An absolutely fascinating story from the Phoenix New Times about the Coyotes sale, and I figure with the Reinsdorf-Chicago connection I can get away with printing it up here. This thing stinks to high fucking heaven, and it's a wonder Bettman and his cronies are really towing the company line of idiocy.
I've ranted about the Yotes and Basille and moving to Hamilton before, so there's no point in rehashing it again. I've spent far too much time trying to figure out why Bettman is so against this move. It can't be for the move itself, because every other league has had a team move and hasn't lost totaly credibility. Shit, the Browns were stolen from Cleveland (the first version) and the Emperor to Bettman's Vader, David Stern, sat idily by while an even bigger crime of the Sonics boxed off to Oklahoma Fucking City took place. LA lost both its football teams, it still reigns supreme, and the Expos moved to DC to bring something not resembling baseball to our nation's capitol. So it can't be he's afraid of movement. After all, he initiated all these moves to the Sun Belt.
Ah, that's it then, isn't it? If the Yotes wave the white flag and head north, it would signal Bettman's fuck-up, wouldn't it? After all, Bettman's biggest ploy as Unquestioned Leader, other than, y'know, locking everyone out for a season, was the expansion into new markets. Well, would one failing actually be the first domino? If the Coyotes became the Hamilton Tiger Cats, and succeeded and flourished with a sharp, progressive owner -- and they would -- would other teams struggling in markets where they don't belong begin to look elsewhere? Might the Panthers look at Seattle or Portland? Would the Preds think Winnipeg was ready again (doubtful, but we can dream)? After years of incompetent management and play drive away any possible fan in Atlanta, would the Thrashers bring a second team to Toronto, which only makes too much sense? And if any of this happened, what would Bettman have to show for his years? A CBA that nearly cost the league every fan it has and now both the owners and players hate? A joke of a TV deal? Realigned confrences and divisions that no one asked for? No rise in popularity or notoriety? Add to this the possible grandiose failure of his biggest experiment, non-traditional hockey markets.
It is not the fans of Phoenix that Bettman is trying to save, but merely his own ass.