Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bettman's popularity

If Bettman is doing such a great job with the NHL, why all the booing? Where's the love? This includes you, Americans. His antics with Balsillie and the City of Hamilton won't help with his popularity.

Entry draft in Columbus (2007)...

Entry draft in Ottawa (2008)...

Entry draft in Montreal (2009)...

Stanley Cup final in Detroit...

Vancouver fans during Trevor Linden's speech...

HT 1920 on Twitter

Rather than post quick thoughts and links to articles on this blog I'll update my new Twitter account. You can follow me here...

I probably should have started twitter months ago to cover the Balsillie-Bettman craziness. It might be over next week (hopefully not though).

Monday, August 10, 2009

Song: The Battle of Balsillie

Here's a great song composed by Remo Cino about Jim Balsillie's struggles with the NHL. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A Tale of Two Rallies

RALLY FLASHBACK: If rallies are any indication of local support, perhaps a direct comparison between Phoenix and Hamilton's rallies should give people some indication where support for this team will truly come from. Does anyone wonder why the Coyotes are dying in the desert?

-people, lots of people (est. 3500)
-cheering for a team they don't have
-stage, microphones, celebrity speakers, live music
-support from local government
-food bank drive
-support from pro-athletes
-local & national media

photo credit:

-some people (est. 200)
-cheering for a team they had for 14 years
-shrieking old men
-shunned by local government
-shunned by Coyotes hockey players
-absence of media (except CTV and a local station)
-quality camerawork

photo credit: Phoenix New Times

Balsillie's Back, for good?

This roller coaster never seems to end. Since my last post, Reinsdorf and another group (Ice Edge) submitted bids to keep the team in Phoenix, the NHL board of governers (particularly Leipold and Gillette) lambasted Balsillie at a meeting, approved Reinsdorf's bid and welcomed Ice Edge while denying Balsillie's, an excellent article uncovering why Reinsdorf seems willing to keep a money-losing franchise in Phoenix (because he really is not), and a delay was granted for the non-relocation auction to take place September 10.

Today we finally some get good news. Judge Baum is allowing relocation bids to be included at the September 10 auction, which means Balsillie is back! Although this is certainly a step in the right direction, the Coyotes problem is far from being resolved. This case is getting more complicated at an exponential rate. On August 11, Judge Baum will meet with all parties to figure out what including a bid rejected by the NHL means. See Shoalts' article to get up to speed.

Also of note, the number of journalists seeing the NHL and Bettman for what they are (dishonest, immature, and obstinate) is growing. Here are a few...

Goldstein (CBS Sports). Shady dealings make NHL look even more out of touch with reality (link)

Hickey (The Gazzette). Balsillie has more character than jailed ex-owners (link)

Fenske (Phoenix New Times). Something Smells in Glendale: Did the City Steer the Phoenix Coyotes Franchise to an Insider? (link)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Too good to be true, again

Well if you haven't heard, Judge Baum denied Balsillie's motion to move the Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton. Not much else to say, except that I am disappointed but not surprised. Such is the life of a Hamiltonian.

At least Balsillie is not giving up the fight, but don't expect anything positive to come out of the Coyotes. There is no chance that Bettman will flip flop and start negotiating with Balsillie on this one.

I hope whoever gets suckered into keeping the Coyotes in Phoenix enjoys a long, depressing, and expensive stint in the desert.

Time to update my list...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hockey greats support NHL in Hamilton

Here's the latest video made available on I believe it's a teaser for the upcoming documentary on searching for the last Hamilton Tigers jersey. Momentum is really picking up, and it was great to see people referring to Hamilton's team as the Tigers. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dear Jim Balsillie:

With so much activity on the news, blogs, and social networking these days, I feel like my little blog cannot keep up (it’s also hard to keep up because this is just a hobby, not my bread and butter). But I do want to take the time to articulate what I, and I think most Hamiltonians would like to say to you. It’s simply two words:

Thank you.

