Penguins have a few choices

Now that Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell has stepped into the Pittsburgh Penguins controversy, asking the NHL to keep the team from leaving the Steel City, we should surmise that this entire affair is going to end in one of two ways:

1.) The city and state will cave in and provide the team with a state-of-the art, luxury-box-laden, rent-free arena, complete with all parking revenues, that will include posh three-bedroom, two-bath condos with underground parking spaces for Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal, or

2.) The Penguins will pack their suitcases and move their little webbed feet to one of the following locations and adopt a new nickname:

~ The Las Vegas CSIs. Forget the casinos, the showgirls, the all-you-can-eat-for-$2.99 buffets, the neon, the martini-loving mayor and the, ahem, criminal element. If I'm Penguins management, the make-or-break aspect of any deal moving the team is guaranteed exposure in CBS' popular crime-technology series, including guest spots for the team's stars.

~ The Kansas City Moes. Sure, some want the team to keep the Penguins nickname, but after such a bitter divorce, it's highly unlikely the team will want any mementos from its past. Alas, the Kansas City Penguins concept, which really never would have made much sense, simply floats away like an ice floe.

~ The Oklahoma City Dustbugs. The Blazers, a much better name, is taken and I'm pretty certain the team will have depleted its legal account in securing the move to wrestle away the name from the Central Hockey League team.

~ The Houston Refineries. Can't use the Rockets, Astros or Aeros. Texans is out of the question, too. Using Enrons wouldn't be too smart. What else is Houston known for? To me, the Refineries is a much better name than the Smog.

~ The Quebec Igloos. Really, this would be nothing more than a swipe at Pittsburgh. But, hey, can you blame them? Besides, it means another team in Canada, raising the total to seven (Thanks again, Drew). The team might also be able to integrate some elements of the old Nordiques logo/jersey into the new look.

~ The Portland (Ore.) Timbers. Yes, I know there's a United Soccer League team operating under that name. C'mon, though, second-tier soccer vs. an NHL team? Granted, it would be close. I'm sure the promise of free season tickets for two years to Timbers ownership and any ticket-producing fan will grease these skids.

~ My vote goes to the Orlando Nation. Now that the Seminole Tribe of Florida has completed its deal for the Hard Rock chain of cafes, hotels and music memorabilia, adding an NHL team (an idea I floated late last year) to its portfolio makes financial sense. Fans can stay at the hotel, listen to great music while downing a cheeseburger and a couple beers, try their luck at the slots and then amble over to watch a game. I'm sure, too, that many northern North American teams wouldn't mind a three-game, seven-day road trip to Florida in January or February.

P.S.: That freshly squeezed glass of grapefruit juice was excellent, too.

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Blogger Drew said...

I'm still thinking (or maybe hoping) that this is a total bluff on Lemieux's part. He's going to accept the current top offer from the city, state, or whomever, and keep the Pens in Pittsburgh. It's just his final bargaining chip to squeeze all he can out of the powers that be.

If all else fails, find a way to quickly pass a law to allow the city to claim the Pens under eminent domain, as Baltimore tried to do with the Colts in 1984.

11:06 AM  

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