PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Canadian business executive Jim Balsillie, whose company makes the BlackBerry wireless messaging device, signed an agreement to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The announcement Thursday came hours before the Penguins were to open their season against the Philadelphia Flyers. The team did not disclose terms of the purchase agreement but said Balsillie was to be available Thursday night at Mellon Arena.
The Original Six: * Montreal Canadiens (1909, charter member of NHL in 1917) * Toronto Maple Leafs (charter member in 1917) * Boston Bruins (1924) * Detroit Red Wings (1926) * Chicago Blackhawks (1926) * New York Rangers (1926) The pens came into the league in 1967. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pittsburgh_Penguins
I'd much rather see one of the southern cities that don't care about hockey lose one of their teams (i.e. Atlanta, Phoenix, Nashville, Florida, your last two defending Cup champions), but what the hell. Winnipeg Penguins has a nice ring to it.
Scene: Mark DeRosa's brain. The year is 2005. Part of Mark DeRosa's brain: Come on, another position change? One day it's second base, the next day right field, now it's third? Why, I oughta go into Buck's office and throw his talking fish on the floor! Other part of Mark DeRosa's brain: Hold on, other part of the brain. We're making $500,000 this year. Last year we made $725,000. All for playing a damn kids' game. This is, as they say in Brainland, a no-"us"-er. We're not going to complain. Part of Mark DeRosa's brain: You're right, dude. Let's go back to looking at this crazy porn Teixeira gave us!
but probably not spending in Pittsburgh, from what I understand.
Balsillie is locked into keeping the Penguins in Pittsburgh pending legislation that is decided on in December determining the terms to build a new arena. The NHL has said it will not permit a move if a viable arena plan is in place and not until all possibilities have been exhausted. The previous bidder on the team, Sam Fingold, backed out when he found out how difficult it would apparently be to move them. And I vociferously doubt that the NHL wants to leave a market that played to 94% capacity last year for a last place team for fuhreakin' Hamilton, Ontario.
Originally posted by JustinShapiro And I vociferously doubt that the NHL wants to leave a market that played to 94% capacity last year for a last place team for fuhreakin' Hamilton, Ontario.
If it makes you feel any better, Hamilton's wanted a team since the 70s, but the convential wisdom is that if Hamilton gets an NHL team, Toronto will want one too...
In all seriousness, Hamilton had their shot in the 80s and 90s when Copps Coliseum was still new and considered big enough. And Toronto isn't the only market that would be threatened by another team in the area, Buffalo usually kicks up a serious stink every time Hamilton gets mentioned for expansion.
It would be a shame to lose hockey in Pittsburgh. I've never been a big fan of the team, but I have a lot of respect for hockey fans in that town who stuck with some seriously shitty teams through the years until the payoff when Mario took them all the way.
Unfortunately, I've been hearing a lot of Doomsaying from Pens fans on other boards that even if the arena _is_ built, Balsillie will still challenge the idea that Toronto and Buffalo would raise a stink about him moving to Hamilton, on principle, and that he may be looking for a short lease so that he can move as soon as it's up. He's still got an exclusivity contract to put a team in Hamilton (that apparently is costing him $50,000 a year).
I hope that none of that is ultimately true, though.
I don't mind Canada getting another team, just as long as it's not the Penguins.
That'd be interesting. If the NHL is locked out for the entire year, the Stanley Cup could theoretically be won by the champions of the next-most-prestigious league. I hadn't even considered that possibility...