Thanks Matt, I look forward to the follow-up article.
I can't argue the business side of things. Whether its the Flames, Canadian teams in general, or any team really if they can't make a go of it on their own then they literally may not be in the same league. That may mean my team packs up its tent, but you're dead on.
Just because I don't weant anyone to think I'm one of those darn whiney Canadians I want to clarify my remarks a little. I used the Flames as an example but I think the problem in the NHL is that there are at least a dozen teams with strong ownership groups who simply have no chance to win and make money. Even in places like St. Louis and L.A. it seems their teams are only competitive because their owners are willing to sustain huge losses. That simply can't continue.
In the NFL you get occasions where teams have weak business elements and they move or whatever, but by and large every team can win if managed well. My hope is that the NHL puts a plan in place that allows every well managed team to have a shot at building a winner. If at that point places like Calgary are proven non-NHL markets, whether thats due to market size or the dollar or whatever, we'll really have nothing to gripe about.
Maybe I'm deluding myself, but I seriously think there are only 6 or 8 teams in the NHL who can build a champion and keep it together without losing their shirts.
Anyway, perspectives up here are pretty much unanimous so its interesting to hear a different side. I think it'll be guys like your own Mr. Leonsis who really tell the tale during the war in 04. They're businesses people but they're not cheap, and if they can't make a go of it then we'll know the problem isn't restricted to small markets and monopoly money.
Appreciate the interest.