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No, (the Phoenix) Situation Is Nothing Like Winnipeg, Quebec or Hartford

A fantastic summary of the emotions and realities of a whirlwind week in Glendale. Travis was most kind in mentioning Yours Truly, and he's absolutely correct in his observations.

Gary Bettman: Issues in Phoenix are "fixable"

From Dave Joseph of the Panthers official site: NHL Commish Gary Bettman said on his weekly radio show Thursday the situation with the Coyotes in Phoenix is "fixable" and said relocating franchises in troubled times is not the answer to fixing problems. "When you have fans invest in a franchise emotionally and financially, you just don’t give up on them when times are tough," he said. "If the standard was, ‘When times get tough,’ we would have been out of Chicago for Pete’s sake. We would have been out of Ottawa, Buffalo and Pittsburgh, and they were all situations that were fixable." W4E say: Ummmm, Hartford? Quebec? Winnipeg? Those were evidently "unfixable", right? Smelling a nasty double standard here. And how's that long-promised big-time national TV contract coming along, G-man? Sacrificed a few clubs who had fans "investing emotionally and financially" for decades before the objects of their loyalties were ripped away for the perceived good of the league. Bogus.

"Portland Panthers"? Read on...

From the Truro Daily News: The owners of the perennially money-losing Florida Panthers eventually found owners in Portland, Ore., where the city was willing to offer a sweetheart lease agreement in a new arena.) The above scenario is a fantasy, to be sure. Yet, it is the type of development that could occur if individual franchise owners were given the freedom to move as they see fit - without the approval of their leagues - according to Gabriel Feldman, director of the sports law program at Tulane University. W4E say: Whatever. Get used to it, if you already hadn't.

Globe and Mail's David Shoalts: If Phoenix bid fails, Balsillie eyes these targets

"The list of (bankruptcy or sale) candidates, going in rough order from likely to least likely, includes the Atlanta Thrashers, Nashville Predators, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues." W4E say: That's quite a list. Okay, FLA's on everyone's list, which I happen to believe is simply expected from most of the hockey world, even though the club appears publicly stable. What is surprising are names like the Devils and Blues. Luscious Lou finally got the building he's begged for over the past 18 years in Newark, and St. Louis ownership appears to be nothing if not on the right course in constructing a solid, consistent contender in a terrific hockey market. Fascinating. Anyone who should be added or subtracted from Shoalts' compilation?

Phoenix Coyotes file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection; Balsillie's name in play

Not a good day for fans of the Desert Dogs, but lo and behold, the league has spoken: The NHL, which has said the Coyotes won’t relocate, issued a statement saying it is investigating the proprietary of the filing. HOWEVER... "I am excited to move closer to bringing an NHL franchise to what I believe is one of the best un-served hockey markets in the world, southern Ontario," (potential buyer Jim) Balsillie said in his statement. "A market with devoted hockey fans, a rich hockey history, a growing and diversified economy and a population of more than 7 million people." Tragic. The world knows my position on relocations, but in Phoenix's case, there may simply be no alternative. The franchise is in deep doodoo. I freaked out and lost bodily control several months ago upon seeing a Research in Motion skybox at the BankAtlantic Center. Ugly. Head over to Five for Howling for full coverage.

NHL in turmoil (?)

A must-read by the Toronto Sun's Bill Lankhof. And by "must-read" I refer to this being yet another sky-is-falling/relocation/expansion/contraction Ontario-needs-a-second-team screed, complete with a list of which clubs are in the most "dire" of circumstances. The Panthers are one of the biggest offenders in padding attendance. It is possible to buy a ticket for $17. If that's not good enough, for the same $17, you can get a deal including a ticket, a parking pass, a $5 gas card, and a food voucher for a total worth more than $17. Now there's a strong case for relocation: ticket discounts. C'mon, Bill...give us something we can work with.

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