Dear Commissioner Bettman,
Thank you for your time to read my letter, I know that you are a very busy man, so I will keep this short.
First off, please excuse the level of stupidity this humble hockey fan in asking why you won’t allow the return of a National Hockey team back in Canada. I know it’s a complicated matter, and a lot of research and discussion are required before the league can decide which city should have an NHL team. I know it will take time, I’ve heard it many many times before, and if it ever occurs, it must be with the right people, in the right city, at the right time, right?
However, isn’t it pretty obvious that after a 13-year experiment, we can conclude that hockey isn’t very successful in Phoenix, Arizona?? How long did it take for the League to decide to move the team out of Winnipeg, if I may ask? How many chances did we give that city to try to salvage a Jets’ team with 24 years of heritage?
It has been a hot topic for the past few years about the potential hockey market for another team in Ontario, even Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly admits that Toronto can handle two NHL teams. I know that there’s always two sides to every story. I know that you’ve said no to either moving a team or starting an expansion team in Toronto, or actually anywhere in Canada, but I haven’t heard the reason for it. Please share with me your side of the story??
So, Why?? Why can’t there be another NHL team in Toronto, if all the evidence points to the direction that it will be profitable both monetary-wise and promotional-wise???
In the past 2 days, I’ve read many articles about how the league, or you specifically, are doing everything you can to prevent the successful acquisition of the Coyotes franchise by Mr. Jim Balsillie. I don’t know much about law, as I am only a naive Canadian hockey fan of 20 years. All I’ve been hearing is that:
1. Coyotes Owner Jerry Moyes wanted the team off his hands, and being an unsecured creditor, he wants to maximize the chance of getting some return on his unsuccessful investment, hence filling the team for bankruptcy.
2. RIM Boss Jim Balsillie has always wanted to place a second team in Toronto. He is willing to fork out $17-million to the club for immediate needs, and then $212.5-million to buy the team. Whether Balsillie is doing this out of patriotic love or smart investment doesn’t really matter, as long as he is willing to offer the highest bid to buy the club.
3. Hockey in Phoenix has never been successful, they’ve tried 13 years already. No investor in their sane mind will invest a lot if there aren’t any ways of assuring monetary success in the near future.
4. Toronto has a huge demand for another hockey club, it can easily support two highly profitable teams, if not three.
5. If the League insist on keeping the Coyotes in Phoenix, they will have to offer a $190-million subsidy for just one more season. This of course won’t be paid out of Mr.Commissioner’s pocket, but shared by the rest of the 29 teams.
6. Players of the Coyotes should be happy playing in a real hockey-market and a profitable club. Free-agents will want to join the team, as with local Junior hockey prospects, the team will quickly be better.
So Moyes gets some of his money back, Balsillie get’s his NHL team, Toronto fans are happy, Players are happy, the League doesn’t have to pay up that $190-million , heck…even Gretzky gets to come back to Canada to coach!!!! It’s seems like everybody wins if this deal comes through, well…maybe except for Mr. Commissioner’s ego.
News reports are saying that the League is opposing this because they never wanted to move any teams unless absolutely required, but don’t you agree that paying $190-million is a good sign that it IS absolutely required??
Some say it’s about control, the League should have the last say as to where and when a NHL team should be placed, not any Arizona court. But is the League willing to sacrifice everybody’s interests just to maintain that image of “Power”???
An even more extreme conspiracy theory suggests that the League doesn’t want any existing team to move to a highly profitable market like Toronto, because the League will make much more ($400-million) on expansion teams. But that doesn’t make sense, if it’s about the money, there should already be 3 teams in Canada by now (Toronto, Winnipeg, and Quebec City??), or even more in the States. You yourself said that there won’t be any expansion teams in the near future, right?
So what is it? Please spare me the suspense, and just tell me why you and the League are doing this?? Is it because you don’t like Canadians??
Humble Hockey Fan,