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Your reaction to Coyotes court ruling?
Thu, October 1, 2009

Billionaire Jim Balsillie is now 0-for-3 in his attempts to be a National Hockey League owner and Hamilton is oh-for-two decades in its attempts to house an NHL franchise.

And who knows now when any of that is going to change?

That was the sombre reality of the non-decision decision made by U.S. bankruptcy court Judge Redfield T. Baum, who rejected Balsillie's very public bid for the Phoenix Coyotes without prejudice yesterday and also rejected the NHL's bid, leaving it a back-door entrance should it choose to tie up the loose ends of its bid, with which the judge was clearly uncomfortable.

Baum gave the NHL some hope -- and at least control of this situation -- while at the same time striking Balsillie out of the game as a potential purchaser of the bankrupt Coyotes.

U.S. judge blocks Balsillie bid


This comment is FULLY MODERATED.


I would like to see an all Canadian Hockey League from Halifax to Vancouver to get rid of Betman. He hates Canadians.
Hans Wolf, 2009-05-15 17:52:59

you have a point, but they have survived possible bankruptcy three times. If Hamilton had a team there would be no chance for survival. The owner, who sits on the board of governors knows that.

They don't accept canadian money at par any more. That went out years ago.

Your other stuff on why people go to games, just to go. What does that mean?

If fans want to see hockey and pay for it they will go to the sabres games. They don't. If they hold a grudge for 20 years well their nuts. They made a play off run a few years back for two years and actually had high attendance and sell outs other than leaf games. Those fans were hamilton people. They only support winning teams. The leafs are the only anomolly in sports where people sell out win or lose every game year after year. No other team can boast that, in any sport.

Hamilton fans do not pay to watch losing NHL clubs. The only pay to watch the leafs.

Leaf games sell out at the sabres games, always have. Those are hamilton fans that can't buy toronto tickets.
wayne, 2009-05-15 16:03:38

wayne, how is it possible that "hamilton's success would be Buffalo's bankruptcy" when Buffalo is on the verge of bankruptcy again, has been 3 times prior, and Hamilton does not have a hockey team? Putting the final nail in a coffin does not mean the lid's not already on.

What were the last two teams to play an NHL exhibition game at Copps?

Buffalo's financial issues come from many factors. The biggest is that they rely on Canadians to help them, and accept Canadian money at par. I'm going to guess that their bills are paid in American money, so right off the bat for every loonie they accept at par they lose $0.20 give or take. If the majority of their paid attendance come from the other side of the Niagara, that's a recipe for financial disaster.

Another issue is fan base. These days the vast majority of people, for various reasons, can't/don't go to an NHL game just to go, so someone living in Hamilton is not going to see the Sabres play the Florida Panthers just to go to a game, however they would pay to see the Hamilton "insert team name here" play the Panthers.

You said that it's 20 years later and people don't even remember that snub, but also said that if we look at the last 20 years how Hamilton has not supported the Sabres. Isn't that the same time frame?
Dave, 2009-05-15 12:26:46

We're from Ontario but winter in Phoenix. It would be extremely shortsighted to move the Coyotes out of the Phoenix area. The seeds have been sown in Phoenix: youth hockey is exploding, the fans are maturing and growing in numbers, and many others like us LOVE going to the games. Gretzky had a vision when he left Edmonton. We were all heartbroken, but what he has done for expanding the NHL experience is paying dividends. The coyotes are a half generation away of packing them in. If southern Ontario needs another team - expand. Don't rip an exciting, almost full term team out of its womb prematurely.

I'm dismayed at the anti-US and anti-Canada feelings this controversy is causing. Let's appreciate the hockey fervor in Canada, but let's also appreciate new dimensions to the sport - like hockey in the desert. It's GREAT!
bagervis, 2009-05-15 11:39:29

Dave you wil notice it was and is a lot of Hamiltonians going to hockey games in Buffalo.

Hence the reason why buffalo "snubs" a hamilton team as you put it because they got a franchise first and hamilton's success would be Buffalo's bankruptcy. But 20 years later and people can't even remember that snub and Buffalo ticket sales are low and the team is on the verge of bankruptcy again. Thats because hamilton people with a veryvialble NHL option to see games are not paying to see games. People think they will buy tickets in Hamilton now? They have proved overthe last twenty years with the Sabres, bull dogs and pre season games (1500 attendance at last one) that unless its the Maple leafs, they won't buy tickets. If the team is winning they might but were talking the coyotes here and they have offered Gretzky big bucks to remain as coach so they aren't going to be winning anytime soon either.
wayne, 2009-05-15 08:13:19

It's not going to happen so no point discussing it. Lastly, the only places that have a shot of getting a team are cities with large numbers of potential corporate sponsors. Sucks for the little guys, but money talks so forget Brantford, forget Hamilton, Galt and all the rest.
Jon, 2009-05-14 14:02:48

Start the chant Brantford Brantford Brantford
Dave, 2009-05-14 10:38:38

Actually wayne, the $30M I was referring to was the Nashville deal - if you notice from the link the Preds were bought by a group of businesses in 2007 in order to keep the team in Nashville for $192M and are now worth $163M.

Yes, it's NHL hockey, but a Canadian would be happier with Calgary winning the Cup than Buffalo. Location is a key factor. If it was NHL hockey regardless of location Bettman should just be happy the team is still playing, regardless of where.

I remember going to the old Aud in Buffalo for games as I grew up in Hamilton. The place was packed, bus trips were organized, parking was a disaster and tickets were about equal to MLG tickets. Come to 1992 and 1998 when Hamilton did not get a team again, and the rumours were that Buffalo and Toronto nixed the deal because of proximity. Those rumours continue today, and are evident by the payoff Balsillie would have to make to Toronto and Buffalo to move into their territory. Now, Toronto hockey will never die, but Buffalo - those games in the past were packed mostly with Hamiltonians and those from the Niagara region. They got snubbed because of Buffalo. You may have taken the high road by going to games, but not alot of people did.

As for Phoenix declaring bankruptcy - yeah it looks like they did it to keep the team in Phoenix. But how long until they had to do it anyways? With no potential buyers of a business losing money hand over fist what would've been their alternative in the near future?
Dave, 2009-05-14 08:41:37


You should get your facts straight, Monteal wanted to be and wants to be part of Canada. They keep voting to stay, it's the rest of Quebec that is not so sure.

But so what? What can that possibly have to do with the Coyotes?

As for Winnipeg, Hamilton and KW could support a team far better than Winnipeg. So why not? If a Winnipeg businessman had billions and wanted to buy a team and move it there, why shouldn't he be able to? Look at it that way.
Rick W., 2009-05-13 21:14:06

I don't care where they Coyotes go so long as they return to Canada where they belong. I have watched for years this idiot Gary Bettman flounder and soil the NHL by moving teams south of the border. Hockey is Canada's game and there should be an equal amount of teams in Canada as there is in the U.S. Having 30 teams in the NHL and only six in Canada is a farce. There should only be 20 teams - 10 in Canada and 10 in the United States. Bettman needs to fired and replaced with someone who understands the game.

I do think the Coyotes should return to Winnipeg and become the Jets again, but if Basillie wants to move them to southern Ontario, then he should. I know the fan support will be there, and it won't take away from Buffalo or Toronto.
Merth98, 2009-05-13 19:31:53

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