Several sports bankers said the Coyotes headline the list of NHL teams that Balsillie may now be targeting. The Coyotes are said to be losing as much as $30 million (U.S.) a season and are struggling to pad season-ticket sales, as well as local broadcast and sponsorship revenue. One obstacle to buying the Coyotes and moving them would be the team's lease, several bankers said.
Other NHL teams that could be available for sale include the Thrashers, Florida and Columbus, whose attendance slipped a league-high 9.5 per cent this season and whose owner John McConnell recently died.
Really if anyone should be worried would be Phoenix fans or teams with low attendance and losing tons of cash. Really would the NHL be worse if Columbus was bought and moved to Hamilton? They could keep it in the same division. The Detroit and everyone else division. Hey Pat Kanes family wouldn't have to go far to see their boy play 4 times a year. Plus you might be able to get tickets, so if you wanted to see some Western Conference teams, you'd take a 1 hour trip north and see a Hamilton Blackberrys game.
Seriously there was nothing bad about the Sabres in this piece, but some sports radio station FREAKED OUT about it. The Sabres are in good shape, but a owner would be crazy not to listen to offers. This is the conversation that went down several months ago.
Secretary: Mr Golisano, a Jim Balsillie is one the phone.
Tommy G: Mr Balsillie how can I help you?
Balls Out: How much to buy the Sabres? 200 million? 250?
Tommy G: Those are fair prices, but I have one condition, you can't move the team. It stays in Buffalo.
Balls Out: Seriously? The Hammer would love the Sabres.
Tommy G: Well they can drive down and check them out.
Balls Out: Ok, well nice talking to you and good luck.
Tommy G: You too Mr Balsillie.
I'm sure it went down exactly like that. Media types I think, unless they cover business, have zero idea how business goes down. But it was a story and they took and ran with it. Even though it amounted to nothing.