After chasing down the Pittsburgh Penguins, making a substantial offer for a failing market team, and whispers of supporting the Buffalo Sabres, it looks as if Jim Balsillie may in fact receive the green light on a new buzzing project in the greatest hockey market in the world.
According to unnamed NHL governors, the city of Toronto deserves a second team that could in fact involve â€œResearch in Motion CEO Jim Balsillie being awarded an expansion franchise after coming to the aid of the financially-strapped Nashville Predatorsâ€ whereasÂ another governor has expressed his opinion to move â€œan existingÂ team as opposed to granting an expansion franchise.â€
As mentioned, Jim Balsillie is currently financially involved with the Nashville Predators, a team that has been marked as a key suitor to flee the country music scene, and may in fact be doing just that in a few years.
The Maple Leafs organization has reacted to the situation, but as many people would believe it to be a negative reaction, most would be pleased to hear they are actually in favor of the idea thatâ€™s buzzing its way around the league.
â€œPresident of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Richard Peddie said his organization would listen to any expansion suggestions and downplayed any negative effect it could have on the Maple Leafs. â€˜When and if the league brings expansion to the table, we’ll listen and decide what is best for hockey,â€™’ Peddie told The Globe and Mail. â€˜The Maple Leafs would not be hurt one bit. In fact, it would help them. They could make all kinds of money renting the Air Canada Centre to the other team.â€™â€
A poll conducted on TSN.ca has an early total of just 55% in favor of a second franchise, while 40 plus years of missing the big one has certainly raised some eyebrows for a new club to follow in the provincial capital.
With the MLSE at the top of the hockey world, it seems the perfect time to paint a new logo at center ice. The question that remains is if there is no expansion franchise, what already established NHL franchise is on the horizon and will Maple Leafs fans support them as well?
Micheal A. Aldred
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