5.06.2009

Coyote Imbroglio

Here's a great piece by elite hockey writer and TSN pundit Bob Mackenzie on the Phoenix Coyote situation. Essential reading for anyone who's interested in the topic, it really lays out the situation--specifically the conflicts--clearly. Which could not have been an easy thing to do.

I think, long-term, this fight will take down Gary Bettmen, because despite his delusions otherwise the NHL will never flourish in weak markets in a depressed U.S. economy that'll probably never be what it used to be. A strong NHL needs more teams in Canada, and because Bettman's U.S. growth plan has never been completely successful (Nashville?!), eventually he'll take the fall.

The U.S. will go soccer mad before it buys into hockey hype. You can only make the sport so big down there. Yep, sooner or later, probably later, but not too much later, the NHL is going to have to move teams back to Canada.

I've said it before--it's just too bad Winnipeg's business class isn't in the game on this one. I wouldn't mind being a six-hour drive from the NHL. Sigh.

1 comment:

ColReid said...

I don't know that this will lead to the end of the Reign of Bettman, but it will probably force him to change his strategy.
However, putting another team in Southern Ontario is a bad idea as it would impact Toronto, Detroit, and Buffalo.
Going back to Winnipeg is probably not an option either... didn't the Arena get demolished or something? And who the heck would buy a team and an arena? I do agree that the Jets got moved prematurely but they were struggling and might have ended up moving anyway, who knows.
Meanwhile though, while the league has been setting up shop in places like Nashville and Carolina, it has always baffled me that there is no team in, oh I don't know, Seattle? Portland? Look at other Major League cities/regions (NFL, MLB, NBA) that don't have NHL teams: Green Bay / Milwaukee, Cleveland, Cincinnati, etc. There are plenty of unexplored markets that would easily be a better fit for the NHL than Phoenix, Miami, Tampa, and Carolina.