Monday, October 16, 2006

Cuban Hockey

Good Day, Eh;

In my last post, I congratulated Jim Balsille on "beating the ego of Mark Cuban" in his winning bid on the Pittsburgh Penguins. Well, apparently it's not quite that simple. Cuban still wants in.

Mark Cuban, yet again showing his tremendous passion for sports, has offered to invest in Jim Balsille's Pittsburgh Penguins ownership group -- According to Sports Business Daily.

Whether Cuban is successful in this endeavour or not, I would be ecstatic to see him become involved in the NHL. His astute business acumen, combined with his passion for sport and his ability to charm the media, would without a doubt benefit the game.

Here are a little hypothetical. Assume Cuban becomes an owner of the Penguins. Crosby-Malkin-Staal combine for a PHENOMENAL goal. Imagine watching Cuban on the bike after the game ranting about how awesome the goal was -- then, imagine reading Mark Cuban's blog entry discussing how crappy the ref's call was earlier in the game -- then, imagine Cuban on late night TV making fun of Mike Ricci's nose, or Gary Bettman, or whoever cheap shotted his favorite player. Exciting? I think so!

Cuban's charisma, whether you like it or not, is exciting and gets people talking. But, even though it appears to make sound business sense for the NHL to add a man like Mark Cuban to its roster of owners, the really important question is -- can Gary Bettman allow it?

Unfortunatley I don't know what the NHL's rules for disciplining owners are, but given Cuban's relationship with NBA Commissioner David Stern, Bettman stands to have a reasonable apprehension that Cuban will cause him and his league some disruption.

That said, the bottom line is that whether it comes through Cuban's business sense, his ability to negotiate the media to attract fans, or through massive fines from NHL head office for "disruptive" behavior, the addition of Mark Cuban to the roster of NHL owners will likely amount to a substantial increase in the infamous League Wide Revenue....



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