I think that the NHL is ripe to have some franchises move. Hartford is a viable area when it comes down to that. To be in the Northeast, in New England, with hockey, is viable. I think the economics of the league have stabilized. They're not perfect, but they're a heck of a lot better than they were. I wouldn't draw the conclusion that Hartford can't work. In fact, I think I'd draw the opposite conclusion. I think it's a much stronger location than several of the cities that are currently hosting NHL teams. And I know that there's a lot of talk about franchises moving around. I don't think it's a slam dunk, but I think it's very viable.
It's not a magnet as in all of a sudden the Carolina Hurricanes will spend 49 million. If you were forcing a 50 million payroll on Carolina, then that's a different matter altogether. You're talking about a league that had 2.1 billion in revenue in its last season. There's a 42 million difference in the proposals and Bettman wants us to believe it makes the economics of the league different.
I think they will have to be some greater revenue sharing, reinstitution of a salary tax. But I don't think the big-market owners will agree to everything the smaller clubs want. I'm not sure Bud has got more of a whip than he had in the past. Just because he's been able to keep owners from talking under threat of a fine doesn't mean when they sit behind closed doors, they lie down for him.
Baseball does have some slack here. When they were losing 20 million a year in Montreal, there was some pressure to get rid of it. But as long as they are profitable in Washington, there is less pressure. They've got eight bona fide 450 million offers to buy the team, and those offers aren't going to go away soon.