What's next for Balsillie, NHL

I am sure you have all heard by now that Judge Baum has issued a ruling in the Phoenix bankruptcy case. In short his ruling states that he cannot award Balsillie the team and allow it to relocate to Hamilton because over ruling the NHL’s ability to choose its owners and the locations of the franchises is not something that can be done within the rules of a bankruptcy court. (sidenote: it may be possible in an anti-trust lawsuit though) With respect to the NHL’s bid, Judge Baum rejected it stating that the NHL can’t pick and choose which unsecured

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Why Leaf Fans should be Optimistic

I am going to come out with complete 2009-10 season predictions for the eastern and western conferences later today or tomorrow but for now let me focus on my favourite team, the Maple Leafs. Coming out of training camp there is a lot to be optimistic about the Leafs future. Nazem Kadri showed very well in his first NHL training camp and gave every indication that he has a bright future in the NHL. Youngsters Hanson, Bozak and especially Stalberg all played quite well and all showed that they have a future of some kind at the NHL level, especially

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A few thoughts on Leafs and Senators

As a Leaf fan I follow the Leafs quite closely, but as a resident of Ottawa, I also am very familiar with the happenings and goings on with the Senators. From this perspective I have observed many things, the first being that the Senators fans have to be among the more optimistic fans in the NHL. They always have high hopes for their team and always seem to have a positive outlook on the team heading into the season. Last season they started to get a little down on the Senators, but a late season surge after Cory Clouston took

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Balsillie woos Glendale, casts aside Moyes

In an interesting and unexpected development today Jim Balsillie has made a slight adjustment to his offer to purchase the Coyotes and move them to Hamilton. The new offer includes giving the city a non-refundable $25 million payment if Balsillie won the auction and the second payment of $25 million when the team relocates. In short, if Balsillie won the auction but it was overturned during an appeal process then the City of Glendale would get to keep the initial $25 million. Not to shabby of a deal really. But the offer gets even better for Glendale. If Balsillie wins

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Top 6 forwards and the Maple Leafs offense

A year ago Cliff Fletcher as interim general manager of the Maple Leafs suggested that the Leafs had only one top 6 forward, that being Nik Antropov. With Antopov now gone there was ample discussion among the media and fans about how dismal the Leafs offense will be and despite the upgrades Brian Burke made on defense the Leafs lack of scoring will likely lead them to another missed playoff. Brian Burke has addressed that in a major way by acquiring what everyone will agree is a top 6 forward in Phil Kessel, but is Kessel enough? To answer that,

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Why 2 first round picks for Kessel makes sense…

There has been a lot of discussion over the last week or so on the rumoured trade offer that Brian Burke has made to the Boston Bruins for Phil Kessel and now that the trade seems very likely to go down, possibly within hours, we may as well take a look at it. (TSN is now reporting the deal is done and pending Kessel signing a contract with the Leafs which is probably not a significant hurdle issue). The rumour is that Burke has offered two first round picks and a second round pick for Kessel and a third round

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Melnyk: No team in Hull!!

Yesterday Bob McCown interviewed Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk discussing mostly the Phoenix Coyote situation. For the most part it wasn’t a very interesting interview and Melnyk often played dumb claiming he really didn’t know much about the situation. Particularly intriguing was that Melnyk stated he really knew nothing regarding the permission the NHL board of governors gave Bettman in purchasing the Phoenix Coyotes through bankruptcy. He stated he was not at the meeting and knew nothing about anything including the cost, what they would do with the franchise if they gained control of it, who would put up money

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Is NHL Embarassed by Phoenix Attendance?

There were some tweets going around this morning regarding the attendance in Phoenix and whether pre-season attendance really matters or is an indication of franchise stability etc. So I figured I would take a look at last nights attendance figures and went to the NHL.com box scores for the information. Boston at NY Rangers: 11,111 (a curious number) Columbus at Pittsburgh: 15,766 Minnesota at St. Louis: 10,582 Edmonton at Calgary: 19,289 Phoenix at Los Angeles: 8,432 Los Angeles at Phoenix: unlisted Apparently the Los Angeles at Phoenix (split squad game) didn’t list an attendance figure. I found that curious so

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Book Abomination

Most Leaf fans, and probably many hockey and sports fans, have heard about the recent book release of “Leaf AbomiNation” written by Dave Feschuk and Michael Grange. Let me start off by saying that I have not read the book, and I probably won’t read the book, but if you want a good book review go and read one here by mf37. My beef with the book is its insistence that the Leafs have sucked for a long time and two significant reasons for that suckage (if I may use that non-word) are the fans undying loyalty to the club

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No Sympathy for Gretzky

Over the course of the summer there were a lot of people sympathetic of Wayne Gretzky and felt bad that his name and his contract was openly discussed, and often not in good light, in the courts, and sometimes that spread into the media. Over the course of the summer we learned that Jerry Reinsdorf wasn’t interested in retaining his services should he bid for the team, Ice Edge was only interested if he took a substantial pay cut to $2 million and that the NHL was not interested in retaining his contract through the auction process either. There are

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