Sunday, June 21, 2009

Molson Canadiens

One of the preeminent Canadian families (and household names), the Molson family, famous for founding one of the few remaining pure big Canadian brewers (with the purchase of Labatt by InBev a few years ago) recently announced their purchase of the Montreal Canadiens, a legendary hockey team and staple of Canadian hockey and history.

The Provence of Quebec was reported to offer a loan of $100M for any Quebecois who were interested in purchasing the team. I can't blame them. It would be an absolute travesty if the Canadiens were purchased by anyone else.

With all the turmoil, in the markets, one wonders if now is the best time to be buying a hockey team. Maybe people are getting good prices? My former boss, RIM Co-CEO Jim Balsillie is constantly in the papers fighting to try to acquire a team for Hamilton (most recently focused on the Phoenix Coyotes), was turned down by a recent court decision, but encouraged by the judge to pursue other avenues to get his team (according to his legal team's public statements). It seems like he'll get his team eventually... The guy is persistant for certain. We used to joke at RIM that we'll be selling hocket tickets along with BlackBerrys.

While there are the Maple Leafs near by (and I'm not much of a hockey fan) I must sympathize with Toronto hockey fans who aren't getting the team they deserve. Although a good team, the Leafs are notorious for not really getting anywhere because their fan base always fills the seats. There is apparently no motivation for the team (except in the most recent year) to pick up the game a little to keep the fans. The fans feel like they deserve better and maybe Jim B's big has shaken them up a bit. The threat of competition usually does.

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