The guy who made the bid was on "Prime Time Sports" (FAN Radio / Sportsnet TV) this evening. He made a really interesting case by discussing the particulars of the bid and why it makes sense. Basically, the league as a single entity would keep the teams from competing with each other for essential services. Each franchise would have a certain budget, a lot of operations would be centralised to save money. Instead of competing with each other for certain revenue streams, the teams would cooperate to maximise them. Executives would be rewarded for bringing in more revenue and making local revenues national, and so on.
Costs would be lower, revenues higher, and the labour situation would be entirely different since the league would be a single entity. You don't have to worry about the Rangers or Avalanche driving up the salary scale for smaller clubs anymore - which would be much less inflationary.
He also gave examples of how all local TV contracts would be consolidated so that if you lived in Boston and the Bruins were not playing that night they could show another game in that market.
In spite of the fact that it is a near impossibility that the league will actually sell (how can they possibly convince all 30 owners?), the system itself made a whole lot of sense. Too bad it's pie in the sky.
What was not discussed and what I wonder is - would it be possible for the current NHL owners to form a new corporation and basically buy itself? The equity of each team's actual value could be equal to their stake in the new single entity, so the owner of the Red Wings would own a higher percentage than that of the Ducks. The current owners and execs could them become (true) franchisees. There is probably a legal reason why it can't happen and they'd still have the challenge of getting all 30 owners to agree to it.
There should be a special "boring lockout edition trivia" with Qs like: Who was the NHLPA president in 94? How many teams claim they lost money in 04? Where was Arthur Levitt born? Where does Gary Bettman buy his ties? Etc.
I had Theodore in a fantasy hockey league that I won in '00. He had a remarkable finish to that season after Hackett went down. He was definitely on the rise and that might be why the Canadiens thought he had value. They had Garon in their system to fall back on.
The Habs were not actively shopping Theodore back then. The only reason they were considering such a blockbuster move was because Savard was so hot for Kovalchuk and they had two great young goaltenders (Theodore and Garon), meaning one was expendable.
Garon was one of the top NHL goaltending prospects (highly ranked by THN Future watch, etc) and Theodore had already begun emerging as a star. In 2000 he had the tied for the lowest GAA in the league (but lost the Crozier Award on a tiebreaker). His Win/Loss record suffered because Montréal was a poor team, but his play was exceptional on a poor team.
Hackett was a stop-gap measure and veteran presence for the transition to Theodore or Garon.
André Savard actually offered either Garon or Theodore and a variety of top prospects (Markov, Hainsey, etc) and #1 picks (they had two that year - turned out to be Perezhogin and Komisarek) for Kovalchuk. Savard has a scouting background and was desperate to get Kovalchuk, believing him to be a future superstar. He offered a lot to try to get him. I believe the official line was that Atlanta decided not to pass on Kovalchuk's potential but was very tempted - mainly because they needed a young goalie.