Nashville Doesn't Take to the Ice

Canadian billionaire may move Predators north of the border
By Jesse Andrews,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2007 4:49 AM CDT
Nashville Doesn't Take to the Ice
In this March 7, 2007 file photo, Research in Motion Co-Ceo Jim Balsillie addresses a business group in Ottawa. Nashville Predators owner Craig Leipold signed a letter of intent Thursday to the team to Balsillie for $220 million. (AP Photo/Jonathan Hayward, CP,File)   (Associated Press)

BlackBerry magnate Jim Balsillie will pay $220 million for the Nashville Predators, one of the NHL's best and lowest-revenue teams, and likely move them out of Tennessee. Possible new homes include Kansas City, which is courting teams for its new arena, and Kitchener-Waterloo and Hamilton in Ontario, threatening the theft of fans of nearby Toronto and Buffalo.

Balsillie had failed earlier this year to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins, who won two Stanley Cups in the early 1990s; the Predators proved easier to pry from their hometown, despite three straight quarterfinal appearances.  "I cannot make it work here," said outgoing owner Craig Leipold. (More NHL stories.)

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