The commissioner’s job is to make the game popular and profitable. Right now, he can barely keep it stable and that can only mean the pressure from the inside may soon be as great as the pressure from the outside.
You think NHL owners are eager for protracted litigation against moneybags Balsillie? You think the owners would prefer to lose bundles of cash funding a team in a questionable locale rather than have one managed by a rich owner in a solid market?
The National Hockey League is heading for a showdown in U.S. bankruptcy court that may ultimately determine how much control professional sports leagues have over who owns their franchises.
With the U.S. financial system on life support and numerous sports franchises struggling to make ends meet, every sports league will be keeping a close eye on the Coyotes bankruptcy. The issue of deciding team ownership and movement of franchises is crucial to the NHL, which wants to keep the final say on who gets into its club and has other teams aside from the Coyotes that could be up for grabs due to financial troubles.