Jim Balsillie, the co-CEO of Research In Motion, maker of the popular Blackberry may have become National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman's worst nightmare once again by offering to pay $212.5 million for the Phoenix Coyotes as long as he can move the team to Southern Ontario.
Balsillie who has previously offered to buy the Nashville Predators and Pittsburgh Penguins and move them to Canada, has also likely got the owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings on the phones to their lawyers advising them to prepare to do all they can to block such a move. Better to let the Coyotes die of thirst on the desert than have another viable NHL franchise in Canada.
Bettman, the American who runs the NHL, has never supported another franchise in Canada, as he tries to turn hockey into an American game in the most unlikely of places -- for example, Phoenix, Arizona. At one time Bettman is quoted as saying he would "fix" the Coyotes, who apparently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection under U.S. law on May 5.
Here's one for you and it might give Bettman pause to consider the popularity of NHL hockey in the United States. President Barack Obama, basketball player extraordinaire, admitted that he had never watched an NHL game -- and he lived in the NHL cities of Chicago and Boston, where he attended Harvard University.
Greg Wyshynski of PuckDaddy.com provides an inside look at the situation
I believe Southern Ontario can support another NHL team and it is likely Winnipeg can too -- maybe even the lower mainland of British Columbia.
Let's bring the NHL home to Canada to cities where it will thrive.
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