The Phoenix Coyotes have filed for bankruptcy and Jim Balsillie, bazillionaire of RIM fame, wants to buy the team and bring it to southern Ontario.
Gary Bettman really really really doesn't want this to happen.
Balsillie has set up a website to put pressure on the league. Go sign up.
I bet Bettman's head explodes when he sees that, but how's he going to get out of it? If no U.S. buyers turn up, he's got a rich Canadian offering a princely amount for an unprincely team, and a ready-made market of seven million eager hockey fans who could make the team a financial winner on Day One. Bettman's going to say no? He's going to keep carrying the team on the NHL's nickel, just because Balsillie bugs him?
Should be fun to watch. Just to up the ante, Balsillie should offer to give 10% of the Coyotes to Gretzky (who coaches the team), locate the team in his home town of Brantford -- driving distance from Hamilton, Kitchener, Waterloo and west-end Toronto -- and name the arena after Walter. Then watch Bettman squirm.
I think the team should be named after Walter. The Brantford Walters.
MORE: Scott Morrison with more details.