Hockey Critic

Mario Lemieux hints a Penguins move

Its almost as if this happens once every couple of years, but Pittsburgh Penguins owner and superstar Mario Lemieux has once again indicated that the Pens may be on the move. In this latest incarnation, Mario has expressed his disappointment at not being able to get a sweetheart deal for a new arena to replace the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh. "I think we're running out of time," Lemieux said. "We probably ran out of time already. It's been unfortunate that the city and the county haven't been willing to work with us over the last two or three years."

The cities in contention are well known to most hockey fans. Winnipeg, Manitoba hasn't had hockey since the Jets moved to Phoenix. Kansas City, Missouri is a brand new entrant and has little in terms of a history of supporting the game. Houston, Texas is booming thanks to the spike in oil prices but has been lukewarm with its minor league pro-hockey teams. Hamilton, Ontario seems to come up everytime this type of discussion takes place but they've been waiting for too long. Long enough that the Copps Coliseum is no longer an ideal NHL arena and they infringe on the territories of Buffalo and Toronto. A new wrinkle may be a move back to Quebec City, Quebec if the local authorities can get them an arena. Mario is already worshipped in Quebec and brining young Sidney Crosby back to his old stomping grounds could create a lot of buzz going forward.

Currently the Pens are painting a very bleak picture. They are projecting a $7 million loss this season, assuming that they sell out their regular-season home gates and advance to the second round of the playoffs.
posted at 15:24:28 on 12/13/05 by HockeyCritic - Category: Business of Hockey

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