According to Rodier, when Bettman found out they were on the verge of signing a letter of intent, he angrily called [current Nashville owner Craig] Leipold and told him to back off.
Your guess is as good as mine as to why. More from ESPN...
The battle for ownership of the Nashville Predators might be the single-most important moment for the league in decades, even eclipsing in importance the lockout that scuttled the 2004-05 season.
On one side is Bettman, whose vision of the NHL continues to be one that includes teams scattered across America, even if many of those American markets are floundering. The failure of the Predators reflects badly on Bettman's vision. Their failure is his failure.
Not only that, but...
Many players have told ESPN.com they believe a new team in Hamilton would generate significantly more revenue than a team in Kansas City. Governors and GMs have told ESPN.com in the past year they believe a second team in Southern Ontario would be a surefire success. Phoenix Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky, still one of hockey's most influential figures, recently said he thought a team in Hamilton would be a success.So...
the accusations raise questions about whether the commissioner overstepped his bounds. The issue could lead to a showdown with the NHL's board of governors over whether Bettman acted appropriately and with the best interests of the league. The board is scheduled to meet next in September, likely in Chicago.
Please Ted Leonsis, I'm begging you. Get rid of this dope once and for all.
I, and so many other Americans, full well know that hockey is Canada's game.
And with millions of Canadians screaming for another team, Gary continues to stand red-faced in the corner with his fingers firmly planted in his ears.
Update - Some discussion about Mr. Bettman over at Kuklas.