(3) Bad ideas currently being considered in the NHL
1. Bringing back Manon Rheaume to play an additional game between the pipes for the Lightning
2. Steve Moore “non-bobbling” bobblehead night in Colorado
3. Putting a team in the winter wonderland that is Las Vegas, Nevada.
According to Pierre LeBrun:
The NHL will have a team in Las Vegas. It’s going to happen. It’s just a matter of when.
Bettman briefly touched on expansion during yesterday’s board of governors meeting, only to reiterate to his owners that right now the league isn’t ready to deal with expansion. But I’d be shocked if Las Vegas doesn’t enter the picture within the next five years.
Hmm. This can’t possibly be a bad idea can it?
Follow me through this sequence of events Nation:
1. The NHL puts a team in Las Vegas. For the sake of the story let’s call them the “Las Vegas Scandals”
2. Eventually an NHL player collects the typical 12 figure NHL paycheck whilst playing for the Scandals.
3. Flush with this cash he looks for something to do on an off night and notices the bright lights of the Las Vegas Strip.
4. Curiously, there is a line of limos waiting outside his door, sent to his house courtesy of every casino in town.
At this point you can choose your own adventure:
1. It could go like it did for this guy. Rumoured to have lost over $10 million gambling in his life, Charles Barkley is what is scientifically referred to as a “degenerate gambler.” The NHL could look forward to colorful memoirs written in the future as players fondly remember their days spent gambling in Vegas. “How I lost it all” by JF Jacques would look good on bookshelves in 2015.
2. It could go like it did for this guy. He was accused of financing a nationwide sports gambling ring based in New Jersey in which several current NHL players wagered. He ultimately pled guilty to conspiracy and promoting gambling in a US court and was sentenced to two years probation. He incredibly still found time to enter the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, a mere two months after being sentenced. I’m sure a team in Vegas would be of real interest to him.
3. It could go like it did for this guy. In 1998, when Quebec police raided the Hells Angel headquarters near Montreal, they found photos of Theodore posing with the local Kaiser Sosas. He would continue to be dogged by reputed ties to Quebec Biker Gangs and Gangsters. Seven years later, his father Ted and Jose’s half brother Nicholas were convicted on weapons and loan sharking charges in Montreal and were fined over $50,000 between them. Over 50 other charges against the goalie’s father were dropped as a result of the two accepting a plea bargain. We are sure that at the very least his family would love to come and visit him in Vegas.
4. In a perfect world it could go like it did for these guys. The 1919 Chicago Black Sox live in infamy forever after eight members of the Chicago squadron were banned from baseball for throwing the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. What gave them this idea? Gangsters who were heavily involved in gambling convinced some of the less educated and saavy Sox players that throwing the World Series was a gentlemanly way to spend a fall and make some extra money to boot.
Now what exactly has changed since 1919? Are athletes making less than they did in those days? Are they less prone to making stupid mistakes? Go ask the Cincinnati Bengals. They had 8 players arrested in a single off season two years ago. Go ask the NBA who is currently dealing with Tim Donaghy, the target of an FBI investigation for allegedly betting on games, including some he officiated, over the last two seasons.
Yep, expansion into Vegas is a great idea.
– Wanye Gretz can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org