Here is a tweet that can be filed in the “grain of salt” category. It can also be filed in the “food for thought” category as well. Perhaps it represents the first step toward fixing the decade-long, ever-underwhelming travesty that is the Southeast Division.
for the assist as we missed the originial tweet and saw his retweet.
Update: Here is more from The Fourth Period.
According to QMI Agency, [Quebec premier Jean] Charest met with Gary Bettman last Friday during the Montreal Canadiens game and the NHL commissioner is “sincere” and wants to see a team back in Quebec City.
Bettman, who has already spoken with Quebec City major Regis Labeaume, has indicated on several occasions that a second team in the province of Quebec was a real possibility, though a timeline has never been put in place.
Charest indicated that Quebec City would likely obtain a franchise through relocation as opposed to expansion.
If a team leaves the Southeast (Atlanta to QC) how would that help “fix” the Southeast, at least in the way we want, which would be to move the Caps to the Atlantic?
Agreed. The headline makes no sense at all. I’ve read some serious garbage on here recently.
Why does anyone take Eklund’s new twitter account seriously? I can make up better crap than this.
If the current Thrashers ownership were intent on selling and cutting their losses would they have increased team payroll by $8 million over the summer? Would they be fielding a team with a $51 payroll when they could be putting out a $41 payroll and save themselves $$$?
The tone is a non-starter for me. The NHL is considering moving Atlanta to Quebec because they’ve promised Quebec a team? The NHL doesn’t own the Atlanta Thrashers. They don’t get to decide to move them.
If the Southest can be said to be comprised of three large market clubs and Tampa and Carolina, and if one of those large markets bolts for Canada, how could that be interpreted as anything but a weakening act for a perpetually weak division?
Moreover, do you really believe that league would move forward with a four-team Southeast, or that Atlanta alone would be on the move?
This move would be a domino event.
“If the Southest can be said to be comprised of three large market clubs and Tampa and Carolina, and if one of those large markets bolts for Canada, how could that be interpreted as anything but a weakening act for a perpetually weak division?”
I’m not sure what one has to do with the other. The Southeast is a collection of entities, not a company in and of itself. It’s not like Atlanta’s a huge draw and it leaving is going to hurt attendance in Tampa or Carolina. The viability of the division is impacted by the viability of each franchise and the viability of the other franchises won’t be affect if Atlanta moves.
“Moreover, do you really believe that league would move forward with a four-team Southeast, or that Atlanta alone would be on the move?”
No, and yes. The league wouldn’t go with a four team division. But they might keep Quebec in that division, re-christen it the “Coastal Division” or something and keep it together. But the decision to move a team is independent of what other team’s are doing. Florida’s ownership isn’t going to say, “Hey, Atlanta moved! We should too!” Plus it can actually hurt movement of other teams by taking away one of their viable options.
I don’t see the domino effect because I just don’t see the league and a significant number of other owners deciding to radically change everything becuase one team moved.
Still, what’s the reasoning behind your belief that this would result in a better Southeast? They aren’t going to dissolve the division, so “weakening” it means that it sucks more for Caps fans, not less.
I suppose what could happen is ATL becomes QC and joins the northeast, Toronto moves from the Northeast to the Central, and Nashville moves from the Central to the Southeast. But the league isn’t going to sacrifice Leafs-Habs or Leafs-Senators, and even if they’re stupid enough to do that, we replace Atlanta with the Predators, who are even less exciting than the Thrashers.
Let’s face it – we aren’t going to get what we want unless there’s contraction.
DMG, one here presumes that such an overture from the league wouldn’t occur absent some input from the Thrash. And what if Atlanta ownership actually wanted to make money with hockey, and had reasonable assurance of full houses every night up north? They might be interested.
PUCKSANDBOOKS, the point is, this is all clearly conjecture. It’s based on nothing. I’m often hard on Tarik for not reporting ENOUGH gossip type information on the Post website, but this is pure rubbish. I mean, you’re drawing a semi-crazy conclusion from an unreliable source and then posting an entry about it as if it’s a decent possibility. No way on Earth this is newsworthy.
