Making sense of the last 48 hours

We have received quite a bit of information in the last 48 hours and for those of us who hang on every word mentioned, it has given us plenty of material to over analyze. As a whole,

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

the recent news over the last 48 hours should be perceived as a very very good sign. In case you have been in the dark, the week started with the report that Bettman & Daly were in town last week to meet with King County Executive Dow Constantine & Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, then sometime in the afternoon yesterday, it was reported that the mayor told Bettman and Daly that the Seattle City Council would be uninterested in reopening the executed MOU to enable an NHL first scenario. If that was not enough news to digest, a potential ownership group was identified and that same group accompanied Bettman and Daly in these meetings. (head explodes)

Here is my suggested reading list as the source for the information:

There is a lot of info in there and plenty said between the lines and additional information shared that was shared on Radio interviews and twitter accounts of both Daniels and Baker. Here are my main takeaways.

  • The meeting with NHL Brass and Constantine & Murray is the “strongest sign yet” of the league’s interest in placing a team in Seattle.
  • The no changes to the MOU is not as negative as it appears.Murray can’t show all his cards and needs to watch his words carefully. It is premature to direct any negative commentary to Murray or anyone on the City Council until this thing has time to breath. It could be a timing situation as well or early negotiations. Geoff Baker tweeted that Murray did not shut the door on an NHL first scenario.
  • The Coleman group appears to be the lead candidate to be the potential owner of the NHL franchise in Seattle.
  • According to Baker, that group has been communicating with Hansen since last October. I think it is reasonable to conclude that both Hansen and Coleman group have a good understanding on what it will take to partner on the arena deal (Number 2 below).

This is my updated diagram on what needs to happen. The order is numbered but you should not think of it as purely linear. It is fairly obvious to me that the discussions are happening in parallel for the league to get a reasonable confidence level that all stages can be completed and issues resolved.

ArenaSituation20140516

 

5 thoughts on “Making sense of the last 48 hours

  1. Wonder if Coleman’s group is for real or just being paraded about?  Hope for real, but if so, Bartoszek has to be a bit irritated.  That being said, Coleman comes close to being that local presence if he grew up in lower mainland BC.  Hadn’t really considered someone from up there, but that certainly expands the pool of potential owners as they could be anywhere from Van to Portland (PacNW).

    Have a good weekend and who you rooting for now?  I am down with the Kings as Quick went to my alma mater. 

     

  2. I am fairly certain Coleman is the lead group now so it is very real. Funny enough, when this whole thing started (years ago) I almost assumed the owner would come out of BC. I figured there are so many passionate hockey people up there and since owning the Canucks is unlikely for super rich folks up there, Seattle would seem like the next best thing.

    I am not really pulling for anyone. I usually root for the team that has not won the Cup in a while so Habs or Rangers I guess.

    Funny enough, I play hockey with someone who played with Quick in CT but I don’t know to what age.

  3. Here is Bettman’s latest comments on the mayor’s meeting. Note he expresses the position on Key Arena, which is different than the mayor. He doesn’t rule it out and he doesn’t clearly comments about its current condition, not about a remodeled Key. I also think he is doing a little tit for tat with Murray’s comment about no MOU. Bettman is a master debater and he chooses his words carefully. This is clearly a response to the mayor and he isn’t saying no to Seattle in any way. This is his negotiating approach.

    from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

    Q. You visited Seattle recently. Does this mean you are starting to think about expansion?

    A: There is a lot of interest being expressed by people in Seattle. Before we even thought about seriously entertaining the interest, we were getting lots of stories about the building prospects and what the issues were. I was on the west coast, on my way to Minnesota, so I figured I would stop in and see the mayor and county executive and see what the story is. The story is that there is nothing going on right now. … It was said that we had no interest in Key (Arena). That’s not what we said. What we said is we wouldn’t have any interest in Key without knowing whether a new building is coming. Key is not a permanent solution. If someone wanted to play there on an interim basis, it is something we would look at, but we have no interest in going into Key in its current condition because it is not a hockey building. So we learned first-hand what was, and more importantly, what wasn’t happening.

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