The corporate bazaar.
The National Hockey League is throwing a midseason party. It is called the All Star Game but it little more than a major corporate party with a skills competition and a beer league game thrown in. But it is a good time for a league wide checkup and assessment. The NHL appears to be in relatively good shape. Seattle is getting a team and 30 owners will split $650 million equally which is a $21.6 million windfall for doing nothing but adding one team to the league. Las Vegas owners are not getting a slice of the expansion fee. NHL owners have pocketed $38 million each by allowing Las Vegas and Seattle into the lodge. The New York Islanders arena plans seem to be progressing. The state of New York’s Empire State Development agency held four public hearings near the proposed site which is within the Belmont racetrack grounds in Elmont on the Queens-Nassau border and is taking comments about the project until February 11. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has thrown his support behind the project and Cuomo has been successful in getting huge state projects done. Islanders’ owners anticipate putting a shovel in the ground this spring.
The league has a pair of trouble spots. Calgary owners want a new building and have been rebuffed by city elected officials. Flames ownership and city officials are back at the negotiating table trying to work out their differences. In Ottawa, more specifically Kanata, Senators owner Eugene Melnyk hasn’t decided what he wants to do with his hockey business but it appears he wants a new home office complete with all the money generating gadgets other owners have. Glendale and the Arizona owners have agreed to extend their arena lease for a year. The league and its players have a collective bargaining agreement to negotiate but it’s party time.