While the Winnipeg situation has been going on, we have had people question about what happened to Jim Balsillie in all of this. Well, welcome back Jimbo, as Gary Bettman has publicly said that he Balsillie could get sold a team.....if he doesn't mess things up. Oddly enough, this coincides with the fact many Blackberry advertisements showing up during the NHL Playoffs and during the Stanley Cup Finals; both on TV and online with the NHL.
Now, Balsillie has already effed up his chances three times-- Pittsburgh, Nashville, and Phoenix have all been within Balsillie's grasp; but due to his overzealous nature-- he has lost out on those teams. We all know that Balsillie is a guy who wants to have a team and probably wants them in Canada, as he lives there. The biggest question is whether or not he can actually get a team into a place he wants it to be.
Hamilton has been the destination for him for every team he's had an eye on. The biggest hurdle there is the Toronto Maple Leafs not wanting someone to infringe on their turf. So, if Hamilton isn't in the cards, is that going to be a problem with Balsillie?? While he wants to be an owner, he probably wouldn't want to be an owner if he can't get his team into his home country. I doubt he'd want to go to Quebec City, if they get their new rink build-- but if it's the only option; what do you do-- head to a place you don't want to put a team in or not have a team at all??
Yet, the biggest hurdle for Balsillie is really himself. While he's had three attempts, many people believe he'd be a good fit as a NHL owner and if he was able to contain his excitement; he'd actually be an owner by now. Odds are that even if he's sold a team, the amount of people on Board of Governors that he has rubbed the wrong way would probably be problematic for his search to be welcomed into the society of the NHL ownership brotherhood. But first, he has to get a team; which may or may not be difficult to do depending on which team comes knocking at death's door next.
The odds are definitely against Balsillie, as you can imagine he's probably the last resort for the NHL when it comes to getting rid of a team; but with the amount of teams seemingly going belly-up, he may have to be put in there quick due to the lack of suitors out there. He should be great for any team, despite the threat of relocating to Canada and will pump money into a team in order to make it a winner. Plus, the fact he's a rebel before owning a team will definitely make things interesting just to see what he'll do next; which could be good for the game in the end of it all.