Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Gary Bettman recently made some vague comments that a lot of people are interpreting with regard to the current Balsillie-Predators romance. In the course of his state of the game address, GB both suggested that he was amenable to the idea of a team returning to Winnipeg, and that he would oppose another team in the Toronto area. There's a lot of speculation that these comments were meant to go across Balsillie's bow, and that if Balsillie moves the team, Bettman will make sure it's to Winnipeg and not Kitchener/Hamilton/Waterloo/Windsor/Sarnia/etc.

I'm not sure if such conclusions are warranted, and neither is David Johnson at Hockey Analysis. He suggests Balsillie will move to Waterloo regardless, and shows quotes from Bettman that suggest that he's only interested in the idea of the NHL in Winnipeg, not prepared to act on it.

All this having been said, as unlikely as it might be, I would love for the Preds to move to the Peg. And that's for one reason, and one alone: if the Preds move to southern Ontario they will almost surely go to the Eastern conference with Atlanta (which is actually west of Detroit) coming to the Central. If the Preds went to Manitoba, though, it would keep them in the West, and keep the Wings within an inch from being in the Eastern Conference. If the Preds can stay East of Detroit, and one more team from the East moves west (maybe the Panthers to Seattle? I don't know, that's out of my ass) the Wings and BJs could potentially move East with the Thrashers coming West. Of course, this is all very far off and unlikely. Mostly because Gary Bettman is a big, big...