Jim Balsillie's Ownership Application Gets Rejected By NHL

By Adam Zeis on 30 Jul 2009 10:25 am EDT


Jim Balsillie's application for ownership of the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes has been unanimously rejected. The NHL deputy commissioner stated in an email that Balsillie's application was rejected under bylaw 35 of the league's constitution. The section states the league may reject potential owners if they are not of "good character and integrity" and also for financial reasons. Balsillie had originally bid to buy the bankrupt Coyotes for $212.5 million and move them to Canada. The NHL states it had nothing to do with the relocation issue, although they have said in the past they want the team to stay put in Arizona. Bill Walker, Balsillie's spokesman, stated:

"We're moving full steam ahead. We don't believe that Jim Balsillie's qualification to be an NHL owner is an issue at all." 

So is Jim's pursuit of an NHL team over for good? My vote is no, but only time will tell.

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Jim Balsillie's Ownership Application Gets Rejected By NHL


It's the same as an iPhone blog talking about Steve Jobs. (Which happens alot) CEO's seem to be celebrities these days

Jim Balsillie is the CEO (or similar, sorry I forgot exact title) of RIM, maker of Blackberry.

Mixed feelings on this one, but congratulations to the hockey fans in Phoenix that won't be losing their team this season, as least as it would appear right now.

I feel that Hamilton may be a more lucrative market and *could* support a team, but don't think it should come at the expense of another market having to lose one, in my opinion.

The team never should have left Winnipeg in the first place. Let's move a hockey team to a desert location! What a great idea! Get Bettman out of the NHL, he's been part of the demise of the NHL ever since he started. Ballisie is offering more money to take over the team and move them to Hamilton but the NHL rejects his bid? Why is the NHL so against moving a team back to Canada? They sure like to take teams away from Canada!

Jimbo needs to get a BB OS bug free before he gets my OK to spend our money on a stupid hockey team. Until then, he'll have to continue to dream. (You can't go out and play until your homework is done Jimmy.)

well, being that another group's offer has been accepted, and I doubt another team needs to be sold/moved any time soon, I'm guessing his dreams of being an NHL owner are on the back burner for a while.

The NHL should have taken his deal, which was 60+ million more than the one they accepted, and moved that franchise out of the god-forsaken desert it's in now. It's never going to make money there.

"The NHL deputy commissioner stated in an email that Balsillie's application was rejected under bylaw 35 of the league's constitution. The section states the league may reject potential owners if they are not of "good character and integrity" and also for financial reasons."

Wtf? So first off, he offered more money....two, how the hell can they judge his "good character and integrity" ? Such BS... give him the damn team. I'm so tired of paying out the ass to watch the Maple Leafs lose.

Again, another media report making a story where one doesn't exist. Unfortunetly Adam is guilty of propegating the made up juicy stuff (not a dig against you personally Mr. Zeis, just say'n.)

Bylaw 35 of the NHL constitution is a multi-page document that states many reasons why a franchise may not be transfered. ONE of those reasons is because of the perceived integrity of the individual the team may be transferred to.

However, nobody involved with this deal said that was the reason it was rejected. They just stated reasons in bylaw 35 which could be any one of the dozen or so qualifcations laid out.

But when a reporter states that "integrity" is one of the requirements, he implies that is the reason he was turned down and all readers believe that to be the case.

Don't mean to get on a soap box... just tired of the media that has become such an arm of the entertainment industry that anyway to make a story sound better gets the nod and then copied on by anybody else that that has $15 and a domain name.

BTW, I'm new here :) Way to make friends quick huh?
Love crackberry!

This is stupid. The NHL didn't want to approve this from the start, and then they pull facts from nowhere? They're idiots.

Phoenix is not an expansion team! They moved! This is BS!

You can see why the US economy is where it is. They reject the best financial offer and decide to keep a team in a losing market that is being subsidized by the tax payors. It won't last as they will be in the same position again.

I think Basille should run for NHL commissioner so we can get the game back to what is should be. He can still co-CEO RIM from his box seats via his crackberry.

Do have any clue the strain on Canadian teams.The fans attending games pay with the Canadian dollar and the players are paid in the US dollar.You can see the financial strain right there

I think Balsillie should ban the NHL's owners Blackberry PIN's ...
But they do love there blackberries eh ?!?

thoughts ? :)

The team is doing so bad in Phoenix a move would have saved the team. I live in Phoenix and this town is not a hockey state. Hockey does so well in Canada it would have been a very good move.

Section 35 of the by-laws begins on page 51:


Adam references 35.1(b), which does address character as a precluding reason to deny transfer of ownership. Perhaps the NHL was referencing Balsillie's inability to financially sustain the team after the move, which is covered in 35.1(a).

Of course, this document has the disastrous "including but not limited to some or all of the following" line as it lists other qualifications for ownership. If I were Balsillie, I'd sue on the basis that this "constitution" is illegal seek an injunction against using it as a basis for determining ownership. They'd likely have to sue in business-friendly New York state, which may be a blessing or a curse.

Ha, Ha, Hoo, Hoo
Thought you’d get the money too.
Greedy, greedy, greedy
Try to have your cake and eat it too.


Anyone remember during the playoffs how they had a guy at ice level providing in-game reports? I think it was Pierre McGuire but I'm not sure... And the whole time he was holding a BB Bold or Curve for no apparent reason, other than the report being sponsored by BB.

Got an Email from the make it 6 group that refrenced the judge saw no change between when Basille's group was approved (4years ago?)for ownership and the bakruptcy auction. So the NHL may have to show what changed between then and now.

That shouldn't be a problem. Let's see, selling tickets for a team he didn't own? Using the NHL-licensed logo to do so without permission? Releasing private emails from an NHL owner to the media? Telling the media that the Canadiens were for sale before it was made public, against the Canadiens' owner's wishes? The list goes on and on. It will be very easy for the NHL to show that a LOT has changed in the last 4 years.

In the words of Yogi Berra, (former catcher of the New York Yankees),

"It Aint Over 'til it's Over."

Mr. Balsillie, don't let that weasel, Gary Bettman, get you down.

- CB

Let's be frank here: BB's are great phones, but Balsillie is a jerk. The way he has tried to circumvent the NHL process for buying/moving teams has created a situation where no other owner wants anything to do with him. He's very very rich, but he is also very very crass and conniving. He was rejected as a potential unanimously, and the group of idiots that own NHL teams usually can't even agree that water is wet. Balsillie has no chance of getting an NHL team any time soon.

start a new team, im sure the nhl would be down with that. if not im sure he could scoop up the yankees and move them, no one likes them anyway...

Whatever the reason they rejected his application it's a win for the hockey fans in Arizona.

By his actions Balsillie has basically black listed himself from the NHL. No one wants anything to do with him anymore.

Wouldn't moving the Coyotes to Ontario like Jim wants. Imbalance the amount of NHL teams per conference?

if the team was moved to hamilton it would stil be in the western conference but also note not so long ago, the leafs played in the western confernce so it doesnt really matter where you are geographically