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11-03-2012, 07:30 AM
Hamilton Tigers
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Markham’s NHL dreams take a hit, courtesy of deputy mayor

Jack Heath, deputy mayor of Markham, Ont., has withdrawn his long-standing support of plans to build an NHL-ready arena in part because of a noticeable wrinkle the private developers have not been able to iron out: “They were not able to get an NHL team — and this really was about the NHL.”

Five of the city’s 13 council members have confirmed they are opposed to the proposal, and one of those, Don Hamilton, has suggested there are at least two more dissenters in chambers, which would form a majority. Hamilton also pointed to the uncertainty over the NHL’s future involvement with the arena as one reason for his skepticism.

“The way it goes is, [NHL commissioner Gary] Bettman says, ‘You build a building, I might give you the team,’ ” Hamilton said. “And that’s no good. That’s not a way you can do it.”

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