Originally written on Next Impulse Sports  |  Last updated 11/19/14
What’s the most convenient aspect of the 13th largest media market in America only having two major professional sports teams? The other two leagues get to use it as the ultimate negotiating tool in order to have their way with their current member cities. Recently, the NBA dangled the threat of relocation to Seattle in order to extract a sweetheart deal out of Sacramento to keep the Kings from moving north. Roughly one month later, it’s the NHL’s turn. Last week, reports surfaced of a recent conversation between McGinn and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, which coincided with meetings between two potential NHL investors — Ray Bartoszek and Anthony Lanza — and members of the Seattle city council. None of this should come as any surprise, because the league has done this before, when push came to shove in Edmonton for a new arena last fall. But first, some background: The Phoenix Coyotes have been league-owned since 2009, and have been operating as a charity case under the city of Glendale (the city provides an annual $15 million subsidy for the team to operate Jobing.com Arena). After the latest lockout, the league is looking for a more favorable situation, and even has an NHL-approved ownership group, Renaissance Sports and Entertainment, lined up to purchase the team. However, the bright red flag waving in front of the Glendale city council is the fact RSE is a Canadian group, they’re relying on borrowed money, and are seeking a lease opt-out after five years. In the Edmonton situation, Oilers owner Daryl Katz actually made a symbolic appearance in Seattle last fall, “researching” sites for an NHL team (translation: he participated in a photo op at Key Arena). The league was never serious about moving the Oilers, but the illusion worked, as Edmonton is going to be the recipient of a state-of-the-art facility, set to open in 2016. The showdown in Glendale resembles more of a New Orleans Hornets Pelicans situation than anything else, as the NHL owns the Coyotes. But that means Bettman and the owners are calling the shots, which is probably just as undesirable as if they were run by a lone misfit owner. Ultimately, a relocation to Seattle (the NHL’s “Plan B”, as has been reported by people in the know) is an empty threat, at best. And for one reason: Key Arena sucks. Key Arena was a fantastic place to watch an NBA game (and still is, even if the league doesn’t think so), but it’s a mess for hockey. When it was remodeled in 1994-95, then SuperSonics owner Barry Ackerly gave the Seattle Thunderbirds a middle finger, making it about as inconvenient a place for hockey as possible. How bad is it? For the moment, let’s ignore the fact Key Arena only holds 11,000 people for hockey (or 13,000, depending on your definition of the word “optimal”), the fact the scoreboard doesn’t hang over center ice, and the horrendous sight lines: the ice doesn’t even stay frozen. I’ll say it again (in a new paragraph, for emphasis): the ice doesn’t stay frozen. Because part of the surface runs under an arena overhang, the ice actually melts during games, turning one end into a slushy mess. Based on all those factors, it’s not a matter of Key Arena being merely a temporary solution — it’s a matter of it being laughable as any solution. The T-Birds even bailed on it five years ago. It’s hard to imagine the NHL actually signing off on at least two seasons in Key Arena, but it is Gary Bettman we’re talking about here, so anything is possible, I suppose. Still, nobody should take any of the NHL’s threats seriously until an arena suitable for hockey is actually built — which will be when Chris Hansen puts a shovel in the ground to house an NBA team. [SportsPressNW] Article found on: Next Impulse Sports
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Lightning reach Stanley Cup Final with Game 7 win

Devon Still: Daughter has complications with transplant

Rivers denies report of problems with CP3 and Jordan

Orlando Magic hope Skiles can right sinking ship

Falcons waive Shembo over animal cruelty charges

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Tom Brady’s suspension appeal hearing set for June 23

Peterson is wrong (sorta): NFL players have great power

Scout: A-Rod 'looks like he doesn't give a (expletive)'

Belichick mum on Deflategate in first remarks since discipline

Dwight Howard suspended for first game of 2015-16 season

Bucs veterans missing Jameis while he's at rookie symposium

WATCH: Josh Hamilton hits first two homers of the season

Did Andrew Bogut take a shot at Mark Jackson?

$70 million Reebok deal is bad for UFC fighters

If the Warriors win the NBA title, the parade will be for Oakland

SEC no longer allows transfers with 'serious misconduct' issues

Klay Thompson officially diagnosed with concussion

Snoop Dogg hooks Texas A&M up with adidas cleats

WATCH: Stephen Curry rides a mini-horse

Metta World Peace gets ejected after five fouls in one minute

On satellite camps and the SEC crying over its self-protections

Four NFL quarterbacks set to take a step back in 2015

Spelling Bee co-champ wears LeBron jersey under shirt

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Lightning reach Stanley Cup Final with Game 7 win

Devon Still's daughter has complications with transplant

$70M Reebok deal is bad for UFC fighters

If the Warriors win the title, the parade will be for Oakland

Peterson is wrong (sorta): NFL players have great power

Dwight Howard suspended for first game of 2015-16 season

Four QBs set to take step back in 2015

Spelling Bee co-champ wears LeBron jersey under shirt

Top 10 stories from 2015 NBA Playoffs

Rangers-Lightning Game 7 preview

The can't-miss Prince Fielder

Chip Kelly: Tebow is a quarterback

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.