Andrew Sharp over at SB Nation threw out an interesting question for discussion relative to the NBA's New Jersey Nets, but it applies just as well for the Nashville Predators; given the choice between a superstar player and a deep-pocketed owner, which is better for a franchise?
Obviously, there are a lot of external factors in play. Is the owner going to shut up and sign checks, or will he be a Jerry Jones-type, prowling the sidelines and inserting himself into personnel decisions? And what about the draft pick? There are definitely some can't-miss players that you would make this question moot-Lebron James, for instance, makes everyone forget about a bad owner. But we're talking in hypotheticals here.
Without any knowledge of the owner's style or the top player in the draft class, which would you choose? The insanely rich guy, or the insanely talented guy?
Here in Nashville, Craig Leopold was obviously the pivotal force in the creation of the franchise, but I don't think anyone would say he was among the NHL's elite in terms of ability to bring resources to bear and pay what it takes to build a Stanley Cup contender consistently. The current ownership group, as heroic as their efforts have been to keep the Preds here, have to manage the team closely to budget and are constrained by the amount of debt they had to take on to buy the team.
On the ice, outside of a few years of Paul Kariya past his prime and a month or so of Peter Forsberg, the team has yet to field a true superstar talent that could generate interest outside the core hockey fan base.
So, Nashville Predators fans, which would you take?