MLSE, Teachers, Rogers et al.

I am not the least bit surprised where this story has gone. From way back when, the Star broke word that Rogers was looking at the Teachers’ shares (they like to remind us that it was them who broke the story), to the other night when La Presse reported that the Teachers had actually retained a third party to try to sell its shares. Every media outlet has had its take.

Tonight, however, there is a winner. Credit to the Star‘s Dave Feschuk who broke the story that led to this gem. Dave Feschuk wrote that a “number cruncher” at Teachers is the reason why Bryan Colangelo hasn’t had his contract extended.

It’s because there remains at least one anti-Colangelo voice among the power brokers. That voice, multiple club sources confirm, belongs to Glen Silvestri, a representative of the organization’s majority owner, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Since the board has seven seats, three of which belong to Teachers’, and since another one of its members, CEO Richard Peddie, is essentially duty-bound to the majority owner, Colangelo isn’t likely to ink a new contract unless Silvestri comes around.

Phenomenal job by Feschuk for breaking the story.

However, Grange took it to an entirely new level tonight:

So it is with maddening irony that on the eve of an apparent auction for the Teachers stake in MLSE come reports that it has been a suddenly sharp-eyed representative of the pension plan who is standing in the way of Raptors president Bryan Colangelo’s new contract.

Glen Silvestri, who manages the file for Teachers, has suddenly been going through Colangelo’s record and – like your average Real GM message board devotee – has found some holes; this is a man, afterall, who signed Hedo Turkoglu to a $53-million contract.

Wait… it gets better:

Silvestri has paid nothing and in fact is paid to take an interest. If it was Larry Tanenbaum who’d had enough of Colangelo’s tall collars and steep expense accounts, that’d be one thing; he actually stands to lose or gain.

But Silvestri? He’s paid to ask Richard Peddie one question: did MLSE make plan this quarter. If they did, the meeting is over. If they didn’t he should fire Peddie.


Seriously, no one has said it better. Aren’t Teachers trying to suck and blow at the same time?

Should Colangelo be back? Maybe. He at least deserves credit for putting together a good bad team – one with some developing young pieces devoid of any constricting contracts. Mistakes have been made, recognized and quickly jettisoned. There are only a handful of teams definitively better managed than the Raptors in the NBA and a whole swath that are worse. Expect someone new to come in and turn the tide faster at your peril.

Should Colangelo be cut loose? You can make a case for that too.

But it shouldn’t be Glen Silvestri making it; not without any skin in the game; not unless he’s willing to stand up and be counted when he’s wrong.


Listen, I don’t care who owns what. It makes no difference to me. I don’t care if they are a big name or a silent one. To hear allegations that this type of interference is going on is nothing short of despicable. Good on Grange for calling a spade a spade.

What shouldn’t be lost here, at least in my mind, is that Grange did the right thing and tipped his proverbial hat to the Star (unlike those amateurs over at Bleacher Report).

So, the Globe and Mail tells us that Rogers isn’t in on the bidding for MLSE. The Star and Sun tell us the opposite.

Who do I bet on? I am a big fan of the National Post‘s Theresa Tedesco. She seems to have good insight on this type of stuff.

Did anyone happen to catch Greg Zaun on with PTS today? He had some great lines. My favourite was when he said that unless you are a real baseball fan, the game can be be really boring. He went on that the average fan watching at home is only captivated by home runs and he feels it’s his job to explain the nuances to make it more entertaining. Love that kind of honesty.

Did I really hear on the morning show this am that curling will outdraw the NCAA tournament in Canada? Wow. That’s pretty wild if true. Personally, the lack of interesting characters in this years tourney has me flipping. I am not such a huge fan that I know every guy on every team.

I loved Damien’s article on Donald Fehr this weekend. What the F is it about the NHLPA that ensures a dark cloud always follows?

What I don’t get is why people fail to remember that the PA, like every union, has to represent each member in a dispute. In sports, unions (at least those that don’t de-certify) have to represent the offender and the injured party equally.

