Tuesday, September 08, 2009
While we're talking Balsillie and the NHL....
To me, at the heart of Jim Balsillie's attempt to move the Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton, Ontario, is this: Why not?
The NHL says it's because they basically can't deal with Balsillie, based on their past dealings with the guy.
Balsillie says it's because the Toronto Maple Leafs have de facto veto rights over any franchise move to Southern Ontario.
From a business standpoint, Balsillie's answer makes more sense. As Balsillie has argued, it's hard to believe, given who the NHL has dealt with in the past, that their current resistance is all about character and personality.
On the other hand, I'm not that familiar with Balsillie's dealings with the NHL in the past, so I don't know the extent to which he has been dishonest or circumspect on those occasions. Unless, of course, any suggestion of moving a team to Hamilton is considered dishonest or circumspect, which is probably exactly what the Leafs think, isn't it?