Disney has been trying to sell the Mighty Ducks for years now, with absolutely no success. Afterall, who wants a mediocre franchise with a lukewarm fanbase and revenues comparable to the smallest Canadian markets, according to Forbes?
According to TSN.ca, A former owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Hartford Whalers, Howard Baldwin, has made an offer on the franchise.
It was slightly less than Disney is looking for.
Baldwin has offered $50 million. That is what Disney paid in expansion fees to get into the NHL. While Disney has been desperate to get out of the sports ownership buisness for years now, it is debatable if Disney would sell the franchise at that price.
However, it offers those of us who hate the Mickey Mouse image (pardon the pun) that a franchise named "Mighty Ducks" projects as Baldwin would likely move the team to Kansas City in 2007 when that city's new arena is completed.
Of course, it should not come down to this. Metropolitan Los Angeles has a population base of over 20 million people. How can someone come into the NHL's second largest market with what would usually be considered a lowball offer and be taken seriously - by major media outlets at least?
I would suggest the NHLPA watch this situation closely. That offers like this can be made for teams in a market like Los Angeles shows that the owners are not bluffing. Franchise values are mostly stagnant or declining because NHL hockey is not a good investment right now. Baldwin is trying to take advantage of the situation. What concessions the union ultimately agrees to will determine if it is a reasonable risk.