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Are Hicks And Gillett Focusing Efforts On Keeping Liverpool?
Published March 27, 2009
|Gillett (l), Hicks (r) Facing July Deadline
To Repay $650M Loan
TREAD LIGHTLY: NATIONAL POST's L. Ian Macdonald writes owning the Canadiens and Bell Centre "may be a profitable private business, but owning them is a public trust." Macdonald: "It's not just about hockey, and how the Habs are doing. ... Nor is it about the bottom line -- the Canadiens may be a valuable brand, but they are a low-margin business. Owning the Canadiens means tending the pride of les glorieux, serving a public that regards the Canadiens not so much as sports team as religious cult." There are "much more important businesses than the Canadiens, but no more important sporting or cultural institution in Quebec." Macdonald writes this "should give [RIM co-CEO] Jim Balsillie pause." Balsillie is reportedly a "lifelong Habs fan, and has been shopping for an NHL team," but "even with the best will in the world, he would have to ask if owning the Canadiens would be beneficial to the RIM brand." Macdonald: "Would ownership by an avid Habs fan from Ontario be sympathetically portrayed in the media, or viewed as a hostile takeover?" (NATIONAL POST, 3/27).