Friday, January 15, 2016

Grab bag: Go lick peanut butter

It's the return of the Friday Grab Bag, featuring:
- A big photo of Gary Bettman's new beard
- A spoiler for the Flames arena deal
- What the hell was Denis Potvin talking about with the Sedins and peanut butter?
- The week's three comedy stars
- My demand for an NHL Red Zone channel
- And the time Brett Hull scored his 500th goal. Then didn't. Then did again...

>> Read the full post at


  1. I keep seeing Calgary referred to as a "small market team", but they were, at last count, 15th overall in terms of franchise value last November (13th in 2014). They're no Toronto or LA, fair enough, but they're not small potatoes either. And, honestly, where could Bettman realistically threaten to move them to? He only got two responses to his call for expansion bids, both of which will be getting a franchise as a result. If Seattle is lukewarm to the idea of an NHL team, what other market is out there that could conceivably take Calgary's place and rake in the same amount of money?

    I don't live in Calgary anymore, but I have friends and family who do and I still follow local news. There doesn't seem to be much appetite at all, among politicians or the public, to use taxpayer dollars to fund any significant portion of CalgaryNEXT. The general consensus, especially with the city in an economic crunch not seen since the 80s, is that while a new arena would be nice, there's more important things tax dollars can be committed to.

    Sure, Bettman will eventually "win" and a new arena will get built, in the sense that one day the Saddledome will be so dilapidated that a new arena will become inevitable, but I'm not convinced it will happen any time soon or that it will be the CalgaryNEXT proposal that eventually does get built. Nenshi ultimately answers to his constituents and right now the sense I get is that he'd trigger far more outrage among taxpayers by capitulating than holding out as he's doing. Unlike Edmonton a few years back, there doesn't seem to be much appetite for public spending on this. Maybe the NHL will find a way to turn up the heat and put more pressure on Calgary and the taxpayers... but I'm not seeing it right now.

  2. "I'm insisting that all you Ranger fans add "... at analogies" to the end of your chant." That would be awesome! Come on, Ranger fans, you have to do it! It would be almost as great as the fact you still chant that at all, 27 years after he retired.