FanDuel - WFBC

January 03, 2007

Lemieux meeting today with K.C. officials. : Kansas City officials, eager to find an anchor tenant for a new arena, will get their first opportunity to lure the Penguins there today. Lemieux has also agreed to meet with Pittsburgh city officials tomorrow to discuss "Plan B" to keep the Pens in the 'Burgh.

posted by FonGu to hockey at 06:39 AM - 41 comments

Bah - I can't abide such lunacy. Here's another "gosh we really hope you end up liking us so maybe we can increase TV revenue" US market. The league is desparate to keep Crosby in the US in the hopes that eventually he can ignite the sport again a la Gretzky (seems a stretch) - but I'll be damned if KC is the answer. As long as Bettman is in charge, there will not be another team in Canada. As far as he's concerned that market has been cornered without adding teams, so why not go to KC? Douchebag, douchebag, douchebag!!

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:51 AM on January 03

Just curious Weedy, which Canadien city or cities do you think could support an NHL franchise (that don't already have one)? I feel bad for Mario, I really think his intentions were good when he first took control of the franchise. Anyone remember the KC Scouts?

posted by mjkredliner at 09:06 AM on January 03

Winnipeg, Quebec City, Hamilton, Halifax, Toronto (why not two? It'd be a piece of cake and money would shut the Leafs up - fuckingprofitsuckingassholes) would be the ones at the top of my list. But that ain't gonna happen on Gary's watch.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:21 AM on January 03

BRING BACK THE WHALERS!!

posted by viricide at 09:39 AM on January 03

Douchebag, douchebag, douchebag!! ahem. I think a) this is just a negotiating move to force the state to give more money, and b) for the most part, it's no one's fault but Mario's that there's no new arena. Other cities found ways to mostly fund an arena with private money. Mario's been unable to do that and now he's all bent out of shape about it. Pittsburgh's broke, they can't pay their own bills, so how can they waste money on an arena? The state has a serious budget problem on the horizon with state pensions. Taking this to an extreme, but here we go: Mario was whiner when he played and he's whining now because he'll have to pay money to make more money. He keeps crying that they never gave him an arena despite promises over the past seven years, but he also never worked to find ways to fun one privately. He's always had this feeling that the state and the city owe him because he took the team when it was going under. Well, he had a financial stake in that since the team owed him money. Sorry, but the arena deal is no one's fault but his.

posted by SummersEve at 09:48 AM on January 03

Sorry Weedy, but the reason the team is being kept in the US is not because they want to keep Crosby here. It's because financially, the US can handle another team. Just because Canadians are hockey morning, noon and night, doesn't mean that another franchise will be successful. You had Quebec and Winnipeg that couldn't survive and Ottawa had to declare bankruptcy.

posted by kitkat_lover at 10:15 AM on January 03

Pffft. Winnipeg and Quebec City were taken!. They had plenty of fans, just not enough luxury boxes - owners had better offers in Phoenix and Colorado (that the league couldn't move fast enough on, I might add - whereas the instant the word gets out that Pittsburgh might be moving to Canada, they slam stipulations up the waszoo). Ottawa declared bankruptcy thanks to a tremendous 'case of the morons' in the front office, but certainly you're not suggesting that franchise be moved because that's far from the case now. Those cities could easily support a team again (well, QC might be a bit of a stretch, but certainly no worse than a Florida, Raleigh or Nashville). Couple that with the new Canadian marketplace realities (strong dollar) and the only reason not to expand to Canada is to keep going on this lame attempt to bring hockey to places that never had it. I can't stand it. It's because financially, the US can handle another team. Except that they don't have the support of media, corporate or fan base in at least three cities that I can think of right now: Pittsburgh (fan base is okay - but not much else), Florida (ugly all over), and Phoenix (surprise, surprise). That's without bringing up the problems found in Chicago, St. Louis, Boston, New Jersey and a whole host of other low-drawing established teams. And Dude - Canada can support another team. It's just that another team in Canada doesn't bring the league any closer to the vaunted US TV money and markets. Of course, we overlook the fact that they don't actually have a TV deal that's worth mentioning, but I digress.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:45 AM on January 03

Weedy, spot on. The argument that a Canadian market isn't financially viable went out the window when profit sharing was introduced with the latest CBA. Without profit sharing, several US teams would be in the red this season, and still might be even with the help. Re: Crosby being Bettman's saviour. Case and point - NBC has now switched its broadcasting focus from regional rivalries during its "Game of the Week" to airing a game of either Crosby or Ovechkin. Bettman wants a Michael Jordan.

