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Bill Daly reaffirms that the NHL is still off-limits to Jim Balsillie

On Tuesday, Forbes’ Michael Ozanian reported that the NHL might be willing to let Jim Balsillie back into the ownership picture if he “behaves himself,” but the Toronto Star’s Mark Zwolinski asked NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly to confirm this, and Daly offered a sharp retort:

f Balsillie has been offered an olive branch by the NHL, it’s news to the league.

“No, we have not had any conversations or communications with Mr. Balsillie or any of his people regarding the potential acquisition of an NHL club,” NHL vice-president Bill Daly replied in an email Thursday.

Continued, and if you missed it, Daly had this to say about Winnipeg’s attempts to land an NHL franchise while speaking with the Canadian Press today:

While he stopped short of describing it as a blueprint for how to win acceptance within the NHL, he did lay out the path True North chairman Mark Chipman took and the long dialogue he has had with the league about bringing an team back to Winnipeg, which lost the Jets in 1996.

“Mark’s been very respectful of the process,” said Daly. “He’s been very respectful not to, for lack of a better term, tamper with franchises in other cities you know, because the league does have a commitment to try to do whatever we can to keep franchises healthy in the cities (where) they are. He’s been patient throughout the process and that patience paid off.

In other words, RIM’s Blackberry might be an NHL sponsor, but the feeling isn’t mutual.

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Comments

PuckStopsHere's avatar

Why should we believe anything the NHL says on this topic?  Less than a week before it was announced that the NHL is returning to Winnipeg, the NHL was still denying it.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 06/10/11 at 12:19 AM ET

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Because Balsillie is a jackass and the other owners don’t want him in the league.

Posted by timbits on 06/10/11 at 12:21 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

He tried to move teams twice, and did so very publicly. He’s burned bridges with both Bettman and the Board of Governors and it’s the Board that Bettman and Daly work for.

You don’t [bleepity bleep] with that good old boys’ club and survive.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/10/11 at 12:40 AM ET

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A) Bill Daly’s a liar when it suits him.  A complete, bald-faced, say-something-thats-completely-and-wholly-untrue-if-hes-told-to liar.

B) If there were other options, Bettman would never say or allow the words Jim Balsillie to be spoken in his presence again.  Unfortunately, since there are no people of financial substance willing to buy an NHL franchise, I don’t think even Bettman’s lilliputian ego will be worth the NHL eating 20 mil a year in Glendale while they blackball the only guy with money who wants a team from having a team.

C) Other owners may not want Balsillie in the league, but there’s something else that they REALLY don’t want: to see one of the franchises in their league be given away to a different owner, which would kneecap the values, real and perceived of all of their clubs as well.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/10/11 at 07:36 AM ET

Hank1974's avatar

Says the man who in 2009 told everyone in earshot that the Phoenix Coyotes were doing awesome.

Please KK, never post any quotes from Daly or Bettman ever again. They lie about everything.

I wouldn’t doubt for a second that Bettman is licking Balsillie’s boots as we speak begging him to take that albatross of a Phoenix team off his hands.

Posted by Hank1974 on 06/10/11 at 10:36 AM ET

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Please KK, never post any quotes from Daly or Bettman ever again. They lie about everything.

Whether you like Bettman or not, this statement is pathetic!

Posted by timbits on 06/10/11 at 12:03 PM ET

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Balsillie should know better than to even try again. He’s a committed, enthusiastic billionaire, and the NHL hates people like that.

Posted by dzuunmod on 06/10/11 at 08:11 PM ET

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That’s a non-denial denial, if I’ve ever seen one. The report in question said Balsillie might be considered in the future if he behaves himself, not that he was in discussions to buy a team, which is what Daly is refuting.

Posted by steviesteve on 06/10/11 at 08:52 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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