NBL Canada and AHL talk

Usually a blog entry doesn’t get out of date too quickly, unless it was the last one. Mostly for the AHL rumours that came out of nowhere. Manitoba Moose moving to St. John’s, Newfoundland? A puzzling choice if you read the last post and the problems that causes the Baby Leafs to leave the province. No AHL team east of Ontario right now. Then I heard who was interested in buying the team, Danny Williams.

Now most people just know Danny as the former premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. His nickname before was ‘Danny Millions’ for good reason. Did quite well in business. Owned Cable Atlantic and sold that off in the early 2000s. Telecommunications part went for $76 Million and the Cable TV part for $152 Million. Add the law practice he also sold around the same time and reports I’ve read put his net worth north of $200 Million, give or take. He was also on the board of directors for the St. John’s Maple Leafs so he’s not new to hockey.

Still, with a team in St. John’s and no team nearby you are on an island in more ways than one. Which is why Danny was talking about a subsidy from the Newfoundland government. King Danny [as I used to call him on Twitter] might’ve wanted to be nicer to the government people after he left. Hasn’t gone smoothly. Basis of it I’m not sure about. A few months ago the provincial Conservatives had a dinner in his honour. One problem, Danny didn’t show up. Bit of a problem.

Here we are with him now asking for a subsidy. Now I didn’tt see governments giving that to professional teams at all. But they shot it down even more quickly than I thought. Quick with a captial Q. The subsidy speculation was over the weekend, government shot it down on the 25th. Not often does government move that quickly on anything.


…said in a statement to NTV News that he was “deeply disappointed” with the government’s decision. Williams said a subsidy was a “critical part” of bringing a team to St. John’s.

We will see how this goes. Could it work? Maybe. Although just look at what the NBL teams have done. Started an all Canadian league which will help reduce travel costs. Having a hockey team in St. John’s is going to be expensive. Closest team is Portland, Maine. Toronto is the nearest Canadian city in the AHL. That is a hard travel schedule. It is not something that is happening by October. Talk about 1 or 2 years down the road, if it were to happen at all.

With the wacky hockey update out of the way. Some updates with NBL Canada, fun one from Twitter of all things. Shomari Williams, a defensive end with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and I were discussing the NBL late Sunday night. He was interested in details on teams. You might be wondering how we know each other. Found him on Twitter the summer before he transferred to Queen’s.  Found out we both were Redskins fans and kept in touch a bit on Twitter. Shomari won a Vanier Cup with them and then drafted 1st overall by the Roughriders. Played in the Grey Cup in his 1st season. On the business side, anyone who has a picture on his website with Warren Buffett knows more than I do.

http://www.studentblitz.com/aboutus.html

“Shomari Williams the President received his BBA in Entrepreneurship at the University of Houston in 2009, he also has a minor in marketing and a Certificate in Professional Selling.”

So we were discussing how much the teams might be going for, the salary cap, that sort of thing. Things I’ve pieced together from articles. A story in Metro Halifax, quoted the same source I did.

“The Kingston Whig-Standard reports that NBL Canada’s franchise fee is “six figures,” while operating costs are pegged at $1 million per year.”

Now I will go to the exact quote from The Whig Standard from the previous week.

“The league’s interim chief operating officer, Ian McCarthy, said owners must be prepared to cover up to $1 million in annual operating costs and an expansion fee that includes stock in the league. McCarthy wouldn’t specify the fee, but said it’s six figures.”

After the 1st blog I might as well go deeper into it about the Kingston team. No limit for length here. The letter of intent, from the Whig Standard again.

“National Basketball League of Canada officials said Steven Conville, an investment adviser to professional athletes and entertainers, signed the letter. However, Conville said he’s only a spokesperson for three prospective owners who will not release their names until the application process is completed.”

Years ago research would have taken days or weeks. Now it’s so simple. Mr. Conville is the Vice President, Portfolio Manager, Investment Advisor at Macquarie Private Wealth in Toronto. Also found his Twitter page. Yes, another person on Twitter. I joined up in 2008 which seems like ancient times.

http://twitter.com/StevenConville

“Skillfully help individuals to preserve & grow their capital. Built & managed several top-performing brokerage offices. A specialist in sports & entertainment.”

So we are waiting to find out what the teams are, and who might be the people behind the Kingston one. Haven’t found anyone even hazard a guess on who it might be.  Deposit cheques are due this week. Latest news is from Halifax and Moncton newspapers.

Saturday the Chronicle Herald had some more details. Full franchise fees due on June 15th and salary cap near or a bit higher to $150,000. Regular season length to be determined, sounding like 30 or a bit more. Rainment owner, Andre Levingston: “We’ll have a discussion. It could be a few more games but we don’t really see it in anything less than 30 games.” Teams announced on June 30th.

Right now Levingston and Ian McCarthy [Saint John Mill Rats] are in charge for the time being. Once teams are announced and things settle down a full-time commissioner and a director of league operations will  be hired.

Metro pretty much summed up their story in the headline part.


Moncton has three weeks to get owners on board for NBL
Four Ontario teams expected to move forward
Ownership groups from Ottawa and Kitchener have also had talks with NBL Canada about the possibility of establishing a franchise.

From what I have gathered, being in Ontario and just reading things online, Moncton sounds more likely for a 2012-13 season at this point. League has spoken with the Moncton Coliseum about the details of a possible lease arrangement. Moncton wasn’t one of the teams with a letter of intent, and no formal ownership group from my researching a few stories. Which explains my 2012 reasoning.

The Ottawa/Kitchener sentence, isn’t given any more details in the article. So I’m betting that’s a discussion for a year or two down the road.

That’s all the news I’ve found lately.  Here are a couple of links.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/Sports/1244469.html

NBL founders await deposit cheques

METRO

http://www.metronews.ca/ottawa/sports/article/870172–moncton-has-three-weeks-to-get-owners-on-board-for-nbl

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