posted by garfield at 10:50 AM on January 03

Yes! thanks, garf - I had neglected to mention where the profit in the profit sharing is going - and it isn't flowing from the south to north. I mean the NHL has a $100 million + deal JUST for Hockey Night in Canada coming in (saturdays only). I'm getting a little sick of us hosers footing the bill for the disinterested Americanos in places (sidenote: Not all places. There are people in Minnesota, New York, Ohio, New England, and other places that might as well be Canadian they love hockey so much). Okay - I'm off the soapbox.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:06 AM on January 03

Preach on, brother Weedy! If the Pens are moving (and I'm still not convinced they are; what Mario is doing right now amunts to little more than straight-up due diligence), wherever they wind up going, they'll be fine as long as they get off on the right foot and have a plan in place. I just remember when the Scouts left KC (!) for Denver, sputtered, and everyone pooh-poohed the idea of Denver being able to support an NHL team. When the Avs moved there, they hit the ground running and have become an integral part of the mosaic of that city. If the Pens move, that'd be the kind of situation they're looking for. And beating the drums in any prospective new market is part of that. It's not a matter of whether there are fans in KC or Winnipeg or Hartford or Salmon Arm or Rancho Cucamonga or Bangkok. There are hockey fans all over the place, and when marketed properly, few sports are better at selling themselves as quality top-to-bottom entertainment to new eyes. The real question is one of stable management and a quality product. The Penguins have the latter in spades, and the former... well, Mario was kind of thrust into this role, but he's learning as fast as he can. He may yet make out okay. I'm confident that in a couple of years, this will have all worked out one way or the other. This franchise will not languish in limbo for much longer. I hope.

posted by chicobangs at 11:29 AM on January 03

(sidenote: Not all places. There are people in Minnesota, New York, Ohio, New England, and other places that might as well be Canadian they love hockey so much). Dude, You left Michigan off this list. The most Canadian like place in the States when it comes to Hockey! With 2 OHL Clubs, 3 UHL Squads, an AHL Squad, of course an original 6 NHL Team and Multiple CCHA and WHCA University squads(More than any other State) and unparalleled High School Hockey (over 200 Teams) and Youth Hockey out the wazoo and 1 transplanted Blackhawk nut. Michigan, my friend is Hockey crazy. I'm totally with you on another Canadian Franchise, I'd like to see one in SW Ontario and while I'm dreaming how about placing the Red Wings in the Eastern Conference where they belong. I'm amazed the Pittsburg squad is still considering staying in Pennsylvania after the loosey way they've been treated by the local and state governments. They deserve better and so do the Hockey Fans of Canada!

posted by skydivedad at 11:41 AM on January 03

Wow.. Toews pots 3 Shoot-out Goals and Team Canada defeats Team USA in an 8 round shoot-out at the World Jrs......... Incredible game.... 5-4 Final after a 1-1 tie in regulation.

posted by skydivedad at 11:51 AM on January 03

I didn't know shooters were allowed to go more than once. Most shoot-outs don't work like that, right?

posted by garfield at 11:56 AM on January 03

Correct garfield........ but IHF rules are different. You can repeat players after 3 rounds of chances I think is how it works. I like it alot but I bet the goalies don't..........

posted by skydivedad at 12:00 PM on January 03

You could put a team in Hamilton or Kitchener tomorrow and sell 15,000 season tickets without blinking, but that's not gonna happen. There's already five teams within a half-hour's drive of Highway 401. You'll see a team back in Cleveland before the Hamilton Steelers or the Port Colborne Estonians (or whatever) see NHL action. Too much shared territory already, and Bettman is still pushing the rope uphill. You know, the Coyotes and Panthers are going to be fine, and if not, it's not the fault of the cities, or their fanbases. Ottawa and Buffalo almost failed, despite more or less healthy fan numbers, because of poor management, and now they've both (well, Buffalo certainly has anyway) turned it around and are back in the black. This detente in Pittsburgh can't last forever, can it? The new mayor in Pittsburgh is a big Pens fan. Maybe that'll help things along? Maybe?

