Now that sounds better than the Cambridge Penguins. I was on the NHL to Cambridge kick before the idea became mainstream during the Nashville to Southern Ontario fiasco. But when you overhear something at the gym from “two guys who heard it from a friend, who knows a guy,” you know you have a scoop.
Sadly, however, it appears Jim Balsillie, if he can pry the Coyotes out of Phoenix, will move them to Hamilton. Southern Ontario is a great market, and if you read the two links given, you’ll know
I believe Cambridge can work: It’s an hour or less from the growth spots - downtown Toronto to London; it’s right along the 401, and RIM owns a parcel of land right at the 401 and Townline; It is outside both Buffalo and Toronto’s 50 mile boundary (just); and the Cambridge Coyotes has a nice alliterative ring to it.
Hamilton on the other hand… lets just say, find me one Hamilton Tiger Cat fan outside of the City of Hamilton. Sorry Hamilton, but Southern Ontario won’t cheer for your team. It will be a Hamilton team, drawing from Burlington to St. Catherines.
As to whether Balsillie will get the Coyotes out of Phoenix, the NHL has been dramatically weakened by the current economic climate. Three teams appear to be in serious trouble, many more hurting. Gary Bettman, for all his bluster, works for the owners. He has already cost them in Nashville. It may be true that the other owners don’t like Balsillie’s style, but sooner rather than later, they’re going to decide they like the colour of his money. It appears, as well, Balsillie has played this one very deftly, possibly opening the NHL to a lawsuit should they decide they don’t want him in the club. The bottom line is, if the bankruptcy judge accepts Balsillie’s offer, the NHL would have trouble turning him down.