Read a story that Jim Balsillie, who only brought us the Blackberry, has withdrawn his bid for the Pittsburgh Penguins because the NHL attached a number of conditions to the sale that he could not abide with.
Such as: keeping the team in Pittsburgh.
According to TSN's Bob McKenzie:
Sources say the NHL introduced a lengthy list of terms and conditions on the closing day that Balsillie would have to agree to if he were going to be approved as the new owner of the team. The sources added that those conditions included keeping the franchise in Pittsburgh under any circumstances and also provided for a scenario where the league could take control the franchise if it deemed it necessary.
I read on the TSN web site some of the reactions from all these starving Canadian fans who would think nothing about poaching an American team and putting them in Canada. They were all looking forward to seeing Sidney Crosby play on Canadian soil in Kitchener-Waterloo or wherever they were going to put this team. But why would anyone want to watch NHL games in Kitchener? I'm sorry, but that place is too small. While it is within the market radius for the Toronto Maple Leafs, the place is too far away from Hogtown to be viable. Do you really think people in Leafs Nation would be crazy enough to go see games there? Would they want to go to the games? I know these Leafs fans and a lot of them refuse to support any other teams because they see them as a threat to the Leafs. They don't even support the Toronto Raptors because they think the money that Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment throws at the Raptors is money that could have been spent upgrading the Leafs. There is no way any team in Kitchener or Hamilton or wherever will be able to compete with the Leafs Nation for attention.
Besides, they don't even have an arena in Kitchener.
I say good for the NHL that they did this, putting all these conditions in, if this is really what happened. I'm not a fan of teams moving out of cities to begin with. Investors in NHL teams should be civic-minded enough to want to make commitments to these communities! The NHL clearly wants this team to stay in Pittsburgh and wants to find a way to make it work there. Having a new owner who's ready to pull a team out of a city is just asking for trouble.
Really, there's nothing wrong with Pittsburgh as a market. The Penguins have loyal fans---- as long as the team wins!! They will show up to see star players and a good team. It's only when they have a stinking, embarrassing team on the ice that this franchise has gotten into trouble.
Clearly, with the talent they've got down there, the Penguins are no joke.