Matt Murray uncorked a really off-the-reservation speculation piece today on Life In Hockeywood called "How About the Kansas City Kings?" in which he connects these dots:
• Los Angeles Kings owner AEG helped fund the $276 million Sprint Center in Kansas City. AEG President Tim Leiweke told the KC Star that there's going to be an "anchor tenant," but it's appearing more likely by the season that the NBA won't be that tenant.
• Leiweke was quoted in a 2007 KC Star piece as saying, "We'd better get a hockey team (here in Kansas City), or we will have pissed all this money away."
• The Kings will be playing an expansion game against KC-geographic rival St. Louis Blues at the Sprint Center.
All of this led to Murray's head spinning:
"Could it be a way for AEG to show the viability of an NHL team in Kansas City? Would AEG deliver on their promise to Kansas City by uprooting Los Angeles' NHL franchise and send them eastward? Would AEG continually raise ticket prices until enough people stopped going to games to watch a sub-par team?"
Now before this sort of thing gets out of hand, Murray takes a pillow and smothers his own rumor. He writes that Kansas City is an "overextended" sports market economically, while Los Angeles obviously has money to burn. Although he doesn't mention it, the Staples Center is owned by AEG, too; so moving the Kings between arena properties wouldn't make a hell of a lot of sense.
Besides ... the NHL moving a team out of Los Angeles and into an uncertain market? What are we? The NFL?
There's a cut-throat hockey cynic in me that understands the bizarre logic by which the Kansas City Kings are a good idea: LA loses a team, but Anaheim still has a franchise; KC would have a franchise; and then Las Vegas and a Canadian city would get theirs in the next round of expansion.
OK, back to reality: Not. Going. To. Happen. But in late July, it was an entertaining read from a slightly paranoid Kings fan (and the "Major League" references were terrific).