Thursday, May 21, 2009

Is the Coyotes Situation Similar To That of Saskatoon's NHL Dream

The Toronto Star's Damien Cox finds some parallels between Jim Balsillie's desire to bring the Phoenix Coyotes to Southern Ontario and Bill Hunter's desire to bring the Blues to Saskatoon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's exactly like that. I firmly believe there are no bad markets just bad owners. There is no reason markets like St Louis, Chicago and Detroit can not be successful. If you'll recall Detroit a few years earlier were just as bad. They weren't going to move, but the team was dreadful, low attendance, and were having car raffles to entice fans into the building. They hire Jimmy Devallano as GM, he got Jacques Demers from St. Louis and they've been great ever since. Chicago was the same thing until this new Owner and CEO took over. Now they have Scotty and Stan Bowman working for them. That front office also has Rick Dudley who is a shrewd drafter, and Dale Tallon. A strong front office results in a strong on ice product.

Phoenix was just as horrible as when they were Winnipeg being run by Mike Smith. Winnipeg is in a division with Calgary and Edmonton yet keeps drafting all these soft European players to go up against the rough teams in Alberta. In Phoenix they have consistantly settled for second rate management. Wayne came in, and hires his agent, friends, and family. By the way he hasn't lost a nickle. He put money up, but pays himself a salary off the top so he hasn't missed a meal. He also does nothing in the community to promote that team. Bad management, bad drafting, bad coaching, no playoffs, and there you have it. There are so many examples of teams coming back. Washington, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Buffalo the list goes on. A few years ago Edmonton was like that and on the verge of moving. Phoenix can come back, but it needs the right executive to build it.