In the past week, we've had so many more stories coming up about possible ownership changes or even relocation. This doesn't even include the New York Islanders, who are another story altogether, but still-- creates for some interesting off-ice storyline.
First off, the story that came out today; Rogers Communication is looking at buying a major stake of the Toronto Maple Leafs from Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and the Ontario Teacher's Pension to the tune of $1.3....BILLION. That's a lot of phones, let me tell you. However, is there a chance that MLSE doesn't go for it?? Sure, Rogers does have the cash and it could be a good deal for the team if new blood took over-- but why sell the cash cow?? MLSE is making some dough off of it regardless of what team is on the ice, so if they can keep making that kind of cash-- why would you sell off the golden goose??
However, the Rogers sell would be good for the team and fans. The company would want to bring a winning squad to the ice, which would get the fans more into it and pump even more money into the cash-cow. Plus, Rogers own a sports network, which would take over a majority of Leafs broadcast, I'm sure, and get more rating to a channel which is.....for lack of a better term-- horri-awful. Not only that-- take over their Leafs TV syndicate, and getting more cash. It seems that it could be for the best for Rogers to take over the Leafs-- but knowing they'd be getting profit one way or another, will MLSE take the big one-time payout or will they enjoy the spoils they have now.
That said-- I know nothing about the in-depth Leafs situation, so you might want to check out my buddays over at Pension Plan Puppets-- the quintessential Leafs fan site-- for more information about all of of this.
Down the road and across the border, the Buffalo Sabres have been talked about when it comes to changing ownership, so much that it looks like it could be a possible situation. According to the Associated Press, Sabres owner Tom Golisano is seriously considering selling the Sabres to Pennsylvania man-about-town, Terry Pegula-- who recently gave a boatload of money to Penn State University to start up a Division I hockey team. The Sabres have been quite the interesting subject when it comes to ownership, from Tom Rigas to the NHL to Golisano-- there has been some....interesting moves when it comes to this team-- almost like a "moneyball" situation at times. They have a solid team, but always seem to be a step or two away.
With Pegula coming in, this could mean a more open purse to pull from and could create some more energy and a contender that has been lingering for years when it comes to this team. They have Ryan Miller locked up for a while, who is the keystone to this team, now it's a matter of getting a second-punch to their offense. They have a great committee when it comes to scoring, but you'd probably wouldn't want to have two of your top-five scorers being defensemen-- but that's just me. Pegula loves the game and is willing to put the money out and it could really mean big things for the team and the city.
In what could be the biggest swerve is the Edmonton Oilers, who will have their front office and a representative from the Katz ownership will be going to Quebec City to discuss some things with Quebec City mayor Regis Labeaume. What could this mean?? Could this be a back-up plan for the Oilers if they can't get their new arena with the city of Edmonton done?? With the buzz going on about Quebec getting the "Ok" to get government funding to build a new arena in QC, which could possibly bring a team to the area, this could be the Oilers just putting feelers out and maybe to put pressure on Edmonton city council to get the approval for the new barn or risk losing the team.
While this is no doubt a posturing move from the Oilers, it's a smart one. The more news that goes out and the less details that come out of these meetings (as vague as they are right now), the better for the Oilers because they could get the upperhand when it comes to the negociation with the city of Edmonton. The more options they have, the better. Quebec is perfect, too-- as everyone knows how crazy that place is about hockey and how much they want to get the NHL back into their city. If the city of Edmonton calls the Oilers bluff, Quebec will be there with open arms, I'm sure. This is definitely going to be another place to look at.
Not only are the Islanders now lost in the shuffle in all things, which is a relief to their fans, but also-- Jim Balsillie, who seems to disappears in all of this-- even though Blackberry passes iPhone in operating system usage. Yet, how much of this moving and shaking will happen?? The Buffalo thing seems to be a formality, the Leafs is 50-50, and the Oilers are a long-shot; if you're a compulsive gambler and want to bet on that sort of thing. It just creates more buzz off the ice, which is always good for people who love to speculate.