All Is QuietJuly 9, 2007
While ‘All Is Quiet’ is not the most engaging title for a blog post it is, however, true. Right now, all is indeed quiet here on the hockey front in Nashville but that gives us a chance to recap what we know and maybe figure out where we stand.
The Preds will be sold – okay that’s a no brainer but let’s start with the basics here. Craig Leipold is done with hockey and his experiment to make a ton of money doing it. He claims to have lost millions of dollars in his time as the owner of the Preds and Powers Management (the group that runs the Sommet Center). Deep down I think Craig is still doing okay and that while on paper his accountants makes it look like he is losing money my gut tells me he is making a little bit.
There are three offers out there – Right now Craig has three offers from which to choose. Jim Balsillie who won the initial bidding war with his 220 million dollar bid. He has since angered Leipold and the NHL with accepting of season ticket deposits in the event he can move the team to Hamilton Ontario. The fallout with Balsillie led to the resurrection of the deal offered by San Jose Sharks minority owner William “Boots” Del Biaggio III who has a deal in place with Kansas City to bring an NHL team there. His bid is rumored to be less but exact figures have not been released. The last entry into the game is a local group headed by David Freeman, chief executive officer of 36 Venture Capital, and Herb Fritch, CEO of HealthSpring Inc.
Whew! That is a ton of information to keep track of. It appears that the local deal was delivered to Leipold on July 2nd…so now it’s a waiting game. I’m of the school of thought that ‘no news is good news’ when it comes to this. We will not hear anything official until there is a binding agreement in place with a prospective buyer.
One thing that is intriguing about the local offer is the rumor (broke first by Eklund at HockeyBuzz)that it may involve Mark Cuban business associate Todd Wagner. He co-founded broadcast.com with Cuban and later went on to sell it for 5.7 billion (yes with a B!) to a little company called Yahoo. To put it plainly…Todd is loaded. The kind of loaded that makes Jim Basillie look normal. If Wagner, who now lives in Nashville, wants to be involved he can simply write a check. This could be the Knight in shinning armor that the Predators have been waiting for.
Where We stand – Truth be told your guess is as good as mine on this one but I think the silence is a sign that the local offer is getting some serious consideration. Leipold has said that he would not be opposed to offering a discount on the price to a local buyer…maybe it’s that discount that is getting worked out right now.
Mark Your Calenders – for July 19th and the ‘Save the Predators’ rally at the Sommet Center. Info about the event can be found at 104.5 The Zone’s web site HERE.