Rex wrote:I think Balsillie has heard inside info that the Isle of Capris will not get the license, and word from Bettman is he will have to deal with Onorato, Ravenstahl and Plan B. And before he commits to forking over 175 mill, he wants to see Plan B in writing. Along with the NHL basically taking Balsillie's right to move, or threaten to move as his Plan B bargaining chip away with the last minute stipulations. . This was said this morning by Joe Starkey and agreed with by John Steigerwald. And I agree with it also.
OR...the only reasons he wanted the team were that he either got a free building (through IOC or hardball on plan B) and recent developments with the league proved to him that only one of these things was still possible (IOC winning).
The sale was going to be finalized before the IOC bid was approved or denied, and Balls would be left with a team that he paid $175M for. A $175M bid with no certainty that he had a new arena for free OR a team that was portable. The league has made it clear to him that the Pens are not moving, or that at worst the NHL would take over the team and hand-pick the new city themselves (worst case).
I don't think we can know whether this is more about Plan B OR if he just wanted to move the team period, but a lot will be revealed when the license is awarded. If IOC wins, and Balls doesn't jump back in, then he was most likely a lying piece of garbage that never wanted to stay.
If he does jump back in, then it was more about having his hand forced BEFORE he could have a real picture of what his team's future held.
One could argue the exact opposite of Rex's theory - that Balls has info that IOC will NOT win. Maybe he has heard that they will, and that was never what he wanted.
I personally think it was more about the timing of the closing, and he would prefer to risk losing the team on a re-opened bid process rather than be locked in before he knows the outcome of the License.