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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Shame on MLSE, NHL

I'm sick of the anti-competitive, small-minded thinking of MLSE.

Big cities in North America can support many teams in one sport in a local region. There are two baseball teams in Chicago, all kinds of teams in/around the New York area  in every sport...

Everyone who has ever thought about wanting to go to a Maple Leaf game knows there's a waiting list for season's tickets, and even if the team is losing, they sell out. There is absolutely no money to be lost for MLSE if a 2nd NHL team is located right inside the city of Toronto, let alone anywhere else in southern Ontario.

A 2nd NHL team, could, however, provide an opportunity for regular people - you know, the many who can't afford a seat low enough to read the number on the jersey of the players on the ice - to see pro hockey without having to drive to Buffalo.

With a winner like RIM's Jim Balsillie in ownership, a winning attitude might prevail to even make the team an eventual Stanley Cup contender, something the Maple Leafs have not been for their fans in over 40 years.

In this context, any new team in southern Ontario would not be competing with the Maple Leafs at all, as the new team would be concerned with winning, not just selling overpriced tickets to an inferior product.

When you look at it this way, the Leafs are in a league of their own.

As for the NHL, this is just one more example of the league's poor management and why it is high time the Gary Bettman era was slammed closed. 
  • Shove teams where they're not wanted? Check. 
  • Dilute the talent with too many franchises with no fan support? Check. 
  • Seize an opportunity to put a team in the hands of a winning owner and hockey-hungry fans? Nah, that would be no good for the league.

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