After listening to Jim Ballsillie's main henchman Richard Rodier in an interview on the Fan590 in Toronto (click here for audio) last night, I found it hard to imagine that he believes some of the things he was saying.
Rodier indicated that if Ballsillie won the auction on September 10 that the Coyotes would play the first game of the season in Hamilton this season. "I'm optimistic that the team will be playing in Hamilton in October," said Rodier. When asked how optimistic, he responded "Very."
On issues of the relocation fee and the rights fee, he was fairly flippant as to the amount or who received benefit of it. The point was made that he NHL did not want to put an amount on the table for fear that Ballsillie may pay it.
The trump card that Ballsillie is wanting to play if they win the bid and the NHL continues to reject Ballsillie as an owner, is the anti-trust issue. This is a can of worms that none of the major sports leagues want opened.
The showdown in Phoenix appears headed for a very ugly conclusion no matter who "wins" the bidding process. The fact that it will get very dirty in public will taint all those involved in the ugliness.
The one person with the most to lose before it is over is Commissioner Gary Bettman. The way this has been handled from the beginning of the problem last fall when the NHL stepped in to help with finances up through today has not been squeaky clean or above reproach.
While Bettman could lose face, and possibly the confidence of the owners, the real victims in the matter remain the fans of the Coyotes who just want to see their team play hockey and to hear news from on the ice and not the courtroom.
In Pred Nation...
Forechecker posts information that indicates that Shea Weber may have put an end to the career of Andreas Lilja as a result of the fight that occurred during Shea's fight streak toward the end of the season. Dirk also has an item about a fundraiser tonight within the local hockey community. Dirk also has his daily Breakfast Links.
Paul McCann has been criticized by some for calling Jim Ballsillie a vulture. In this post he turns it up a notch. He also calls out the Tennessean for not responding to how they were used as pawns by the Ballsillie camp two years ago. Good job Paul!
Part one of Admirals Short Shifts sit down with Coach Lane Lambert is up.
Preds Radio man Tom Callahan has a new blog on Social media and marketing called "Have An Idea? Use It". It's definitely worth a look.
The Predators final pre-season game at Columbus was moved up a day to September 27 at 4:oo EDT. Here is the revised schedule.
Another Preds Fitness with David Good blog is up at Preds.com.
Around the NHL...
Jeremy Roenick officially announced his retirement in an emotional speech. Here's the link to a video of some highlights of his career. The NHL Network will air JR themed shows all day on Sunday.
Puck Daddy celebrated the retirement of JR with a round-table discussion with a writer from each city JR played in giving their two cents worth about his career.
From the AZ Republic comes news that Jerry Moyes has apologized for the leak of information and his response to the court says it basically wasn't a big deal.
Bill Daly appeared on XM HomeIce Thursday morning with Scott Laughlin and here is the 20 minute audio clip of from the show where the Phoenix situation was front and center.
Coyotes Hip Check has a thoughtful piece on relocation fees and other issues in the Phoenix court.
Matt at View From My Seats has a fantasy piece about our friends in Phoenix. Three and one half men walk into a bar...
One issue that has not been discussed din the instant relocation of the Coyotes to Hamilton is the Hamilton Bulldogs who are set to play in Copps this year. (H/T to @seventyeight for the link)
The CBC doesn't paint as rosy a picture of the Ballsillie bid as Richard Rodier but I assume they aren't on the payroll.
The Stanley Cup arrives in Halifax this morning for Sidney Crosby's day with the cup. NHL.com will record every nuance as you would expect.
The RedLightDistrict takes a look at what the 2010 Russian Olympic team may look like.
Pucks and Pitchforks takes a look at the worst hockey sweaters ever and the Predators old mustards are right near the top. Other than the color they don't look as bad as some of the others.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass