Big Lead Sports Bar

3/07/2007

Your Daily Penguins Relocation Update

Everyone seems to have an opinion these days on the state of the Penguins and their potential move. Here's what's making news today:

First off, I was sent a transcript of Bob McKenzie's segment on TSN last night. McKenzie is a former editor-in-chief of The Hockey News and is one of the more informed hockey minds in the business. Here is his take:

"THE PITTSBURGH PENGUINS MAKING NOISE LIKE THEY MAY BOLT TO KANSAS CITY IS NOT A HOLLOW THREAT, BECAUSE IT IS WITHIN THE REALM OF POSSIBLITY THAT THE TEAM COULD RE-LOCATE. BUT LET US ALSO SEE THIS "IMPASSE" FOR WHAT IT IS: THE FINAL NEGOTIATING TACTIC TO GET A DEAL DONE IN PITTSBURGH.

A MEETING WILL BE HELD LATER THIS WEEK IN PITTSBURGH INVOLVING ALL THE INTERESTED PARTIES, INCLUDING NHL COMMISSIONER GARY BETTMAN, WHOSE PRESENCE WOULD APPEAR TO BE TWO FOLD. ONE, TO IMPLORE THE VARIOUS LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT TO CLOSE THE DEAL TO KEEP THE PENS IN PITTSBURGH. BUT TWO, TO MAKE SURE THE PENGUINS' OWNERSHIP ISN'T GETTING GREEDY WITH A LUCRATIVE K.C. DEAL IN THEIR BACK POCKET.

AT THE END OF THE DAY, THE NHL DOESN'T REALLY WANT THE PENGUINS IN KANSAS CITY. IT WANTS THEM IN THE GOOD HOCKEY MARKET THAT PITTSBURGH IS, PROVIDED THE NEW ARENA DEAL MAKES DOLLARS AND SENSE FOR THE FRANCHISE. SO WHILE BETTMAN WILL CAJOLE THE POLITICIANS TO CLOSE THE DEAL, HE WILL ALSO BE SENDING A STRONG MESSAGE TO THE PENGUINS THAT THERE ARE ROADBLOCKS ON THE WAY TO K.C. AND IT IS THE NHL, NOT THE PENGUINS, WHO HAVE THE FINAL SAY ON FRANCHISE TRANSFERS.

IT APPEARS THE TWO SIDES HAVE THE BASIS FOR A DEAL IN PLACE, BUT THERE ARE CONCERNS WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF COST OVERRUNS ON A NEW ARENA AND WHO WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEM. THAT'S APPARENTLY THE STICKING POINT RIGHT NOW. THE SMART MONEY SUGGESTS THAT WITH BETTMAN PRODDING BOTH SIDES THEY WILL COME TO A WORKABLE COMPROMISE.

BUT IN ANY CASE, THIS IS THE FINAL ACT IN A PLAY THAT HAS BEEN RUNNING WAY TOO LONG.

FOR SPORTSCENTRE, I'M BOB MCKENZIE."

As we move closer to home, Governor Ed Rendell tells us that he's "still optimistic" about the arena deal, adding that negotiations "are not as bleak as the papers make it sound".

Bob Smizik says the political futures of Luke Ravenstahl and Dan Onorato potentially hinge on the deal.

The Trib tells us about the owners' upcoming trips to Houston, Vegas, and KC.

9 comments:

HotDog_Zanzabar said...

The Trib also tell us that Russ Grimm is the Head Coach.

russell lucas said...

Also, that the barstaff at Bahama Mama's = the Steelers' practice squad.

apk said...

I hate to say it, but Smizik's got a point. Onorato's supposed to be the heir apparent to Rendelphia, but a Dem can't carry this state with PGH and Philly. If the casino falters and Dan-O shoulders blame for the loss of the Penguins, as well, his gubernatorial hopes are DOA.

I've been saying it since IOC got hosed: there's too much political capital at stake here for Onorato and Ravenstahl to blow this. Peduto's already blaming the stalled negotiations on Luke's lack of experience, and on some level, he's probably right. After all, The Murph made plenty of hay, when it came to stadiums, during his tenure, it's not like the position should be this powerless against the might of the Big Bad Commonwealth.

russell lucas said...

It's pretty clear Luke wants Yoda and Ben to do the heavy lifting in the negotiations for him.

And, hell, if I were a twentysomething mayor, I probably would, too.

Dirty Sanchez said...

The mere fact that the Pens are scheduling visits with Las Vegas and Houston (which have NO shot at landing the Penguins) tells us that the door is not closed. It also tells us that it can't be business as usual when it comes to dicking the owners around.

If the Lemieux Group had gone straight to KC and engaged in intense negotiations with that city, then we'd be in trouble. They are the only legitimate competition for the team, and if this were Nashville (and not the Penguins with their 2 Stanley Cups and Mario Lemieux) I think KC would be hosting some hockey next October.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

It's time for Ravenstahl (whom I personally view as the least guilty politician in this mess) to take these negotiations by the balls and get something done instead of sitting there like a kid whose dad brought him to his business meeting.

I mean, I bet the guy plays PSP in the corner while Onorato and Rendell negotiate and pound their fists on tables.

He needs to step up, this IS possibly going to be his city for the foreseeable future.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

BTW, "Sportscentre"... hahaha, stupid Canadians and their flip top heads!!!

Jon said...

And still there is Ren-go-to-hell yapping his mouth, telling us that the impasse is simply a negotiating ploy...Uh, yeah Ed, we pretty much figured that one, why not try just going directly to Lemieux's house and spitting in his face, make him even more pissed at you. I hope his beloved city never sees another championship as long as he is alive, here's hoping his contract with the devil doesn't expire for a looong time

Sean said...

Regarding the Vegas visit, maybe Mario just wants a comp room at the Bellagio and free tickets to see fellow Canadian Celine Dion.