Glendale & Balsillie About To Dance?

I remember, “back in the day”, you sometimes found yourself dancing with the partner you could get, not the partner you wanted.

This may well be the case between the city of Glendale and Balsillie.

To date Glendale city council has been steadfast in their demand that they will not revise their lease agreement, create a special tax zone around the arena, or consider any agreement including an “escape clause”.

Unfortunately, for Bettman, the NHL bid includes the much hated “escape clause”.  Basically, in the terms of the NHL’s bid, the current lease agreement will be null and void at the end of the 2009/10 season.

At this point, presumably, the NHL could pull up stakes, and walk out of Glendale without paying another cent to the City of Glendale.

This then leaves Glendale with a tough decision.  Do they accept the NHL bid, and the one year of lease payments, and risk the team leaving town after one year?  Or do they just accept the inevitable, and take whatever monies offered by Balsillie, and let the issue die, while being able to say they stood up against those demanding the taxpayers throw good money after bad?

Don’t be surprised if Balsillie goes into the auction holding hands with the City of Glendale, after having offered them more money than they would receive in the one guaranteed year of lease payments as structured under the NHL bid.

With Glendale backing Balsillie, even tacitly, the NHL would find itself in a situation in which they must either improve their offer beyond that extended by Balsillie, or hope to use the threat of endless appeals as a deterrent to Baum in awarding the franchise rights to Balsillie.

As it is Baums job to get the best deal, not worry about appeals, I suspect, at the end of the day, money will talk, and BS will walk.



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