We've been down this road before.
1st and goal from the 1. Then KJ, Sacramento, India stuffs us at the goal line.
Plan B for the Phoenix Coyotes. Then a 6-3 vote by the Glendale City Council saves the Coyotes. For now.
And here we are again. This time the NHL is calling again.
I've held my opinions for the most part. Call it gun shy, call it scared, a fear of being burned again. But here we go again.
I worked hockey for 7 years in the Tacoma Dome. The Tacoma Rockets and the Tacoma Sabercats. I love the game. It's one of those sports that is not a TV game. It's an in person game. And people that go to a game fall in love with it immediately. In high school I once took a Scottish exchange student to a game in Tacoma. It was the Tacoma Rockets vs the Regina Pats. And this normally reserved boy stood up (we were seated behind the net) and was upset with a call by one of the officials. (his last name was "Dick" as his name was on the back of his referee jersey) And my friend, clearly frustrated at a call against the Rockets stands up and yells at the top of his voice "Dick prefers Regina!!!!" Yep. It changes people. This friend is on my Facebook. I'm wondering if he will read this and remember this...
So here is Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. With a series of articles. And it's bothered me how it has had a sense of "It's a very good chance but not a slam dunk.". There was a weird sense of confidence to it. And it didn't quite make sense. The city of Seattle sending a group of 30 to Vancouver for a meeting with the Vancouver Canucks, to watch a game, to meet with the city, It has momentum, but I haven't wanted to get on the bandwagon yet.
Until this morning, things changed.
Geoff Baker says the name "Steve Ballmer" on a Canadian radio show as being the "Third ownership group" that the NHL is speaking with.
The NHL would bend over backwards to get Steve Ballmer in their club. And frankly would be bending over backwards to get him if they crammed out an expansion team to begin play in 2015. But they want Ballmer. The NHL wants Seattle.
And it may be a master maneuver for Steve Ballmer and Chris Hanson in their pursuit of the NBA.
The hangup? Where would they play? They would play in Key Arena for a season, maybe two. Worst case scenario in Tacoma. But doesn't the MOU require an NBA team first? Yes. The MOU is about legal rules, who is responsible for what, financials, etc. But the thing is, it can be changed...in the right scenario. If "Joe Blow from Toronto" wants to put an expansion team in Seattle for the NHL and goes to the city to change the MOU? They have to run his financials. Do his background checks, vet him completely, to avoid potential conflict and risk. Steve Ballmer has already done this. If Steve walks in and says "I have a team, we need to change things." he is going to get cooperation. And most likely positive cooperation.
So the Environmental Impact Study is due out in March. What about that? Well frankly, I think people have talked, and they know how it is going to go. There is a bonfire around the corner puffing out smoke. And you know what the saying is...where there is smoke there is fire. And if there was going to be a problem with this EIS? The park ranger woulda come over a long time ago to put this fire out before we reached this point now.
And you have a team...you have an arena...and you have the NBA realizing it's time to get their butts in gear and join the city in returning to Seattle. Or at least that's the hope.
But until then? The NHL will do just fine. Mr. Ballmer is sitting at the chess board. He has made his move. And it was a solid one. Will he win? I like to say I believe so.
Article by Jeromy Felts originally posted at:
Jeromy Felts is a professional broadcaster, sports commentator and writer. Give him a follow on Twitter: @Tipfelts to keep up on all the latest local and national sports information.