The proof is in the pudding.
All over the hockey 'Net world this afternoon, the only phrase you saw was "free rent", emanating from today's meeting with Kansas City's Sprint Center representatives. The Pens would indeed play rent-free if they accepted the offer proposed in their meeting today in K.C.
Then, the Pens' boys hopped on Ronny Burkle's private plane and headed back to Pittsburgh, were they met this afternoon with Gov. Rendell, County Exec. Dan Onorato, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, among others.
Mario briefly met with the media after the meeting, using terms that he was "very optimistic" after the meeting and that the meeting was "very positive".
Those are his words folks, not mine (I know, I know, hence the quotes, duh).
So what I'm saying is for those who may be making hotel reservations for Kansas City for next October's season opener, ya'll need to chill out. No one outside of those two parties knows what's in the fine print of that K.C. proposal. Unless you're 18 years old, you should know by now that nothing in this world is free.
In addition, and more importantly, anyone paying close attention to the arena and/or ownership situation has seen and read that Mario Lemieux has been extremely careful about how he is wording his comments and his statements to the media. Monsieur Lemieux absolutely would not be throwing out words like "very optimistic" and "very positive" towards the new arena deal just to blow smoke up the collective asses of Pens fans.
He and his ownership group are doing what they need to do in terms of exploring ALL of their options. Although it's unpleasant to see photos of Lemieux in K.C.'s arena and watch press conferences in K.C. discussing a possible timeline of the Pens playing in K.C. next season, it's the necessary due diligence that businessmen MUST DO with a multi-million dollar investment.
But this deal will get done, my friends. Is it possible they're still headed to K.C. ?? Absolutely, I'm not that naive.
But the deal is on the table, the terms have obviously been sweetened for the Pens, it's a matter of time.
Monsieur Lemieux will, once again, save the Pens, and in Pittsburgh.