From the (Waterloo, ON) Record:
The day may come -- perhaps it isn't far away -- when the owners of teams such as the Phoenix Coyotes, the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning will find they could improve their bank accounts if they sold their teams to owners willing to move a team to southern Ontario.
W4E say: Just another in a long line of hopeful Ontario communities collectively willing the National Hockey League to dump a "loser" franchise in the middle of an over-priced market.
All under-researched "studies" point to a more affordable ticket in a region lacking a pro team, leading to so-called blue-collar fans getting to see the big game without having to rely on dear old Grandma's 40-year place in line with the Pension Plan. Yeah...suddenly a new kid on the block in the Toronto arena (get it?) will force down prices. Everyone can be a live fan.
Good luck with all that.
There is no question a second team relative to TO can be a smash hit. However, keep in mind who's running this three-ring circus. He - and his employers: the team owners - want to secure a major American television deal. Period. So sorry, but that's it.
Since 1994 - his entire existence since
being planted by divorcing the NBA, Gary Bettman has sought the perfect multi-region broadcast arrangement. Hundreds of glow-pucks and thousands of cemetaries full of ex-Jet, Nordiques, and Whalers fans later, hockey fans continue to search for their sport on a channel somewhere between the 700-900s amid a halcyon storm of rodeo queens and Senior Buck Master.
Yet another team in southern Ontario does not progress Mr. Bettman's business plan, so forget it. Hamilton vs. Atlanta? Ain't happening under this administration.
Though some organizations are in much more dire financial straits than others, the Panthers will invariably - due to location - be lumped with those clubs truly needing a shot of B12, no matter their actual status.
And given owner Alan Cohen's organizational outreach to the area, a For Sale sign would be surprising in the least. Surprising, though not unthinkable.
Aren't we immune to this sort of talk yet?