Mum’s the word on NHL franchise

News Oct 15, 2009 Ancaster News

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger is warning other councillors to button their lips when it comes to talking publicly about a possible NHL franchise for the city.

“The old slogan ‘loose lips sink ships’ is true,” said Mr. Eisenberger in an interview.

“If we have loose lips in Hamilton, we can’t maintain some trust and confidence until things are ready, our opportunity for getting a franchise is zero.”

NHL officials, including commissioner Gary Bettman have been talking about establishing NHL franchises in Quebec, Winnipeg and Hamilton. In the recent Arizona bankruptcy court for the Arizona Coyotes, the NHL revealed if a franchise was placed in Hamilton, it would be the fifth most valuable in the league.

Over the weekend it was reported Quebec officials had been meeting with NHL representatives. Quebec will soon announce funding for a $250 million, 18,000-seat arena. The Quebec Nordiques were relocated to Colorado, while the Winnipeg Jets left for Phoenix.

Hamilton Mountain Councillor Terry Whitehead said last week he had been in contact with Mr. Bettman, but did not reveal what was discussed.

Mr. Eisenberger, who said he has not talked to Mr. Bettman, has been furious at Mr. Whitehead’s actions in pursuing an NHL franchise, including leaking what he considers sensitive information about Hamilton’s strategy in pursuing a NHL team.

“There is no ‘I’ in ‘team’,” said Mr. Eisenberger. “

You build a strategy. You identify who will affect that strategy and you can follow that in a strategic direction. If I was Mr. Bettman, or any other owner, if my comments with anyone in Hamilton made the media shortly thereafter, I would be very reluctant to go and talk to anyone there. That’s the problem.”

An NHL spokesman did not reveal any details about the conversation.

Mr. Eisenberger said the city still has an exclusive agreement with Research In Motion CEO Jim Balsillie until Oct. 31.

After the agreement ends, the city will be free to pursue other opportunities, he said.

Both Mr. Whitehead, who is chair of the city’s NHL subcommittee, and Mr. Eisenberger have suggested reaching out to NHL officials to plot a proper course of action in getting a hockey team.

There are up to 10 teams in the NHL that could be for sale or available for relocation, including Tampa Bay, Florida, New York Islanders, Nashville and Atlanta.

Mum’s the word on NHL franchise

News Oct 15, 2009 Ancaster News

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger is warning other councillors to button their lips when it comes to talking publicly about a possible NHL franchise for the city.

“The old slogan ‘loose lips sink ships’ is true,” said Mr. Eisenberger in an interview.

“If we have loose lips in Hamilton, we can’t maintain some trust and confidence until things are ready, our opportunity for getting a franchise is zero.”

NHL officials, including commissioner Gary Bettman have been talking about establishing NHL franchises in Quebec, Winnipeg and Hamilton. In the recent Arizona bankruptcy court for the Arizona Coyotes, the NHL revealed if a franchise was placed in Hamilton, it would be the fifth most valuable in the league.

Over the weekend it was reported Quebec officials had been meeting with NHL representatives. Quebec will soon announce funding for a $250 million, 18,000-seat arena. The Quebec Nordiques were relocated to Colorado, while the Winnipeg Jets left for Phoenix.

Hamilton Mountain Councillor Terry Whitehead said last week he had been in contact with Mr. Bettman, but did not reveal what was discussed.

Mr. Eisenberger, who said he has not talked to Mr. Bettman, has been furious at Mr. Whitehead’s actions in pursuing an NHL franchise, including leaking what he considers sensitive information about Hamilton’s strategy in pursuing a NHL team.

“There is no ‘I’ in ‘team’,” said Mr. Eisenberger. “

You build a strategy. You identify who will affect that strategy and you can follow that in a strategic direction. If I was Mr. Bettman, or any other owner, if my comments with anyone in Hamilton made the media shortly thereafter, I would be very reluctant to go and talk to anyone there. That’s the problem.”

An NHL spokesman did not reveal any details about the conversation.

Mr. Eisenberger said the city still has an exclusive agreement with Research In Motion CEO Jim Balsillie until Oct. 31.

After the agreement ends, the city will be free to pursue other opportunities, he said.

Both Mr. Whitehead, who is chair of the city’s NHL subcommittee, and Mr. Eisenberger have suggested reaching out to NHL officials to plot a proper course of action in getting a hockey team.

There are up to 10 teams in the NHL that could be for sale or available for relocation, including Tampa Bay, Florida, New York Islanders, Nashville and Atlanta.

Mum’s the word on NHL franchise

News Oct 15, 2009 Ancaster News

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger is warning other councillors to button their lips when it comes to talking publicly about a possible NHL franchise for the city.

“The old slogan ‘loose lips sink ships’ is true,” said Mr. Eisenberger in an interview.

“If we have loose lips in Hamilton, we can’t maintain some trust and confidence until things are ready, our opportunity for getting a franchise is zero.”

NHL officials, including commissioner Gary Bettman have been talking about establishing NHL franchises in Quebec, Winnipeg and Hamilton. In the recent Arizona bankruptcy court for the Arizona Coyotes, the NHL revealed if a franchise was placed in Hamilton, it would be the fifth most valuable in the league.

Over the weekend it was reported Quebec officials had been meeting with NHL representatives. Quebec will soon announce funding for a $250 million, 18,000-seat arena. The Quebec Nordiques were relocated to Colorado, while the Winnipeg Jets left for Phoenix.

Hamilton Mountain Councillor Terry Whitehead said last week he had been in contact with Mr. Bettman, but did not reveal what was discussed.

Mr. Eisenberger, who said he has not talked to Mr. Bettman, has been furious at Mr. Whitehead’s actions in pursuing an NHL franchise, including leaking what he considers sensitive information about Hamilton’s strategy in pursuing a NHL team.

“There is no ‘I’ in ‘team’,” said Mr. Eisenberger. “

You build a strategy. You identify who will affect that strategy and you can follow that in a strategic direction. If I was Mr. Bettman, or any other owner, if my comments with anyone in Hamilton made the media shortly thereafter, I would be very reluctant to go and talk to anyone there. That’s the problem.”

An NHL spokesman did not reveal any details about the conversation.

Mr. Eisenberger said the city still has an exclusive agreement with Research In Motion CEO Jim Balsillie until Oct. 31.

After the agreement ends, the city will be free to pursue other opportunities, he said.

Both Mr. Whitehead, who is chair of the city’s NHL subcommittee, and Mr. Eisenberger have suggested reaching out to NHL officials to plot a proper course of action in getting a hockey team.

There are up to 10 teams in the NHL that could be for sale or available for relocation, including Tampa Bay, Florida, New York Islanders, Nashville and Atlanta.