In a disturbing piece in this morning’s Globe and Mail, Stephen Brunt sheds some much-needed light on the events in Nashville concerning recently ousted Predators owner William “Boots” Del Biaggio.
According to Brunt, “Boots” initially acquired his ownership stake in the Preds with the express intent to attempt to relocate the franchise to Kansas City. But wait….there’s more.
Boots also apparently sought out co-investors with until-now confidential documents that advertized the “portability of the franchise”. In other words, he basically said “Come join me in buying this team for the purpose of taking control of it, running it out of Nashville ,and relocating it to KC,” which is as close as you can get to a hostile takeover in the context of a professional sports team.
Of course, while this was all going on, Boots was telling anyone willing to listen (including the NHL) that his true intentions were to save hockey in Nashville.
Illegal Curve Analysis
The issues raised by these events go far beyond the context of the Predators franchise (although that franchise can only be described as being in complete financial turmoil in light of these events). The broader concern goes to how well the NHL monitors the actions of its owners and prospective owners. A few red flags have definitely gone up now, and it is really the last thing the NHL could ever want — more reasons to worry about the viability of franchises in markets that are already highly questionable as is…….