Not that I’d ever accuse the Commissioner of the National Hockey League of doublespeak. However, I do believe his keynote address at the media conference announcing the NHL’s return to Winnipeg may have been filled with statements that could use some clarification. What follows, are his direct quotes, followed by my interpretations:
“It is clear that times have changed for Winnipeg as an NHL market and this is a wonderful time to add a club to Canada.” – If the Thrashers deal didn’t get done, there are four or five others we could have dropped in here.
“The NHL has a different economic system that allows the so-called ‘smaller markets’ to compete.” – Due to the free fall of the American dollar because of the incredible mismanagement of the U.S. banking system, we no longer refer to the Canadian dollar as a “Mexican subway token.”
Gary Bettman: “Umm, global warming has made Winnipeg just like Vancouver, right?”
“The NHL is coming off another season of record revenues in both Canada and the United States, and our prospects remain extraordinarily bright.” – With the Canadian dollar flying high, we could move a team to Moose Jaw and make money, if we needed to.
“This venue, the MTS Centre, will be a fine, fine home for an NHL club.” – Did you know there’s a Boston Pizza right in the place?! There’s a Boston Pizza right in the place!!
“And there is the strength of the prospective ownership group.” – I’m hoping to convince David Thomson to buy a few more franchises. Like an art collection.
“…to be candid, this isn’t going to work very well unless this building is sold out every night.” – I know this because I have extensive experience with empty seats. We once…umm..twice..had teams in Atlanta.
“As we have said repeatedly, we don’t like to move franchises. ” – At least, not out of Phoenix.
“As we have said repeatedly, we don’t like to move franchises.” – I don’t own retirement property in Atlanta.
“As we have said repeatedly, we don’t like to move franchises.” – Not my fault. Sometimes franchises let themselves go, stop going to the gym, stop dressing nice for me after a I get home from a hard day of commissioning. Tough love. You’ll thank me later.
“The fans in both cities have been through a lot in the past several weeks and hopefully everyone is now in a position to move forward.” – This doesn’t have to be all weird, right? Let’s be friends, Atlanta.
“We get to be back in a place we wish we hadn’t left in 1996.” – Ya gotta believe me, baby, I’m not the same man! Sure, I left you when you were down on your luck and broke. And, sure, I took the car and all your cd’s…but…but…baby…I’ll never do it again! I’ve chaaaaanged! Come on, now, sugar…I brought you a present….