Saturday, August 25, 2007

Hockey in Hamilton (Again!)

The once hot topic has seemed to cool in the latter months of the summer, but I still need answers. As a proud Hamiltonian hockey fan, I was thrown directly into the middle of this mess when word first broke that Jim Balsillie was about to buy the Nashville Predators. I was probably the happiest guy on earth, I may finally be able to see NHL hockey live, on a regular basis! I've been to a total of 1 Toronto Maple Leafs game in my life, and that was at the old Maple Leaf Gardens when I was five. When I moved out west I was able to go to a couple of Vancouver Canucks games, but I have since moved back to Ontario, and it's back to this crap. I frequently go to Hamilton Bulldog games, and don't get me wrong, those guys can play (especially that Carey Price kid), but there's a reason why they aren't selling tickets. Three simple letters, N-H-L. There is far too much to do in southern Ontario, going to an AHL game ranks pretty low. People have used the Bulldog's attendance figures as a reason why Hamilton would not be able to support an NHL team, but trust me, if it was an NHL team, there would be people coming from all over Ontario to watch the best players in the universe, and there would be sellouts left, right and centre.

Now let me get back on track to the real reason I am writing this blog. Why did the selling of the Nashville Predators to Mr. Balsillie fail? There are rumours of Bettman rearing his ugly head (Sorry Gary), and stopping the transaction, but I'm not sure if I can believe that. Bettman may be the commish, but does he have complete control over what the teams do? The topic has been off the radar for a while now, and people seemed to have forgotten already about this. I wish there was a way Hamilton could get a franchise without having the loyal fans in Nashville lose theirs, but I'm not sure expansion is the right route for the NHL to go (Plus the team will be as good as an AHL team for the first couple of years).

Mr. Balsillie and Mr. Bettman have been pretty tight-lipped about this, maybe in hopes that this will all blow over. I have not given up hope that the NHL will never come to Hamilton, but in the meantime I will still enjoy going t my Calder Cup Champion Hamilton Bulldog games, and I hope that my fellow Hamiltonians will join me, and prove to the world that we can fully support an NHL team to ourselves, and that we have hockey in our blood, because there is no doubt that we are a hockey town.


Avsfan19 said...

Hey Egg, I'm not that familiar with the situation, but is Hamilton close enough to the Leafs market that the Leafs can put the kibosh on a team there if they want?

Eggshmeg said...

I think they can demand $$$, but Balsillie offered Leafs TV certain game rights, so MLSE was apparently fine with it.