"I'm not going to lie, we had a group in the running for this. We lost to Koules, and we lost to (current owner) Jeff (Vinik). We raised an awful lot of money. We had enough money to buy five franchises. I don't think we got outbid. I think (NHL commissioner Gary) Bettman thought Jeff was the right guy. And so do I.
"We were close (to buying the team). We were really close. We went to New York, met with attorneys and different people. We stopped short of Gary because we wanted to be absolutely sure before we got to him.''
"I didn't want this team to move. I didn't like the way it was going. It was almost like Koules and Barrie were trying to run the team into the ground so they could move it. There was no way I could let that happen, not if there was one possibility I could stop it.''
"The effort to shut down for two weeks and play here is worth it," (IIHF President Rene) Fasel told reporters at a news conference while Bettman, sitting to his right, grew increasingly red-faced. "For our game, our fans, Gary, we need you."
From the LA Times (with a H/T to Kukla)
"While we play to 93 to 94 percent capacity, we’d like to play to 100 percent capacity," Bettman said. "A 15,000-16,000 seat arena might work better in some markets than a 19,000 seat arena."
Q: Back, briefly to Balsillie: given all the water that's under the bridge, is there any chance he could become an NHL owner?
A: There's a lot of water under that bridge. There's so much water some could argue the bridge washed out. I'm a believer that it's a long life and I would never say never. But let's not get hysterical with the headline. It's not something that I foresee any time soon.
You have to wonder how much longer Alan Cohen will continue to own the Florida Panthers when Gary Bettman attends the Panthers' home opener and the owner doesn't. Apparently, Cohen was in Europe. He was there, as well, when his team opened the season with two games - and wasn't among the spectators. Maybe he missed the team bus.
"There was a direct confrontation between Bettman and Balsillie during the first break but it end with a handshake. That occurred in a washroom down the hall from the courtroom when the pair found themselves in there at the same time."
BREAKING Coyotes BK: Reinsdorf Group statement blames "unwilling seller" chilling negotiations. Says it could not reach lease deal w/G'dale.
This has become a disaster of Titanic proportions. The Coyotes still don’t know who their owner will be, and they may not have an answer by the Oct. 3 start of the regular season. They don’t have a TV contract. Their season-ticket base is dwindling, and sponsors are scurrying away like cockroaches when the light comes on.
With all due respect to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Coyotes are the most screwed-up organization in professional sports.
There’s plenty of blame to go around. But one man is primarily responsible, and it’s not Jerry Moyes and Jim Balsillie or Ed Beasley and Jerry Reinsdorf. No, this was orchestrated and then exacerbated by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
"... For seven years, Charles Wang has committed himself, both emotionally and financially to keeping the Islanders here ... I am a native Islander, and I support the Lighthouse project. And I don't believe there is any place that the Islanders should be playing but here on Long Island."