Research-in-Motion cofounder Jim Balsillie didn’t get where he is by giving up and he’s hoping that same tenacity will help him finally land an NHL team. Balsillie, who tried and failed to acquire the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Nashville Predators, has posted $17 million in debtor-in-possession financing to help keep the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes afloat.
But it is beyond complicated, tangled in NHL governance — the league says majority owner Jerry Moyes can no longer speak or act for the club — and Balsillie’s desire to move the team to Southern Ontario. Usually, such deals are made only with the league’s involvement and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman isn’t his biggest fan. But, as the Globe points out, the bankruptcy financing puts Balsillie in front of any other creditors and gives him standing whether or not the league likes it. His offer of $212.5 million requires approval to move the team. Balsillie can still be outbid. In the meantime, he’s started a PR campaign , asking people to sign up at makeitseven.com — as in make it the seventh Canadian franchise.
More more detail at the Globe and in Balsillie’s release.
Photo Credit: Reuters