On behalf of Hamiltonians and all Canadians, thank-you for championing the movement for a seventh NHL team in Canada and for believing in the City of Hamilton. I have always believed Hamilton has the right bones to be a magnificent city. The bourgeoning arts culture on James Street, opening up the Farmer’s market to York Blvd, the reconnection to the Hamilton Harbour, and now, hopefully, the inclusion of an NHL team can only assist with this renaissance.

Your actions reflect Hamilton’s ambitions. For over 30 years, we have wanted a team to represent us, but were treated more as a nuisance than a true destination. Regardless of the outcome, I want to thank-you for taking the time (and money) out of your busy professional and personal life to take the lead. Few people have the chutzpah to do what you are doing, and I just want to make sure you know it is greatly appreciated and even admired.

When I started this blog a few years ago, I thought I was the only person on this planet who cared about Hamilton’s professional hockey history and future. With the constant rejection from the NHL, I even gave up on watching the sport because it felt artificial and was catering to needs of people who did not appreciate what this sport is about. So along with David and Sam Wesley’s book, a documentary on searching for the lost Hamilton Tigers Jersey, and great editorials, your determination to bring the NHL to Hamilton has piqued my interest once again. I believe many others feel the same way.

My only suggestion, which should not come as a surprise, is that if a team in Hamilton does come to fruition, you should consider Hamilton's history by naming them the Hamilton Tigers, and to use their original “H” crest for a logo.

Best of luck with this movement.


Joe Camilleri
Hamilton Tigers (c. 1920; 20??)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

HNIC Interview with Jim Balsillie

Balsillie is reaching hero status in a short period. Without explicitly discussing the positives of moving the team to Hamilton, there is some indication Hamilton is where he wants this (or any) NHL team.

Enjoy the interview--the more publicity he gets, the dumber NHL BOGs and Bettman look.



Saturday, May 09, 2009

Hamilton Getting the Attention it Deserves

News that Tom Gaglardi, a hotel magnate from Vancouver, is interested in moving the Atlanta Thrashers to Hamilton should be a clear sign that from a business standpoint, Hamilton is an NHL goldmine. Not that I doubt this point, but I never thought I would see people competing to get a team in Hamilton. As exciting as all this sounds, I follow Hamilton Mayor Eisenberger's approach by remaining cautiously optomistic.

I was also happy to see so many people offer "Hamilton Tigers" as a name for Hamilton's possible NHL team on the Hamilton Spectator's NHL Dream Blog. Hard to believe, but maybe some people have been reading this blog.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Will Balsillie's persistence pay off this time?

Amazing what can happen in 24 hours. As far as I can tell, the latest move by Balsillie is his best one yet. In short, Bettman was on his way to discuss with owner of the Phoenix Coyotes (Jerry Moyes) potential buyers for his franchise. On the way there, Bettman was told that the Coyotes filed for bankruptcy protection, and that Balsillie is the one financing the team while it goes through this process. Oh, and Balsillie offered $212.5 million for the team. The beauty of this move is that any sales decision is now up to the courts, and they are obligated to award the sale to the highest bidder. Considering the Predators are worth closer to $100 million, who in the world would want to get into a bidding war Balsillie?

Bettman's response--assume control of the Coyotes by relieving the owner of his duties, and challenging Moyes' capacity to file for bankruptcy in the first place. 

Balsillie's plan of attack included creating a website to quantify support for bringing a team to Ontario. I hope this means to Hamilton. From my position, I only support this move if it means Hamilton gets the NHL team. Assuming this is the case, go ahead and sign up at

The list of people who publicly support Balsillie's move are Dalton McGuinty (Ontario's Premier), Fred Eisenberger (Hamilton's Mayor), Stephen Harper (Canada's Prime Minister), Paul Kelly (NHL Players Association President). I am sure the list will grow over the next few days.

Apparently, Balsillie is getting Gretzky on board by offering to name the arena after Gretzky's dad, and ensuring he will make millions from this deal. Not a bad move either.

So, am I getting excited about this? Not yet, but I will enjoy the process.