New Flames arena deal dead, team's future in Calgary is in question

Sep 13 2017, 6:01 am

Some very concerning news has surfaced regarding the future of the Calgary Flames. Ken King, the team’s president, has said that Flames ownership is no longer going to pursue a new arena in Calgary.

This is not good news.

The Flames’ new arena deal is dead according to the team. If that’s true, the team’s future is in doubt.

Now, there’s a long way to go before the Flames leave town, but the team certainly doesn’t sound like they’re fooling around.

“It’s time we stopped pretending,” King said.

“We will operate as long as we can.”

On the future of the Flames in Calgary, King said: “I don’t know what this means.”

Clearly, talks between the team and the city did not go well.

Gary Bettman was in town too, which is never a good sign.

Is this just posturing? It’s hard to say.

The Flames want a new building and they want public money for it. Given that the city isn’t prepared to give them what they want, it makes sense for the Flames to apply public pressure. If they can subtly suggest that the team’s future in the city is in doubt, that’s some serious pressure.

With the Oilers getting money for a new arena up the road in Edmonton, it was predictable that the Flames would try the same.

On the other hand, the Saddledome is old. It opened in 1983, which makes it the second-oldest rink in the league. It makes sense that they would need a new place to play.

Are the Flames bluffing? Maybe. But is the city willing to find out?

The news comes on the same day that Seattle – a city the NHL is fond of – took another step closer to getting a new arena for basketball and hockey.

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