Bad Luck Or No Luck At All
Just when you think the NHL might be catching a break, well, not so much.
A terrific looking Stanley Cup final matchup on the heels of a compelling playoff tournament is the good news.
The bad news? Suddenly a steroid story - hardly a scandal at this point, but certainly a story worth keeping an eye on. Maybe this fellow arrested in Florida is a crackpot and a blowhard, but it does seem peculiar that of all the teams he could have named, he named the Washington Capitals. Strange.
The Phoenix Coyotes tale of woe, meanwhile, just keeps being a gigantic headache for the league, and the optics could conceivably get worse in the next 10 days.
Right now, the NHL is sticking to its story that it is fighting the attempt by Jim Balsillie to relocate the Coyotes to Hamilton on the basis of the need to follow league rules and regulations. Fair enough.
But if, hypothetically, Balsillie and Jerry Moyes win their motion June 9 on the relocation issue before Arizona bankruptcy judge Redfield T. Baum, a victory that would theoretically pave the way for the Coyotes to head north, the NHL would find itself in a tricky spot.
It could appeal, and has already said it would. But then the issue no longer is about following league rules, but then becomes an overt attempt by the NHL to block a move of an American team to Canada, a move tacitly approved by the bankruptcy court.
It's then not about NHL rules and regulations. It's about seeking relief from a judicial body to stop a seventh team in Canada from becoming a reality.
Maybe the NHL carries the day June 9th and this all becomes a moot point. Otherwise, it will be more difficult than ever for Gary Bettman to avoid being painted as a anti-Canadian in his outlook if he is seen to be using the courts to block what would be a very popular move of the Coyotes to Hamilton, popular at least among Canadian hockey fans.