William “Boots” DelBiaggio, who was recently approved by the NHL Board of Governors as co-owner of the Predators, has filed for bankruptcy in federal court in California. Now, I’m not saying that the Board of Governors has their collective head up their ass, but when you approve someone to own a franchise in your league, largely based on the strength and stability of their finances, and a few months later they are in bankruptcy court, that doesn’t do much for your credibility.
Martin Erat, the talented winger for the Nashville Predators who recently signed a lengthy contract extension (delighting sexy Czech girls everywhere), is now nervously wondering whether his name and the $71 million he is owed will be showing up in court filings soon. And, more importantly, whether he’ll actually see it.
Not to mention that DelBiaggio’s investment firm is under investigation by the SEC and the U.S. Attorney’s office. Now, “investigation” is a long, long way from “indictment,” and even further from “conviction,” but it’s generally viewed as not a good sign when you have the government and your creditors taking turns poring over your records, and you have to hire multiple sets of lawyers to keep your ass covered. (Although, speaking personally, anything that leads to more lawyers getting paid is OK by me.)
Boy, that NHL approval process must be one rigorous undertaking. What on Earth could Blackberry billionaire Jim Balsillie have done to fail the test (besides being Canadian)? After the relatively recent near-debacles of bankrupt owners in Buffalo and Pittsburgh, you’d think the scrutiny level would have been a wee bit higher for a guy named “Boots.”
The Predators’ chairman, David Freeman, didn’t seem too concerned. “It is my hope and anticipation that the club will be even stronger once this saga reaches its logical conclusion and Mr. Del Biaggio is no longer associated with the club.” Yep, nothing makes a club stronger like a little bankruptcy! And shit, he’s probably barely met DelBiaggio, and he’s already showing him the door.
Since it’s the offseason, perhaps the Board of Governors has time to put in a word for yours truly at the old bank. I’m trying to refinance the family homestead, and the bank keeps nagging me about things like “assets” and “equity.” If I had the Board’s stamp of approval, though, I’m sure everything would sail right through. Our family finances will be even stronger once the foreclosure comes down.
On a completely unrelated note, devoted commenter wraparoundcurl recently noted that we have been neglecting our many fine lady readers. Shame on us. The picture below may or may not be “Boots” DelBiaggio. Probably not.