Out of the Winnipeg Free Press comes the bad news on Good Friday.
As reported by Paul Wiecek, the belief is that Gary Bettman used Winnipeg as a lever to get them off their derrières in Arizona. As explained by Wiecek:
The news out of Arizona on Good Friday was confusing, but no matter how you looked at it, the bottom line was anything but good if you’re an NHL fan in Winnipeg. ESPN.com, citing news services which in turn cited sources, reported that two proposed lease agreements that would keep the Phoenix Coyotes in the suburb of Glendale were approved by the city’s council.
Meanwhile, the Phoenix Business Journal didn’t go quite as far, but cited its own sources in reporting that those same two lease proposals, submitted by Ice Edge Holdings and Jerry Reinsdorf, are being finalized by Glendale city council and could be concluded in as little as two weeks.
What happened to Goldwater?
If it was that easy to grant concessions by a city council sold out to corporate influence this deal would have been done a long time ago.
The lease “deals”, if an aberration of the original deal would be considered a concession.
Could Goldwater be wearing down? Something tells me, no.
It sounds more like the reporting from ESPN.com and others continues to paint a rosier scenario than reality, and until the deal is signed we would all be wise to take a deep breath, insert our tongues in cheek, and take an “I’ll believe it when I see it” attitude.
But, I agree, Winnipeg can join those of us in Hamilton feeling pillaged by Bettman’s NHL.
Let’s not forget, we are lucky to have any other Canadian teams beyond Montreal and Toronto. According to Bettman, those would have been gone long ago had the NHL not gone to bat for them. Ah ha.
I have a prediction. With the economy and the dollar taking a nosedive south of the border, Canada will be looking to bail out more teams as time goes by.
With the U.S. debt ratio to GDP hovering in the 90% range, and the healthcare bill looking to cook the welfare of its citizens, Canada is going to look better and better to both management and the NHLPA. What happens when the Canadian dollar exceeds the U.S., when it is predicted to reach $1.10 by mid-summer? Will the players want to move to the Canadian market? Methinks.
So, let’s not get too excited about Glendale City Council’s readiness to ink a deal.
They have plenty of eyes peering over their shoulders yet.