March 24 2009 09:48AM
Once upon a time some turd burglar over at OilersNation.com suggested that it was very possible this economic downturn could lead to non-screwed teams being put up on the block for sale. Not because they suck, but because the owners would tire of funding their burn in a downturn. Well Nation, it’s starting to happen.
“The problem is that few people are in a position to spend the money necessary to buy and operate an NHL franchise. The bigger problem is that in tough times the amount of people able to do this shrinks even further as fortunes of the rich contract. The real problem is the rich people who are still in a position to take over a troubled financial team during a crisis are probably unwilling to do so—as an NHL team isn’t usually a profitable investment when you compare it to other things you can do with $200 million in your chequing account."
Heretofore, the NHL teams that have been rumored to be on the block for sale have been of the “screwed” variety. It should be no surprise that the Coyotes are losing money and are for sale. Look at them down there in a warm climate where everyone should in theory want to flock, having been forced to resort to ticket discount packages and enticing obese Americanos to los arena por los nachos unlimitato.
Still, when your owner is declaring less of a salary from his primary business enterprise than many of his players collect in a year, you can see how he may tire of footing the bill for a losing team that's shedding fans so fast you would think it is dating Chris Brown. We still maintain that the real reason we are all hearing so much about the Coyotes isn’t because the team is losing way more money than usual (though by all accounts it is) but rather because ol’ Uncle Jerry has had enough.
And now it seems Jerry has company in Montreal, where owner George Gillett is hiring people to look at a bunch of his assets to see if there are any investments that he can shed quickly or in a profitable manner. This is hardly declaring “I am screwed” nor is he suggesting “Les Canadiens sont hooped” but it is definitely a declaration that an NHL team isn’t a sterling investment right about now.
“On Monday, a report published in La Presse indicated that Gillett has engaged four financial-analysis firms in Canada, the United States and Europe to review his entire portfolio. It includes the Canadiens, a 50-per-cent stake in England’s Liverpool soccer club, the concert-promoting Gillett Entertainment Group, a NASCAR team, ski resorts, golf courses, agriculture companies and more.” “Majority owner George N. Gillett Jr., the Vail, Colo., resident who has more irons in the fire than Ben Cartwright, bought 80.1 per cent of the club and its Bell (then Molson) Centre arena in a January 2001 deal estimated to be worth $275 million Canadian. Less than four months after he absolutely, even aggressively, denied any interest in selling the Canadiens, the hugely diversified Gillett might dispose of the club and its Bell Centre home should a buyer park enough zeroes in front of a decimal point.”
Now this hardly means that Habs fans need to start researching a QMJHL team with which to fall in love. It is more than likely that this hullaballoo is nothing more than Gillett looking at the Dow Jones index and is thinking “I have bought a lot of really crazy shit over the years. I wonder if I can move that underwater lacrosse team I bought in Dubai last year?” Then he hires a bunch of goons to pour over his books and value his assets in this current economic climate. THEN, some Montreal reporter gets wind of it and writes a story insinuating there is a gigantic for sale sign on the Centre Molson.
Even if Gillett does decide to sell the team, the economy is still vibrant enough to transact this deal. Super rich people, while substantially poorer, are still rich. That’s one of the nice things about being a multi-billionaire. You can lose a few Bs here and there and still have enough dough kicking around to say “Yeah, you know the Canadiens would look good parked in my garage next to my Lambo.”
Jim Ballsillie is still rich as all hell, wants an NHL team in the worst way and continues to act the highlarious fool, ensuring that if he buys a team it will be simple force of economic will. “The most recent rumour (of the Habs being for sale) had come a few weeks earlier. It was then that Waterloo, Ont.-based billionaire Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of BlackBerry parent Research in Motion, said the Canadiens were on the market. A long-time unfulfilled NHL franchise suitor, Balsillie denied making the statement, apologized to Gillett for the uproar and was spanked by the NHL for it. If he has any interest now, he’ll express it invisibly.”
Oh Jim. Really?
*shakes head in awe of a guy who is so rich, yet so not ready to play in the NHL sandbox where they take their secrets to the grave*
You founded RIM, Ballsillie. You know better than to talk about potential acquisitions before they are publicly for sale! Why would you continue to piss the NHL and it's owners off at every turn? We are on the precipice of an economic collapse that they will be talking about in 100 years! Sit back with your gigantic cheque book at the ready and watch people line up to sell you their squadrons. We bet we have kept more secrets than you have, Jimbo, and that ain't only because Brownlee and Gregor don’t ever let us know any of the good stuff. Loose lips sink ships and in this new era snitches get stitches.
Thank heavens that Grandma still needs her heart medicine and that ol Kay-Z is still ballin' out of control. Imagine how much suck and what a shock to the system it would be right now if there was a for sale sign in front of that gigantic mansion in Valleyview and several jewel encrusted Rexall pendants showed up in local pawn shops. Luckily that is not the case, or if it is the case we haven’t had to hear a word about it. But we bet it isn't the case, cause Kay-Z is ballin' out of control. Yes, that is our research into the subject. In addition to that half-assed research attempt, we will wildly pledge our undying loyalty to our owner and will be stopping by Rexall later today to buy something for our crab infestation. Not because we want to lose our Rexall Reminder of the girl we tangled with after the Nation party, but because we want to do our part to make sure that Kay-Z can continue to comfortably overpay Oilers who don’t deserve a lick of their inflated salaries.
Comment disclaimer - Deepoil and deepoil imitators take note:
On this day where we celebrate the fact that the Mighty Oil still have money to burn on Goats and Donair Eating Phenomenons we humbly ask you show some respect and not tell us your crazy theories about how Katz is actually Pocklington after considerable maxio-facial surgery and that he is plotting a military coup within the City limits. If you could save it for another article on another day it would be appreciated. Plus, you have beaten this issue so close to death it should be dating Chris Brown.