Penguins don't have reason to move, says NHL
Roadblock impedes Penguins' exit
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has an interesting story today. They say,
According to people familiar with the sale process, the Penguins were ready to sell to the high bidder, a Canadian entity or group that offered $175 million or more, but that bidder backed out over the weekend based on what it learned about the NHL's stance and the state's "Plan B" for arena funding.
So, the group rumored to be headed by RIM CEO Jim Balsillie wowed the Penguins with their offer and the Penguins were ready to sell for a rumored $175M. The bid would be $25M more than what the St. Louis Blues sold for -- and the Blues have a beautiful, new arena in which to play.
Apparently, Gary Bettman told them, "No, not if there is a plan for a new arena in Pittsburgh".
Well if this is true, all I have to say is, good for Gary Bettman. I must say before the lockout I was not sure about Bettman. But, the lockout was good for the NHL. The NHL now has the best CBA for medium and small markets like KC. And now, Bettman isn't allowing franchises to just take up and move on a whim.
It's believed the four remaining bidders -- whose offers are in the $150 million range -- are more willing to work with Plan B if the Isle of Capri does not get the slots license, although at least one of them might be holding out hope that if Plan B falls apart the team could still be moved.
So, Fingold isn't giving up on KC. I guess there is still a very slight ray of hope for those "spinning" that the Penguins may still play in Sprint Center.
The NHL's bylaws are not public documents, but they contain a passage that defines many conditions that need to be exhausted before a team would be allowed to move, NHL spokesman Frank Brown said yesterday.
Since the Penguins' major problem is its facility, the NHL probably would not approve relocation as long as there is an active plan for a new arena.
Wouldn't you love to know what those conditions are? I'm sure one of them is lack of attendance over a certain period of years. Considering the Penguins average attendance last season, I'm sure they wouldn't meet some of the conditions for moving a franchise. A franchise would have to meet those conditions to even consider moving to KC or Houston or Hamilton, or, heck with renovation to KeyArena, Seattle (since developments today point to that city losing the Sonics).
I guarantee you AEG knows the conditions...considering Phillip Anschutz is on the Executive Committe of the NHL Board of Governors (I believe).
I'm going out on a limb here. I think we start hearing about an AHL franchise in KC for 2007-08 in November.