Friday, May 25, 2007

Cambridge Predators?

Well, I guess it's possible, although improbable. However, I do think it would be really great for hockey to have two teams in the Toronto area. IF indeed that's the plan the new owner of the Preds has if things don't improve in Nashville. Not sure the Maple Leaf organization would feel to happy about it, but there's not a damn thing they could do to stop it.
Balsillie was a no-show at yesterday's presser announcing the sale of the Preds for $220 million. His absence was not a good sign for the true fans of NHL slash-and-dash in Nash, where attendance dipped below 14,000 per game this past season. According to outgoing owner Craig Leipold, the club lost $15 million in Tennessee last year. Surely, Balsillie will move the team north, perhaps as early as the season after next, Right?

How about Cambridge?

Think it can't happen?

Think about this.

In February, RIM purchased a large plot of land -- 26 acres, Kiefer said -- in Cambridge off Can-Amera Parkway, between Lingard and Townline roads.

Picked it up from a home builder.

Paid about $3.8 million.

Might be a simple plot on which to build grand new digs for bursting-at-the-seams RIM, now occupying 21 buildings in Waterloo.

Or the site could land in Balsillie's hands and become a perfect place to erect a big rink for a big-time team.

Close to the 401.

Close to the Breslau airport, where international flights are welcome.

Most importantly, it appears to sit about 82 km from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. You see, the Toronto Maple Leafs hold a veto power over any plans to drop another NHL club within 80 km of their ice palace.

The Leafs seem out of the picture.

Cambridge looks to be in frame. Balsillie was not responding to Record requests for an interview. [...]

If attendance continues to sag below 14,000, the Preds could become a free-agent team as early as next spring.

(my emphasis)
This should be interesting. Obviously a Canadian buying a hockey team leads to much speculation about that team moving north. Stay tuned.

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