posted by chicobangs at 12:35 PM on January 03

It seems like as long as KC doesn't choke a few hours from now, the deal will be set, Super Mario will fly back to Pitt tonight, setting up tomorrow. He will give Rendell and Pitt city officials their last chance to stop him from moving the team. Unless Rendell has one last miracle to work, Super MArio will have Bettman make announcement. However, Winnipeg is the wild card here, only they can stop Super Mario from moving to KC. However, if KC chokes today, it's gonna be the scenario. Regardless of whether they deserve an NHL team, they will get the Pens, they can't choke. However, Rendell is the only man who can stop this, and once again, he will get one last shot.

posted by LA_Dude at 12:36 PM on January 03

I'm amazed the Pittsburg squad is still considering staying in Pennsylvania after the loosey way they've been treated by the local and state governments. Do I really need to rant about how untrue the above statement is? 'Cause I'm getting a little burned out on making the argument. (On preview, I'm not even acknowledging LA-DUDE's comment.) By the way, interresting storyif you're curious on how things got so bad for the Pens.

posted by SummersEve at 12:47 PM on January 03

Anybody hear anything about the KC deal? I'd love to know how it worked out, being in the KC area.

posted by hawkguy at 12:48 PM on January 03

Dude, You left Michigan off this list. No I didn't. Because in hockey-speak, Michigan is the 11th province.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:51 PM on January 03

There are people in Minnesota, New York, Ohio, New England, and other places that might as well be Canadian they love hockey so much You may not like us, but you have to put Philadelphia on that list. Ohio? Really?

posted by SummersEve at 12:55 PM on January 03

Portland Portland Portland Portland. I have nothing else to add. Just sprinkle the fairy dust and make it happen.

posted by diastematic at 01:12 PM on January 03

Portland Portland Portland Portland. Maine or Oregon?

posted by lex2000 at 02:15 PM on January 03

Portland Portland Portland Portland. Maine or Oregon? Rene.

posted by SummersEve at 02:25 PM on January 03

Portland Portland Portland Portland. Maine or Oregon? Rene. Think she'd go for it?

posted by lex2000 at 02:28 PM on January 03

Well actually the KC meeting went well. As for Crosby, sorry to inform you of this shocking news bulletin, but he isn't as revered in the States as he is in Canada. And for everyone blaming Bettman for causing this problem, the new owners for St. Louis and Anaheim had to abide by the same "rule". They all agreed to not move their teams, plus their teams had NEW arenas, but Basille wouldn't go for it, nor would he put up any money if the right deal didn't go thru. As for Lemieux being able to, well if he can't get the stadium, he has every right to move. He probably may keep his interest in the team if they do move, because he will start to make money. Basille was the only other option Lemieux had if the arena deal didn't go thru, but Basille, and Basille alone screwed himself out of the deal.

posted by kitkat_lover at 02:33 PM on January 03

You may not like us, but you have to put Philadelphia on that list. Ohio? Really? posted by SummersEve at 12:55 PM CST on January 3 Bowling Green has been one of the top collegiate hockey teams in the nation for decades.

posted by kitkat_lover at 02:37 PM on January 03

Portland...Oregon. (Maine can keep its AHL team.) I'm amazed that there is no West Coast team between San Jose and Vancouver. NorCal, Oregon and Washington is one heck of a gap...

posted by diastematic at 02:38 PM on January 03

As for Crosby, sorry to inform you of this shocking news bulletin, but he isn't as revered in the States as he is in Canada. Anybody (ie everybody that has posted in this thread so far) with a knowledge of the piss poor TV deal the NHL has in the States knows that. But, to use a cliche, he has the most upside for making a break onto the national stage. I mean, ummm, cover of GQ before* he'd ever played in the NHL? * I mean it was on newsstands after his debut, but the magazine business works with long lead times...

posted by gspm at 02:42 PM on January 03

Well, as spokesperson for "the States," you might want to explain that "shocking news bulletin" to all the advertisers who have already put him on the Gretzky plan, hiring him to sell magazine covers and shill products from Reebok to Mastercard to Gatorade to, there's a national cel phone carrier that's using him now, isn't there? Not bad for a 19-year-old who doesn't dunk a basketball or get jiggy with one of the Hilton sisters. (Inshallah, may this never change.) Anyway, you'll have to explain to the ever-growing audience who's already getting excited about watching Sidney Crosby play and grow into his role as one of the pillars of his sport that they're not supposed to care about him because you, as America's spokesperson, say so.

