That the NHL doesn’t follow it, opts out at whim, has a Commissioner who interprets it because its contradictory and the owners dispute the Commissioners interpretation and the fact that it requires interpretation at all indicate a very flawed document that will never stand up to the scrutiny of the court and therefore will also NOT stand up to scrutiny in appeals court either. Fact is, it’s the easiest thing in the world to threaten litigation hell if you lose, and it’s quite another thing to follow through on it. If Baum overturns the JB rejection on the basis of conflict of interest, how does the NHL appeal that? If Baum overturns the JB rejection on the basis of the direct and implied threat of litigation by MLSE if a favorable vote for JB was rendered by the BoG, how does the NHL appeal that? If Baum overturns the JB rejection on the basis that there has been no material change to PSE since 2006 to warrant a rejection, how does the NHL appeal that? If Baum overturns the JB rejection on the basis that the rejection was done in bad faith, how does the NHL appeal that? If Baum backs up his decision by citing the contradictory nature of the Constitution as a contributing factor in his decision, how does the NHL appeal that? If Baum backs up his decision with the proven fact that the NHL itself doesn’t always follow its own Constitution how does the NHL appeal that? If Baum chooses to make his own interpretation of what the Constitution says or doesn’t say after Bettman confirmed the Constitution does need to be interpreted from time to time, how does the NHL appeal that? If Baum’s decision allows for a relo to Hamilton and the NHL has never rejected a relo move to Hamilton, how does the NHL appeal that? If Baum states in his decision that his court is not bound to follow the NHL Constitution since the NHL itself does not always follow its own Constitution, how does the NHL appeal that? Fact is, Baum could easily render a decision in favor of JB that can’t be appealed.

  8. Killer article!!!! As usual. Read your post at make it seven about getting together when this is finalized and I would SECOND that for sure. I check your site out every day and will keep in touch…Cheers!

  9. Pingback: Ironic isn’t it? « Make It Eight, eh? Hockey again for Winnipeg!

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