If You're Stephen Whitworth, You Don't Want To Read These Stories

Talking to native Winnipegers about the end of the Jets is a frustrating experience. No matter what you say or what evidence you have to prove your point -- that Gary Bettman wanted the Winnipeg franchise moved south to create a national footprint for an American television contract, and would have done it no matter what Winnipegers and Manitobans would have done to save the team -- the mantra is always the same: They blame the city, they blame the province, they blame the business community, and they blame themselves.

Well, as hockey fans know by now, the team is safely ensconsed in that hockey hotbed known as Phoenix, Arizona. And everything is going swimmingly in the desert, right? Somehow, I don't think this was supposed to be part of Gary Bettman's plan ...

Here's the smoking gun. The ESPN article states that the Coyotes have lost $60 million in the past two seasons, and will lose another $30 million this season. Asking for an advance on its television money isn't new, and it doesn't really matter (the club's just asking for its money early) except for two things. Other clubs have a line of credit to draw on whhen cash flow becomes irregular, and what an NHL team makes from it's television contract isn't that much. So if the Coyotes are asking for that money, it must mean that their line of credit is already maxed out, and they're really, really desparate for cash.

Now, would the Winnipeg Jets have lost as much money over the years if they played in Winnipeg instead of Phoenix? And if people thought that hockey in the desert made economic sense, and hockey in a hockey market didn't make sense, what are those people thinking today?

Happy Hannukah

How's that cooling off period going for the Cons? Not so good ...

On Sunday, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff attended a menorah lighting ceremony at Toronto's Zareinu Educational Centre, but according to organizers, a Conservative aide tried to shut the event down and block Ignatieff from attending.

Georganne Burke, who works for the Minister of State Gary Goodyear within Industry Canada, also insinuated that having Ignatieff at the ceremony could pose a problem for the school, according to event organizer Gary Gladstone.

"I am advising you that Georganne Burke called me this evening at about 10:30 pm (on Sunday) enraged, advising me for the benefit of the Jewish community the menorah lighting should be cancelled," Gladstone wrote in an email obtained by CTV News.

"(Burke) further went on to say that she felt it would do serious damage to Zareinu to have the event there," he said in the email.