Either the Brampton Battalion really are exploring moving to North Bay — for reals — or this is the greatest use of the relocation noise machine since Reggie Dunlop had a Florida retirement community interested in purchasing the Charlestown Chiefs.
On one blue-sky level, the rumour has the same vibe as the Atlanta Thrashers being repatriated as the Winnipeg Jets in 2011. The Ontario Hockey League's ill-conceived decision to put three expansion franchises in the Greater Toronto Area in the late 1990s was is pretty much Gary Bettman's failed Southern Strategy on a smaller scale, putting a product in front of people who weren't much interested it while compounding it by splitting a wafer-thin market three ways. One of those teams has moved out of the GTA, one been moved and subsequently renamed the Mississauga Steelheads and now the Battalion are in the final year of their arena lease and playing what could be a lame-duck season.
It probably will be a couple months before it's really clear what is going to happen with the Battalion, who are owned by Trivial Pursuit co-creator Scott Abbott, with North Bay native Mike Griffin as team president. It does seem as if negotiations to re-up in Brampton are at a standstill, which only fuels speculation.Read More »from Brampton Battalion have not ‘indicated an interest’ in staying put; North Bay rumours raise questions