An Enlightening Practice In Frisco

YAY !! Today , I was able to attend yet another Dallas Stars practice (okay , training camp) in Frisco . Obviously , I was very excited . 

 The younger players that are attempting to earn roster spots practiced first . Our more well-known players started their practice at about twelve thirty (among the missing were Jere Lehtinen and Mike Ribeiro). Both teams ran through the same drills although the team of veterans moved a little slower probably due to fatigue from their pre-season game the night before .

 While I really enjoyed watching both teams practice , I had other matters that required me to leave before the second team finished their full session .

 I did have a few pretty interesting conversations with other hockey fans while I was sitting around attempting to fill up my new eighty-two hockey puck case .

 Conversation One ;

 The Nashville Predators were up to be sold last season (or was that two seasons ago ?). The “local group of investors” who were patched together at almost the last moment to “save their home team” bailed out when they only wanted to purchase the team IF the attendance went up . How patriotic . Jim Balsillie wanted to buy the team , but Gary Bettman refused because Balsillie wanted to move the team to Canada where hockey has a better fan base . Instead , Bettman persuaded William Del Biaggio III to purchase the team . Result , read here – http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=4455504 . It seems very suspicious that nobody seemed to do their homework on this guy’s financial background . Now (or at least , soon), the team is going up for auction . It almost makes a person wonder who Bettman is going to have embezzle or bilk enough money to buy the team again . Either way the Nashville Predators’ ownership circus is far from over . I would expect long-term problems for whomever attempts to purchase the team at auction (ie: lack of fans , lack of revenue , Bettman’s interference , etc. , etc.) .

 Conversation Two ;

 The poor Phoenix Coyotes are absolutely , positively screwed . There can really be no other word for it . The city of Glendale is not interested in any kind of re-negotiation of the contract at Jobbing.com arena but still claim that the arena could make just as much money or more if there was no NHL team playing there . Jerry Moyes (the team’s nominal owner)  begged the city of Glendale to allow Jim Balsille to purchase the team and move it to Canada but was summarily dismissed (despite Balsille’s over-priced bid of $242.5 million). Bettman still wants the team in Glendale even if the city really does not seem to know what it wants . Wayne Gretzky , head coach (?) of the Coyotes has not shown up for any of training camp or even any of the preseason games . Why ? He has been assured (by the NHL) that if he wants to remain head coach , he would take a considerable cut in pay . Considering that the NHL and Balsille are seemingly the only two parties interested in purchasing the team , AND given that the NHL board of governors voted twenty-six to zero against Basille purchasing the team , Gretsky showing up for work as normal would almost seem like masochism . So to sum things up , the team has no support from their hometown (government or thier fanbase) , no (full) owner , no head coach and no (allowable) prospective buyers . The NHL cannot buy the team (at least in my train of thought) without encouraging an anti-trust lawsuit . How could a league own a team and not be biased towards it ? For more information on this , please read these articles ; http://www.sprotingnews.com/nhl/article/2009-09-16/jokes-on-bettman-phoenix-deserts-coyotes and also http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=4455535

 I am not a fan of either of these two teams but I still found both of  these conversations very enlightening , frustrating and sad all at the same time . To think that instead of players who hold death matches with dogs in their backyards or players using steroids , we have horrible owners and stupid people in power in our sport who damage the game far worse than any petty felon could ever hope to do .  

 Questions or comments , please let me know . I am VERY interested in your input on all this .

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~ by Adam on September 18, 2009.

3 Responses to “An Enlightening Practice In Frisco”

  1. Hey Adam, sounds like you had a great time! I got my Stars jersey today and I am very excited! Your wife called and said I should go to Frisco to meet up with you. But, like you said we are not independently wealthy! I hope I will be able to get out to a practice this year. As you know I have never been to one and I want autographs! Oh, and I still think Bettmen is the biggest Douchebag this side of the Universe!

  2. You know , everybody says that they hate Gary Bettman and they all call him names without saying WHY they do not like him . I cannot agree that name calling is right . While I certainly do not agree with Bettman’s behavior , I think the pointing out his failures and obvious short-comings prove what he is rather than just degrading yourself by by calling him names .

    Oh , and do not forget that Bettman already paid a visit to the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier to see if they had enough money to continue . I only wonder why he did not take an interest in the Preds or the Coyotes at that stage so they did not end up as jokes of the sporting world and managing to make Bettman a laughing stock .

    • Hmmm…I see! You make a very persuasive argument. But I did read an interesting article from espn about our Dallas Stars here is an excerpt about us:

      Dallas Stars
      It was an interesting offseason for the Stars, as owner Tom Hicks decided someone had to pay for the Sean Avery fiasco of last season. Co-GM Brett Hull, who signed the combustible Avery, was reassigned and Joe Nieuwendyk was brought in as GM. Nieuwendyk, who won a Cup with the Stars in 1999, immediately canned coach Dave Tippett and replaced him with Marc Crawford. The move ranks as one of the more curious coaching decisions of the offseason as Crawford’s track record for most of the past decade has been abysmal.

      Throw in the departure of Sergei Zubov to the Kontinental Hockey League and this is a Stars team that appears to be in decline. A playoff spot will be in the cards only if a number of younger players step forward and captain Brenden Morrow and Brad Richards fully recover from injuries that cut their seasons short in 2008-09.

      Burning question: What will become of veteran netminder Marty Turco? If the Stars stumble — and that is a distinct possibility — then look for Nieuwendyk to try to move Turco before the trade deadline. There is no natural heir apparent to the Stars’ starting netminding post, but with Turco set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, Nieuwendyk will be looking to the future and that means getting younger.

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