MacLean almost blew it when he asked about Del Biaggio being "charged" (no one's charged in a civil matter), but recovered by asking point-blank if this wasn't proof Jim Balsillie might have made a better owner for the Predators. Bettman responded with an all-time whopper: "You'd have to ask Craig Leipold," referring to the former owner who held out for less money.
Here's the background to what MacLean was asking about, from today's San Jose Mercury-News:
"In the lawsuit, DGB Investments, a San Jose firm that provides loans to businesses, accuses Del Biaggio of orchestrating a $3 million loan in November 2007 through 'a complete fraud,' and then refusing to pay it back when confronted. The lawsuit contends Del Biaggio secured the DGB Investments loan by claiming he had millions of dollars in assets in a Merriman account, but 'the truth was otherwise.'One would like to believe the NHL this time, since after being suckered a few times (John Spano, anyone?) it's bound to learn its lesson. None of this is proven in court, but keep an eye on how this plays out over the next few months. Also , please give Tom Benjamin from Canucks Corner credit for clueing in about Del Biaggio a year and a half ago.
"The suit says the $3.3 million account Del Biaggio used as security for the loan 'never belonged to Del Biaggio in the first place.' Rather, it was someone else's account 'doctored to make believe that the account statement belonged to Del Biaggio' with the intention of getting DGB Investments to make a $3 million loan to Del Biaggio.
"On May 15, after the loan was due, Del Biaggio 'admitted that he had significant issues and would be unable to pay,' the lawsuit says.
(UPDATE: The Jerry Bruckheimer owning a team in Las Vegas rumour came up again during the second intermission. He would have plenty of know-how to bring the NHL about how to package a mediocre product.
UPDATE: It's on YouTube.)
Del Biaggio hit with lawsuit (Pete Carey and Howard Mintz, San Jose Mercury News)