Is Jim Balsillie’s dream of owning an NHL team back on track?
With reports of several teams staring down mounting piles of debt and at least one troubled club already heading back to a hockey-mad Canadian market, you have to think his number will come up eventually. Well, a Forbes magazine blog is dropping some hints that make it sound like it may come sooner rather than later!
Sports Money’s Mike Ozanian reported this week that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has told the Research In Motion co-CEO that if he “behaves himself and doesn’t create any more spectacles or bad publicity for the league, he will eventually get a team.” The NHL has denied that such a conversation took place, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it didn’t happen, of course.
Balsillie has tried three times to become the owner of an NHL team, but on each occasion he did something to make the league brass angry. The most high profile of those “spectacles” saw Balsillie try to circumvent league rules and buy the Phoenix Coyotes through a bankruptcy court, which of course ended in the NHL buying the team themselves. It’s now almost two years later and they still haven’t managed to sell the Coyotes… (more…)