Who Cares Who Owns MLSE?

I’m a big Rick Westhead fan. We who enjoy reading about sports business lost quite a bit when the Star sent him overseas. Thankfully he is back and writing sports business again.

He broke a story today that an American private equity firm is take a look under the hood of the for sale teachers shares of MLSE. He didn’t report that a deal was close or one was every going to happen. No the story was that they are looking. Then the insanity, predictably began.

First, the reporter over at the Globe who broadcasted that the fine folks of Ice Edge Holdings were buying Manchester United before he realized that it was my birthday, I mean April 1st:

“There is little chance a U.S. equity fund or any financial institution is going to wind up with control of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., according to an investment banker familiar with the company. ”

“Richard Peddie, president of MLSE, declined to comment as did MLSE board member Dale Lastman. Tanenbaum did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for Teachers said there would be no comment. ”

In other words, no one of any significance had anything to say on the record. Oh and Westhead never said the group was going to buy the team, rather that they were looking. Shoalts does not say that isn’t true.

Shoalt’s colleague has it right though:

“A published report in which sources say U.S.-based Providence Equity Partners LLC had looked into purchasing the 80-per-cent stake of MLSE held by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has been shot down by other sources. (I’ll see your anonymous sources and raise you my anonymous sources.) ”

“the notion of the Maple Leafs being run by Yankees is not as outrageous as the notion of the Montreal Canadiens being run by an American, which is of course what happened when George Gillett Jr. purchased the club in 2001. ”

“There were segments of the Quebec media that thought the story was a total fabrication up until the day Gillett was announced as the club’s owner – and they can’t be blamed. Such was the skepticism surrounding an American owner who proved an able steward of the NHL team and its history before selling it back to the Molson family.

If the sacred flannel can fall into the hands of Americans, all bets are off. ”

I want an owner with deep pockets. I don’t care where they come from. Blair is right, if the Habs can have an American owner so too can the Leafs. It’s just not that relevant.

Then there is the Westhead’s colleague Cathal Kelly who turns to humor:

“We live in hockey’s most imperfect neighborhood, where the market richly, if grudgingly, sustains a loser. The only way to mitigate that pain is ensuring that it’s shared from top to bottom.”

Couple other interesting article this evening:

Do you remember Damien Goddard? Well, he’s the new poster boy for stop gay marriage:

““I do not hate homosexuals,” the devout Roman Catholic said in an interview this week.

“But if I remain silent I am consenting to something I don’t believe in. I have 2,000 years of Christian history backing me up on this. I’m good with that.”

This is one story that will be interesting to follow.

The Damien Cox chimed in with a directive to the Maple Leafs brass:

“Enough already.

Having listened to more than a week of complaining from the Maple Leaf organization and others about an exclusive story written by the Star’s Dave Feschuk revealing previously unknown information about the health of goaltender James Reimer, it’s time to set a few things straight.”

“The fact is that for decades now, longer before Ron Wilson and Brian Burke started giving free journalism lectures, the Star has been the best read paper in the city, and partly that’s because quality journalists like Red Burnett, Milt Dunnell, Jim Proudfoot, Wayne Parrish, Rick Fraser, Rick Matsumoto, Mark Harding and Bob McKenzie did such a damn good job of covering the Leafs. All, you should know, spoke to the mothers of a few hockey players along the way.”

What do you think? Did Feschuck cross the line?

How awesome is this?

“Finally, must have missed where Ron Wilson, Nick Kypreos, Mike Keenan, Doug MacLean and Brad May were able to squeeze in journalism degrees around their busy hockey duties. In the discussion of The Toronto Star’s Dave Feschuk calling up Maple Leaf goalie James Reimer’s mom for concussion info, they all seem to have become experts on the ethics of reporting. Such multi-taskers. Gentlemen, since you apparently missed the class while pursuing your hockey studies, the credo of journalism is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”


About the Author
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ami Angelwings
November 17, 2011 3:14 am

What line would Feschuk have crossed? o_O I wasn’t aware that asking autonomous adult women questions was crossing some line. She can always refuse to comment, it sounded like she had a lot to say and wanted it heard. Good for her!

And I agree with Blair and Cox that some of the protestations sound like they come from sexism too, the “oh my god the poor woman” thing… ffs, some of these ppl made her out as if she’s in a rocking chair and 80. Reimer’s like 22, how old could she possibly be? xD

Also the idea that you have to ask Reimer for permission to talk to adults related to him is kind of ridiculous. Plus the “she’s not media trained!”, a) it’s disturbing if we now believe our media should ONLY talk to media trained people and b) neither are lots of people the media talks to, including when they talk to fans on the street, or bloggers.

