The 2009 Jim Balsillie Chronicles

The Morning Skate: 2009 N.H.L. Year in Review
By Stu Hackel

The days of 2008 have dwindled down to a precious few and it’s supposed to be the time of year to look back. Everyone is doing it. But it’s sorta counterintuitive to reflect on hockey now, with the season not even half over. What’s the point of bisecting the hockey calendar when it doesn’t jibe with the Gregorian calendar? And really, what fun is it to regurgitate what happened in the last 12 months anyway? It’s more challenging to regurgitate what will happen in the next 12 months. So at today’s Morning Skate, let’s look back on the year that is about to begin. This is what happened in hockey in the year 2009.

January - Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie is rumored to be buying the Phoenix Coyotes to move them to Southern Ontario, but since the ‘Yotes can’t get out of their lease, the deal never materializes.

February - The Globe and Mail reports that Jim Balisillie is very close to buying the Florida Panthers to move them to Southern Ontario, but when he finds out he also must buy the BankAtlantic Center, the deal never materializes.

March - TSN reports that Jim Balsillie is buying the Anaheim Ducks and will move them to Southern Ontario, but Balsillie backs out of the deal when he can’t get a commitment from either Scott Niedermayer or Teemu Selanne to play the following season.

April - The Fan 590 in Toronto reports that Jim Balsillie will buy the Hurricanes and move them to Southern Ontario. They then report that the deal fell through when Balsillie learned of a secret agreement that mandates the team return to Hartford if it ever leaves Raleigh.

May - The Toronto Star reports that Jim Balsillie was negotiating to buy the Atlanta Thrashers to move them to Southern Ontario, but after he looked at the Thrashers’ roster, he decided against it.

June - On “Leafs Lunch? over AM640, Jim Balsillie announces that he is considering buying the entire American Hockey League and moving all the teams to Southern Ontario.

July - Abandoning his quest for an N.H.L team and the entire A.H.L., Jim Balisillie buys the K.H.L.’s Metallurg Novokuznetsk, which is bankrupt and whose players were not paid at all last season. Balsillie moves them to Hamilton, renames them Metallurg Hamilton and gets Alex Ovechkin to jump his contract for $20 million a season to join him. “It’s not about the money. I love the N.H.L. and I love Washington and I love America,? OV says, “But look how well I played after I visited my family last fall. Imagine how well I’ll do if I play half a season there. Besides, I must find new horizons and new boards to body slam.?

August - The K.H.L. goes out of business and Jim Balsillie applies to the N.H.L. to admit the Hamilton Steelers as an expansion franchise. But the owners are still lost in Dubai and cannot rule on the matter. Rumors abound that Balsillie will be granted an N.H.L. franchise in Yemen.

September - Abandoning the Hamilton Steelers, Jim Balsillie tries to buy the Washington Capitals from Ted Leonsis. Leonsis demands that Balsillie first release Alex Ovechkin to return to the Caps, which he does. Leonsis then loses Balsillie’s phone number.

October - Jim Balsillie is rumored to be buying the Islanders to move them to Southern Ontario. He won’t buy the team unless Avery returns to active playing status, however, and Bettman refuses, saying Avery has been dispatched to the Middle East for United Nations-brokered peace talks.

November - Under Barry Trotz, the Sabres lead the Eastern Conference until rumors circulate that Jim Balsillie has again made a bid to buy the club from Tom Golisano and the Sabres will split their home schedule between Buffalo, Hamilton, Barrie and Guelph, putting the Sabres on an inexplicable tailspin. When Balsillie denies that he’s buying the Sabres but is in fact interested in buying the Colorado Avalanche and moving them to Southern Ontario, the Sabres win five in a row.

December - Jim Balsillie partners with Marcel Aubut to revive the Quebec Nordiques. The plan falls apart when Balsillie wants to move the team to Southern Ontario until the new Colisee is built in Quebec.


