The city has been wrestling for some time with a proposal to build a $325-million arena that would hopefully house an NHL team. Mayor Frank Scarpitti revealed a modified version of the funding structure on Friday with a murky new $70-million extracted from unnamed developers. The plan is still full of holes, with at least $50-million not covered, and council is expected to vote on a previous version of the funding structure Monday or Tuesday. And between now and then, someone should tell them that they are risking an enormous amount of money for a project that is somewhere between risky and outright insane.
Arthur goes on to cite an NHL source that calls the Markham project “delusional,” at least with respect to the league’s plans for the market (translation: there aren’t any, really).
There’s more in the piece, including a quote from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman: “We have never been encouraging of this project. And we have repeatedly said that if this building is built, it should be built with the expectation that they will not get a team.”
After you read Arthur’s column, please do read our piece on Quebec City, and why expansion or relocation to that particular market seems inevitable.
Update (5:24 p.m. ET)
Graeme Rouston, GTA Sports & Entertainment Pres/CEO says the Markham arena will be more successful without an NHL team. @bruce_arthur
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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