I wonder if Kypreos, Cherry, et al, will refuse to acknowledge any information gleaned from that interview though (like his concussion history, etc) given that they feel it was gotten in such unethical ways. Like a jury which disregards illegal evidence, shouldn’t they, out of principle, learn nothing from this story and pretend it doesn’t exist? Or is it okay to condemn the Star then use the information they gleaned to further your own media careers?

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
November 17, 2011 8:15 am

Richard Deitsch nailed it in his interview on the Hayes show: all that matters is whether Feschuk identified himself as a reporter. if so, then he did nothing wrong in asking questions and reporting the answers. The Leafs under Burke have become a PR embarrassment. I’m pretty sure Ken Holland is not walking around threatening to break the noses of media members.

November 17, 2011 8:29 am

I care who owns MLSE!

For one…if Bell/TSN buys MLSE it would hopefully end the career of the most irritating and annoying Leafs color commentator in history Greg Millen.

Steve from Waterloo
Steve from Waterloo
November 17, 2011 10:29 am

So many things I could say, but most importantly, here here Shelby!

Bobby G
Bobby G
November 17, 2011 11:03 am

God bless Dave Feschuk.

November 17, 2011 1:50 pm

I think it’s telling how every journalist worth anything, whom have any experience and credentials whatsoever, all seem to think the prospect of any line being crossed utterly preposterous and laughable.

Really it’s insane to think that for some reason you can’t interview family members of anyone in the news.

In fact the only real argument these buffoons have is that interviewing Reimers mom is wrong because she is an innocent, foolish, easily duped WOMAN.

In other words, the only Possible logical argument is pure sexism.

Anyways, as Cox has stated, if these idiots are right then I guess the hundreds of interviews done by people such as Walter Gretzky and the like were all unethical too?

Or is it only poor witless women who can be duped?

Clearly Reimers mom is an intelligent woman who knew exactly what she was doing, she very clearly wanted to have her voice heard and is pretty pissed at the leafs organization.

Shame on them for the sexism in response to this. If I was her I’d give another interview lambasting them for this.

November 17, 2011 4:25 pm

Clearly Reimers mom is an intelligent woman who knew exactly what she was doing, she very clearly wanted to have her voice heard and is pretty pissed at the leafs organization.

Why would Mrs Reimer be pissed at the Leafs they always give players, like her son James, from the East Coast Hockey League a chance in the NHL.

Zeb (Famous Original Zeb)
Zeb (Famous Original Zeb)
November 17, 2011 6:35 pm

Vancouver fans have seen this from Burke before. For someone who claims to be so tough, he is incredibly thin-skinned.

Watch his treatment of Feschuk now, and this is from a man who says he hates bullies. Ask Tony Gallagher, Mike Beamish and Jim Mullin about Burke’s buly tactics.

As for Goddard, his Church has a spotty record over the last 2,000 years, in matters not involving consenting adults.

Ami Angelwings
November 17, 2011 7:25 pm

She’s pissed because of the way she believes they’re mishandling her son’s head trauma.

November 17, 2011 8:57 pm

Poor Mrs. Reimer, poor James, poor Leaf fans…for the 3rd group, there are 29 other teams out there for u to cheer for

November 18, 2011 9:28 am

As for Goddard, his Church has a spotty record over the last 2,000 years, in matters not involving consenting adults.

As well as aiding Nazi war criminals to escape out of post war Europe and into South America, Ireland, Sweden, Canada the U.S. and several other countries.

Goddard was a below average broadcaster who’s EGO cost him his job he needs to find a different line of employment.

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
November 18, 2011 9:38 am

So, Goddard is now an employee of an organization that lobbies against equal rights for gays and lesbians, and he is quoted as saying that, regarding his firing:

““I’m living the effects of it, because it is no longer live and let live. Instead, it’s now: you must agree with my lifestyle.

wow. it’s hard to know what to do with this level of cognitive failure.

itchy butt
itchy butt
November 19, 2011 10:24 am

Can we not even talk about Goddard? He doesn’t deserve to be given any publicity.

” I have 2,000 years of Christian history backing me up on this”

2000 years! LOL! How many alter knob gobbles in that time?


[…] it matter who own da Leafs? Since the teachers got involved with Leafs ownership, they've made the playoffs eight times in 16 […]

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x