The above excerpted from http:// slapshot.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/29/the-morning-skate-2009-nhl-year-in-review/ (note: much more information on the 2009 season in this article for you to enjoy!! :wink: )

Very funny! What a good read!!!

On the serious side of Jim, I don’t know if it’s his personality or how he acts behinds doors or if the NHL truly is an old boys club, but there is something fishy about him and everytime he wants to buy an NHL team.

I personally think that there is a side of Jim that we don’t see and this is the reason why he keeps getting denied. The other problem is that he is too open about moving a team to Southern Ontario. Bettman doesn’t want another Canadian team but if he wants a team that bad he should buy a team and leave them in whatever city they are in.

The problem with that is…if he keeps the team in what ever city he bought it…he’s bound to lose buckets of money. If he moves it to Southern Ontario, he stands to lose much less as the Canadian teams generate most of the revenue for the NHL.

Fishy yes, but about Balsillie? Hmmm, my thinking he is the opposite, too honest and up front and it's the NHL owners, BoG whatever that prefer him to be fishy, like them, and buy a struggling franchise in the US for sale and say all the right things like wanting to keep the team in Phoenix or Nashville or whatever but actually just waiting to move them.

Old boys clubs and fishy go together a lot more in my thinking.

Yea, there’s something fishy about a guy who does not want to lose $30,000,000.00 a year on some hockey hotbed team like a Phoenix or Atlanta.

30 mil seems so much more when you actually write it numerically…lol

And if you put like this, even seems more:

$10,000,000.00 + $10,000,000.00 + $10,000,000.00 = $30,000,000.00 :wink:

lol... indeed it does Earl

I thought this was a football forum..

I thought the title clearly stated what this thread was about.. don't like it... don't read it!

I never said anything about not liking it. My logic just tells me that if I wanted to post about hockey I would go to a hockey forum.

If I want to post about basketball should I go to a baseball site?

Sorry to rain on yr parade... but Zenstate has it right. Unless Balsillie is a d lineman who can pass rush like Covington and tackle like Vince Scott... he aint relevant to these boards And unless RIM is a new Quarterback option.. it aint relevant to this site. We already have a benign multi millionaire owner... we dont need another one...

Want to post hockey go to a hockey site. :cowboy:

Personally I couldn't care less what is done with this thread, I thought I was just helping out posting something in the offseason here where there isn't a whole heck of lot of threads popping up. But obviously that's not the case so put the thread in the off-topic or dump it for all I care.

Sorry about that for those that are upset with this. :?

Again, if you have a problem with the thread... move along... breeze right on by it, there is NO mistaking it for a football thread... This may be a forum but it doesn't ALWAYS have to be about football there are other things fellow football fans can talk about.

Well, maybe there is some connection between Mr. Balsillie and Mr. Young so the thread isn't that far off:

Ticats owner rooting for Balsillie

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats' owner wants Jim Balsillie to bring the Nashville Predators to Steeltown.
"I'm pulling for Jim," software entrepreneur Bob Young said yesterday from his North Carolina office.
"The Ticats don't see having an NHL team in town as a bad thing at all and in fact, it may help us on many levels."
The wealthy businessman said there are "very practical" ways for both sports to work jointly, whether in ticket sales or marketing. Already – even though Balsillie is not yet the owner of the NHL franchise – the football and hockey parties have made contact regarding possible ventures together.
"It's only been done on a very casual level, not a senior level ... and I haven't spoken directly to Jim yet but it's on my to-do list to give him a call," Young said.
The teams would also share a landlord – the city of Hamilton in Ivor Wynne Stadium and Copps Coliseum. A Hamilton native, Young said two popular teams would bring fans dowtown year round, boosting a revitalization in the city core. It would also pump up civic pride. With seasons that don't overlap, he also believes co-existence would be painless and likely profitable.
And co-existence also means cheering each other.
"I'll say to Jim: `I'll buy season tickets for your hockey team' and I'd hold him to buying tickets for the Ticats,'' Young said. "We see this as a very good thing."


Mary Ormsby - www.thestar.com/comment/columnists/article/229350