I wonder how much having Cuban buy a hockey team would have meant to the NHL in terms of advertising alone? Heâ€™s well known in the sports world for his antics in the NBA and is arguably their most famous owner.
It would have meant a lot in terms of publicity, which is something the league needs badly. An outspoken and high-profile guy like Mark Cuban owning a team with players as exciting as the Pens’ youngsters would have put the game on the map in a pretty big way.
Remember, he was involved as a minority partner in an ownership group looking to buy the Penguins earlier this year and has been interested in becoming financially involved in the team for years (I wonder if the columnist at that last link would take a different stance today). He primarily wanted to make sure the team stayed in Pittsburgh, where he has a lot of ties.
He dropped out of the group because he felt they were too focused on the investment aspect over fanship, according to this piece by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, which also indicates Cuban has offered to invest in the team as recently as mid-October.
If Jim Balsilie, the new Pens owener, accepts Cuban’s offer, we should see more of him playing ambassador for the game as he becomes more involved with the team as one of Balsillie’s partners. If not, hopefully he’ll continue to talk about the game as a fan, at least. - Matt
It’s not Wings-related but I thought this post was a good read: “Evgeni Malkin & the NHL – Are you kidding me ?”
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is a hockey fan and regrets not heading his own group to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins after catching the Oct 24th Pens-Devils game in which Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin hooked up for a jaw-dropper of a goal.
The next night, Cuban got Malkin’s autograph on his newly-purchased #71 jersey while the two were at a Mavs/Cavs pre-season game.
Cuban sees greatness coming in a Pens organization stacked with Malkin, Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury, and Jordan Staal, and it’s hard to disagree.
It’s great to have someone as high-profile as Mark Cuban praising the game so highly.