Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 06/09/11 at 11:07 PM ET
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.
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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