Elvis, JFK, and Now Reinsdorf?

As far as conspiracy theories go, this one is a dandy, but, play along, just for the fun of it.

Bettman knew the Coyotes were doomed a long time ago.  Apparently, as far back as November 2008.

Bettman knew Balsillie, as he did in Pittsburgh, and Nashville, would be circling the carcass, in hopes of an easy meal.

Bettman knew Balsillie would want to move the team.

Bettman knew Moyes was desperate for a buyer to cover his debt, and knew, in this economy, there wasn’t one…except Balsillie.

Bettman knew Balsillie and Moyes would do whatever it took to get what they wanted, and would not “play fair” (aka, tow the NHL line), as Balsillie had already legally challenged the NHL’s relocation policies.

Bettman knew this binder twine and duct tape relocation policy was legally dubious, at best, but also knew this same policy existed among all major professional sports entities, who had a defacto vested interested in keeping its examination out of the courts.

Enter Reinsdorf, the longest tenured owner in MLB, who just happens to be a member of the MLB’s relocation committee and league ownership issues mouthpiece.

Coincidence that Reinsdorf, (who has been at the centre of not 1, not 2, but 3 losing MLB collusion judgements) an MLB owner, wants to buy a floundering NHL team, in Phoenix, where an MLB franchise already exists?

Does this honestly pass the smell test?

Not even close.

It stinks like rotten fish soup.

The theory goes like this.

1. Bettman, knowing a legal challenge is coming from Balsillie vis a vis relocating the soon to be bankrupt Coyotes, entices MLB to conspire with him to keep the situation out of the courts, thus protecting both of their interests.  Reinsdorf, in some sort of monetary shell game (we all know Bettman is known to entertain such types of financing) purchases the Coyotes out from under Moyes, for the price of the secured debt (@ $130M).

2. Reinsdorf (et al.) refuse to entertain Balsillies purchase offer, thus cutting him out of the equation and protecting the leagues untenable “relocation” policies from legal scrutiny.

3. The NHL/new owners wrestle from Glendale sufficient concessions to mitigate the short term losses, and introduce an escape clause not requiring bankruptcy, which they later exploit to move the team to a new American city (KC/LV..?).  This may seem counter-intuitive, but Glendale knows, if the team is declared bankrupt, they would get nothing, so better to negotiate a “release” fee now, rather than get nothing later.

Just a theory, but, it is no more absurd then to believe Reinsdorf actually wants to buy the Coyotes, to keep them in Glendale.

(Interestingly, since the posting of this blog article, it has been reported that both the NFL & MLB have filed “Statements of Position” in support of the NHL’s right to determine club ownership and placement.  Maybe not so very far off the mark after all…)



2 Responses to “Elvis, JFK, and Now Reinsdorf?”

  1. Dave Morris Says:

    GN, terrific stuff as always. You make some excellent points.

    I wonder if people ever step back from the whole mess though, and realize how the media suckers us in to cheering for one side or the other?

    Does anybody really think Jim Balsillie’s “Make It Seven” campaign is anything more than about increasing his net worth from three billion to seven billion?

    Is anyone really naive enough to think Gary Bettman will be forthcoming and transparent in discussing the financial problems of franchises…when he gets paid to do the opposite?

    The money in play when it comes to hockey franchises is staggering.

    Take a look at what’s going on in Montreal and Dallas right now. Soon-tto-be ex-team owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks borrowed 500 million bucks to add to their sports and entertainment empires…and they are both BROKE.

    Meanwhile, the price of tickets to a hockey game, and hockey merchandise, keeps going up…and we pay through the nose, while the rich get richer.

    Let’s not let ourselves…hockey fans who love the game, no matter who we cheer for…get fooled again.


  2. Dave,
    No doubt, should Balsillie succeed, owning a franchise in Southern Ontario, for @200M would be a major cash cow.
    But I doubt this is really about net worth, per se, rather, about a wealthy man entertaining his ego by owning a public form of entertainment…fame by proxy if you will.
    As for Bettman, sure, it would be absurd to hear him speak about franchise problems, but to go entirely the other direction, and state there are no problems is not fair and prudent. He should say nothing rather then lie.
    When it comes to “picking sides”, absolutely, but remember, when the Jets had their “Save The Jets” rally, over 35k showed up. The Coyotes, at their rally, had less than 250 people. Say what you will, that’s not right, and as a Canadian hockey fan, I’m not going to act like it is, just to not appear partisan, but I absolutely see your point.

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