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Balsillie's attorney to appear on Nashville radio today

Richard Rodier, the attorney representing Jim Balsillie will make an appearance on Nashville radio this afternoon, to hopefully shed some light on the prospects for NHL hockey here in Middle Tennessee. He'll be on 104.5's Sports Zone at 5:05 Central time (streaming broadcast available via the link). There will also be a press conference at 3:30 (also carried on 104.5) featuring a local group of business leaders expressing their support of the team.

To say the least, mixed signals are in the air. While there have been plenty of assertions from Rodier and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman that as long as there's a lease in place, the Predators are staying in Nashville, the activity around setting up a lease in Hamilton*, combined with renewed governmental interest in the NHL's franchise relocation policy seems to indicate that there's much more going on than Balsillie merely lining up options in the event that the opt-out clause becomes available after next season. Here's a particularly chilling quote from the Hamilton Spectator:
The word around city hall is Balsillie told Mayor Fred Eisenberger he believes he has a 50/50 chance of bringing the team to Copps, despite expected vetoes from NHL brass and compensation claims from the Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres for violating their territorial rights.
I don't expect much to get cleared up during this afternoon's interview, but this will be Nashville's first chance to get some basic questions answered. In particular, George Plaster and the gang need to press on this issue of Copps Colesium and the related facilities that Balsillie is taking such an interest in. If this Spectator article is even half-correct, Balsillie appears to prepping Hamilton for NHL hockey, and if that's the case, we're in for a heck of a fight here in Nashville...

*Found via this morning's Kukla's Korner

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