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No NHL tenant required for Markham arena, insists developer (again)

The developer of a new NHL-caliber arena in the Toronto suburb of Markham continues to insist that the project doesn’t require an NHL tenant to be profitable.

Former Bauer chairman Graeme Roustan also maintains that recently announced partnerships with companies belonging to NHL owners Ed Snider (Flyers) and Jeremy Jacobs (Bruins) are merely a function of the relationships he’s made in the hockey world.

“If I was a concert promoter, all of my relationships most likely would be in the concert and event promotion business,” Roustan told the National Post. “I happen to have spent the last five or 10 years in the hockey world, so most of the people that I know are from that industry.”

Of course, if Roustan does indeed covet an NHL franchise for his new arena, he’s not about to crow about it in public. That’s not how the league likes to do business. Jim Balsillie can tell you that.

Besides, Roustan isn’t saying he doesn’t want an NHL tenant. He’s only saying he doesn’t need one.

Related: The guy who’s building the arena in Southern Ontario has “no expectations” of getting an NHL team