Gary Bettman is at it again. Now, with a CBA that lasts seven more seasons and a new Canadian TV deal that is bringing a record amount of television revenue to the NHL, Bettman is back to using one market as leverage against another.
Bettman, whose disingenuous-ness was well described in The Lost City of Bettman blog, is just throwing around names of cities as possible expansion markets.
According to The Province (British Columbia), Bettman (and the owners) are considering expanding the NHL by two teams.
“There’s a lot of interest. We’re hearing from multiple groups in Seattle and in Vegas and Kansas City and Quebec City,” Bettman said to the Tribune while scoping out Target field in Minny for yet another trip to the well of outdoor games.
“We have not decided to engage in a formal expansion process but we listen to expressions of interest. It’s not something we’ve seriously considered yet.”
Here’s the deal. Bettman, and his henchman Bill Daly, just “stopped by” Seattle to try to alter the Memorandum of Understanding for the new Seattle arena. They didn’t. Then, Seattle’s very own Steve Ballmer bought the Clippers and vowed to keep them in LA. Which is a smart move. The amount of money the Clippers will bring in the next time they negotiate a cable TV contract will dwarf anything even a large Metro area like Seattle could produce.
Bettman, ever the master schemer, is now floating names of markets out there — using them as leverage against the one market he really wants — Seattle.
Bettman threw Vegas out there, which is just silly. A Vegas team would be a disaster.
Bettman threw Quebec City out there. Of course, they have an owner and an arena. But, they’re in the Eastern time zone and the league is already unbalanced — East over West.
Then, Bettman threw our lovely City of Fountains out there. Why? Well, because we’re always the ultimate bargaining chip. Want markets to bid against each other. Throw Kansas City out there with their new(ish) arena and strong attendance for NHL practice games.
Who is going to own this Kansas City expansion team?
Thought so. No owner. No team.