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Nashville Post declares Balsillie's bid DOA

Breaking news today at the Nashville Post indicates that Jim Balsillie has basically dropped out of the running to buy the Nashville Predators. According to the Post, the team is continuing discussions with Boots DelBiaggio as well as a group of local investors.

Besides the update that Balsillie is apparently out of the deal, Richard Dawson and Ken Whitehouse discuss an interesting possibility: that of the two competing interests actually joining together in keeping the Preds in Nashville.

Del Biaggio's choice could be to stick it out in Nashville and build on the established base. He still, however, would need support from the corporate community as much as Leipold.

That's where the local group could come in again if it loses the bidding on the team. Clearly, the local group is interested in keeping the team here. It could invest with Del Biaggio, if he's interested, and not spend nearly as much as it would on buying the team. Quite possibly, the group would be interested in such an investment if Del Biaggio wants to keep the team here.

This is a pretty interesting notion, in that as a current minority partner in an NHL team, Del Biaggio is much more likely to play "by the rules" and make a legitimate attempt to makes things work in Nashville before trying to force the issue of relocation. With an organized and motivated business community having come together over the last few months, this path forward looks increasingly more likely every day.

By the way, I would recommend anybody following the Predators sale to keep tabs on the Nashville Post. It's a local business-oriented paper that has regularly been out in front of the general media on this story, and was the outlet that first broke the story of the franchise sale to begin with back in May.

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