Monday, October 05, 2009

No Coyotes in Hamilton

I had given RIM billionaire Jim Balsillie a fighting chance to move the Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton. In the end - right or wrong - the NHL deck was stacked against him.

Many people will blame NHL chief Gary Bettman. This is unfair. Bettman is just doing his job - which is working for the owners. The owners didn't want a Balsillie owner-team in Hamilton.

The Canadian press hates Bettman because he's an American lawyer. The dumb thing about this - Bettman is a Cornell grad. There are few fan-bases more enraptured about hockey that Cornellians.

The dumb thing about the owners is that Toronto could easily support three teams.

Consider English soccer. London - population of about 8 million - sports four of the traditional powers and contenders of English soccer. These are:

West Ham

The combined market Vallie of these clubs is around $2 billion - and they have carted home a good share of titles over the past forty years.

Now the Toronto Maple Leafs. They haven't one a title in over forty years - and are valued at a mere $312 million or so - despite a captive fan base of about 6 million.

We could easily have three teams. Following London's example, there would be more value - and some actual success on the ice.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Three teams? Yes, that sounds good.