Thursday, May 07, 2009

Gary Bettman is Darth Vader in Canada

All eyes in Canada are focused on a bankruptcy court in Phoenix where Jim Balsillie battles the NHL to repatriate the Phoenix Coyotes back to Canada. I refer to it as a repatriation because at one time the Coyotes were the Winnigeg Jets. One of the reasons that Canadians despise Bettman is that he openly dismisses Canadians' claim to their national sport.

His misguided attempts to establish hockey in the U.S. Sunbelt is laughable. He's not fooling anyone down their into thinking its football on ice. Instead he has weakened the financial viability of the entire league. He desperately attempts to keep teams in bad markets while he never once intervened to keep the Jets in Winnipeg or the Nordiques in Quebec City.

If Basillie wins he will be a true Canadian hero and may open the door for more Canadian franchises.

Meanwhile the Toronto Maple Leaf owners are stewing silently. They have relentlessly milked their loyal fans for every dollar they could for decades while providing an inferior product. To publicly oppose Balsillie would only drive a knife in the hearts of hockey fans in Southern Ontario. As they stumble to rebuild the last thing they need is a public backlash for opposing another team in their huge market.