Speaking of union certifying, the columnists in the U.S. are doing a great job following the lockout. I am a big Peter King fan. From personal experience, keep an eye on any article that quotes Gary Roberts who used to run the sports law program at Tulane. Google him and click on the news tab. He knows his stuff.

I continue to be amazed that the person who criticized bloggers for not revealing conflicts fails to release any of their own.

Raju Mudhar is the new sports media reporter at the Star. I hope we get more Zing than his first piece.

A while back I was told that the Leafs could finish the season on a radio station other than 640. I don’t think that will happen, but I doubt they will be back on 640 next season. As for Mr. Watters, I’d be shocked if he is still in the co-host chair come fall.



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Mike S
Mike S
March 15, 2011 1:05 am

I agree with TSM…………..if this Mudhar guy is going to be the new sports media writer for The Star I hope his future articles are more interesting than his first one

I feel kind of sorry for Zelkovich…………..he seemed to have a pretty high profile for many years but now he is the Argos beat writer in the summer and last week he was assigned to cover the Brier in London, Ontario

March 15, 2011 1:14 am

The fact the Watters is the co-host on the show that bears his name speaks volumes.

March 15, 2011 2:10 am

I could see TSN radio going hard for Leafs rights to make a splash. Plus The Fan has clearly shown the last 15(?) years that they can succeed without those rights, so they may not feel the same urgency.

That said, if Rogers becomes a suitor for MLSE then who the hell knows what will happen.

March 15, 2011 4:28 am

Not a big Watters fan he was done a long time ago….Weather he catches on with TSN radio time will only tell, but I dought it…
If the Fan do pick up the leafs radio rights I could see Stellick going back to do colour..He stated this when Kollins brought him back…

March 15, 2011 10:06 am

I didn’t mind Mudhar article. as a soccer fan I didn’t know Jason De Vos was signed by TSN

Not too surprised that curling outdraws NCAA tourney. Previous NCAA was on the Score that channel won’t get much ratings. But now on even footing with the same station i would still guess curling might win. I am a NCAA fan, but I think it really hurts that it’s players are there for a year and then leave, hard to follow an connect with a group.

Good job by Feschuk

Wondering who TSM is talking about who is the conflicted hypocrite lol

March 15, 2011 1:21 pm

Zaun has a great point, I never thought of it that way.

Gerry (Burlington)
Gerry (Burlington)
March 15, 2011 1:33 pm

So there is one name that I think would have an interest in this purchase, but he has the small problem of having to sell his hockey team in Ottawa. Melnyk is only in Ottawa because that is where he could get an NHL team. I am not saying he could afford this or that he is interested. But seems to me he would love to own an NHL team in a big league city. Thoughts?

Chris F.
Chris F.
March 15, 2011 2:08 pm

Is there any chance that Balsille might throw his name in the hat for MLSE. Look at it this way, he would have a huge amount of content for the blackberry and there would be some major jockeying between Bell/Rogers to woo him over so they can get rights to MLSE properties.

Okay, probably not, but it’d be cool to see Bettman having to eat crow because he can’t honestly deny Balsille because he would own the entire MLSE operations and i’m pretty sure the other leagues will approve him with no problem.

Am I dreaming in Technicolor here?

(my realistic thought is that Rogers will end up with MLSE)

Steve (in Hamilton)
Steve (in Hamilton)
March 15, 2011 2:22 pm

Since you brought up Zaun, I am just curious: has anyone on the network ever confronted him about his appearance on the Mitchell-report and his flimsy excuse (re: the blank cheque)?

March 15, 2011 3:43 pm

Did Damian Cox just say that the NFL doesn’t receive as much scrutiny about headshots/concussions as the NHL does?

Good lord.

I’m speechless.

Today might be the last time I ever listen to PTS.

March 15, 2011 7:56 pm

Here’s a bit on the Teachers giving up on the Leafs and Raptors because they’re “just not very good students.”

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