Just how many bad owners does the NHL have?
It seems the NHL has a collection of less that reputable person in ownership positions of their franchises. On one hand we have Charles Wang, of the Islanders, who doesn’t seem to know how to run a NHL team, we have Jerry Moyes who took financial help from the league to make his payroll and then tried to sell the Phoenix Coyotes out from under them, and now we have William Delbiaggio who owns nearly 30% of the Nashville Predators. Delbiaggio is headed to prison for forging some financial documents in order to raise the 110 million he needed to buy into the team.
This is yet another sad example of how the NHL expanded too far, and brought in highly questionable characters to own their teams. It is also at the root of why the NHL does not want Jim Balsillie to own a team. Balsillie was all set to buy the Predators but began taking deposits for season tickets to an arena in Hamilton, Ontario. All this while the Predators still had a lease to play in Nashville.
All the while Delbiaggio was working a deal to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins and relocate them to Kansas City. When the deal fell through, and the NHL soured on Balsillie’s plan to move the Predators to Hamilton, Ontario they included Delbiaggio in the group that ultimately bought the Predators to insure financial stability of that team.
It had been rumored the Delbiaggio only bought into the Predators as a first step towards ultimately moving that team to Kansas City. Now it appears that will not happen as Delbiaggio is headed to prison and a trustee is left to manage his assets.