Christopher, perhaps you don’t believe where there’s smoke there’s fire, but I do, and earlier this fall very reputable and numerous media outlets reported Commissioner Bettman’s visit to Quebec City to meet there with the mayor, the dialogue of which probably wasn’t centered on curling. Now there’s this info. It strikes me as following a pattern. In isolation, the tidbits don’t amount to much, but as they’re woven together, they form — for some (many)– intrigue. Washington particularly has an interest in this matter, for reasons I will be writing about later. And while I commend you for pressing standards of professionalism on professional media outlets, at the end of the day we’re a blog, whose writers’ livelihoods don’t rely upon this product (thankfully). We do seek to inform and illuminate and at times educate, but *always* we’re trying to have fun here. This file falls under that category. So, lighten up just a wee bit.
“DMG, one here presumes that such an overture from the league wouldn’t occur absent some input from the Thrash. And what if Atlanta ownership actually wanted to make money with hockey, and had reasonable assurance of full houses every night up north? They might be interested.”
I wouldn’t believe that’s the case for a number of reasons:
– The Nordiques drew more or less what the Thrashers have drawn post lockout
– The company that owns the Thrashers also owns Philips Arena. That means if you move the team’s game day costs go up a lot and you have to make a lot more to get in the black and you’ve taken away 41+ chances to pull in significant revenue at Philips Arena. The odds of there being an arena arrangement in QC that offset that two factors is very, very small. Even with a terrible team, and no playoff income, Forbes estimated the Thrashers had higher operating income then 12 NHL franchises including St. Louis, Washington, San Jose, and Buffalo. Don’t underestimate the value of consolidating assets.
– The company that owns the Thrashers also owns the Atlanta Hawks.
– The company that owns the Thrashers is based in Atlanta.
– The company that owns the Thrashers is having ownership legal squabbles, and it’s unclear who’s going to own/control the team in 2013-14. Even if Bettman wanted to see if the team wanted to move QC, he wouldn’t know who to talk to.
Could the team be sold and moved? Sure. But after watching Bettmann dig in and fight for Phoenix, I don’t think he’s going to want to watch Atlanta go.
The case for Atlanta not going anywhere – especially QC in a tacit agreement that doesn’t make any sense – is pretty strong. The case for Atlanta moving to QC is based on two things, Bettman meeting with Régis Labeaume and a tweet. The tweet is from a source we have no reason to trust, so it’s moot (that fact that it sounds a lot like Eklund, the account spends a lot of time defending Eklund, and gets a lot of praise from some hockey buzz writers doesn’t help). After Bettman and Labeaume met, Bettman specifically said he was interested in expanding down the road but not moving anyone. So, really, you’ve got a meeting between Bettman and Labeaume where Bettman specifically shot down relocation talk. That’s really not “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”.
From someone with more knowledge of the situation about the Thrashers’ current situation (The Falconer at Bird Watchers Anonymous):
1) The building would be vacant 44+ nights (3 pre-season home games). Hawks occupy it for another 44+ nights. Atlanta Spirit own the building and get every dime of parking and concessions.
2) The departure of the Thrashers would void the leases on all the luxury boxes. In the current economy how knows how companies would be happy to exist their 10 year commitment.
3) The departure for the Thrashers would also void the naming rights deal with Philips. Philips has reduced their North American presence and would likely be happy to get out of the deal. The market for naming rights is down sharply right now. They could not easily replace the revenue.
4) Unlike MOST NHL teams there is not one cent of debt on the team. The teams are appreciating in value. They could get a loan against the teams at the drop of a hat if they were short on cash.
5) The Thrashers ownership spent near the cap max first two seasons after the lockout. They increased payroll by $8 this summer and are offering Kovalchuk a rumored $100 million contract. Does this sound like an ownership looking to save every last time and cut losses?
Because Atlanta Spirit owns the building the Thrashers don’t need to turn a profit–because the ownership makes a big margin on the building. The Thrashes simply need to keep the losses modest.
For what is basially a “what if” piece, there sure are a lot of ruffled feathers.