posted by chicobangs at 02:45 PM on January 03

Just to confuse matters, Maine already can lay claim to a hockey-related Rene.

posted by yerfatma at 03:09 PM on January 03

Portland...Oregon. (Maine can keep its AHL team.) I'm amazed that there is no West Coast team between San Jose and Vancouver. NorCal, Oregon and Washington is one heck of a gap... I've thought about this a lot. The Rose Garden is most definitely NHL ready. However, Portland has the WHL's Winter Hawks (which has high caliber players) who have a pretty loyal following. It's still juniors, though, so I say bring on the big dogs. Since the allegedly anti-hockey Paul Allen no longer has anything to do with the Rose Garden's management a stronger case could be made for bringing an NHL team to Portland and moving the WHL team elsewhere. A couple of issues still linger: - Would Portland support an NHL team? - Would bringing the NHL to Portland interfere with the City's desire to bring in a Major League Baseball team (thus shelving any serious talks about the NHL)?

posted by lex2000 at 03:11 PM on January 03

What about a Team here in the NorthEast Say, Lake Placid NY? Bring back the old Red White and Blue!

posted by yachts360 at 03:30 PM on January 03

Halifax With the wacky Nova Scotian tides how could you gaurentee the rink wouldn't get flooded. I wouldn't mind seeing a team moving to the pacific northwest, you'd have built in rilvary with Vancouver and I think it is been proven that Seattle and Portland can maintain a pro team. How come Kamloops is never mentioned as a possible Canadian city for a team?

posted by HATER 187 at 03:50 PM on January 03

Lake Placid? Bring Hockey Back to where the Most memorable Hockey story took place.

posted by yachts360 at 04:00 PM on January 03

Lake Placid? Bring Hockey Back to where the Most memorable Hockey story took place. I don't think the NHL is ready to put a hockey team in Moscow Russia just yet. We all know the most memorable hockey story took place in 1972 at the Luzhniki Ice Palace in late September.

posted by tommytrump at 05:27 PM on January 03

KC is a great sports town, and has a brand new arena opening fall of 07. KC can support hockey, more so than the NBA. We would LOVE to have the Pens here, bring 'em on!

posted by CubbieKenn at 05:51 PM on January 03

Lex, my sense of the pulse for MLB here in Portland is that it's dead. Did MLB ever take Portland seriously? Did Portland ever take MLB seriously? Perhaps a look at the minors tells the story of prospective support: if the non-pro WHL team here can draw 10,000+ on a night at the Rose Garden, but the PCL's Beavers can rarely go above 5,000 in beautiful PGE Park, I have a hunch that people would support an NHL team 40x/year. Meanwhile, it's Comcast that owns the hockey-ready Rose Garden (for now). Given that VS. is their network, there's plenty of incentive to bring a team to Portland. Seems like a no-brainer to bring a team to town, especially one that the entire Pacific NW US can claim to be its own.

posted by diastematic at 10:56 PM on January 03

An update from KC. Mario is meeting Rendell in Pitt today. They agreed on most things, but not everything. They're gonna negotiate. Most people think it is a bluff, the deal's done. I think theree's hope of staying put.

posted by LA_Dude at 12:06 PM on January 04

An update from KC about Pittsburgh from LA_Dude. Interesting. Meanwhile, back in Pittsburgh.

posted by SummersEve at 02:01 PM on January 04

There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that Moscow could easily and enthusiastically support an NHL team. Also, a regional TV contract wouldn't be an issue either (although you could forget about the Red Wings moving into the Eastern Conference). Luzhniki has even been renovated and upgraded in the last 30 years, even. Time zone (and mob control) issues aside, 3CP Moskva could work. Just saying.

posted by chicobangs at 03:29 PM on January 04

Good point diastematic. I'm a big baseball fan, but building a new stadium here just doesn't make any sense when we'd likely draw a crappy team in the first place. Rose Garden is all ready to go. You're right, and I've been saying this for years, it's a no brainer. While I do love going to baseball games, Triple A just doesn't cut it for me. I like the Winter Hawks, too, but I'd do almost anything to have an NHL team in the Rose Garden than the WHL. I think the city, both the government side and the general populace, would feel a hell of a lot better about getting behind an NHL team than an MLB team. It just makes more sense all the way around. I say bring 'em on.

posted by lex2000 at 04:37 PM on January 04

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