Monday, July 24, 2006

Mark Cuban's Bid for Pens Rejected

Ruh, roh! Bad news for Penguins fans in Pittsburgh.

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, the group headed up by New York City financier Andrew Murstein had their bid of more than $170 million US rejected by the Penguins.

"We increased our offer significantly, and it was not accepted," said Murstein, whose group has made it known they would like to keep the team in Pittsburgh. Cuban and Marino are both Pittsburgh-area natives.

Hartford businessman Sam Fingold appears to be the frontrunner with a bid in the neighbourhood of $175 million US. Fingold has discussed the possibility of moving the team to Kansas City.
I know that many Penguins fans, and even NHL fans, would love to have Mark Cuban as an owner. He's passionate, active, and generated a whopping amount of publicity (bad and good).

Now, we don't know the details of the bid rejection, but I will say that I know Bettman would absolutely not want a guy like Mark Cuban as an owner.

Why? Control!

Gary Bettman spent an enormous amount of energy during the lockout shutting up owners (Remember the $1mil fines?) who dared to talk about the labour negotiations. Can you imagine what a guy like Cuban would run into with Bettman? Bettman doesn't want an owner who bitches about the refs every night and gives the league negative publicity (even though the NHL can use any kind of publicity). Bettman wants positive puppets who either stay completely out of the spotlight or promote the game as purely positive as possible (like Ted Leonsis).

Sorry, Pens fans, but don't expect Cuban to rescue your team. I can't see Bettman allowing it.

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