Just like that — the status of Calgary’s NHL franchise is the lead sports story, not just in southern Alberta, but across the country.
On Tuesday, team president Ken King said discussions with the city about replacing the 34-year-old Saddledome have been “spectacularly unproductive.” Team ownership will no longer pursue a new facility with the city.
Two years ago, ownership presented CalgaryNEXT — a project which would have included an arena, football field and field house.
It went nowhere with the city. Then a nine-month discussion about a hockey arena went nowhere.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s tone sounded ominous Tuesday when he said, “Without a new building, there will be consequences that everyone will have to deal with.”
I don’t for a second believe the Flames are leaving Calgary.
While the tone from both King and Bettman had finality to it, I believe it’s just the beginning of posturing for both team and city to get the best deal they can.