For such a smart, successful guy, its amazing Jim Balsillie isn’t getting the hint.
The NHL is not Walmart. You can’t go in and take what ever you want off the shelves just because your Visa card has no limit.
In the tech world he lives in, you can make your own rules. Out maneuvering and out marketing your opponent works. Those techniques guarantee a losing campaign in the NHL world or almost any other franchise based industry. Just because you can afford the franchise fee to acquire a Tim Horton’s store, doesn’t mean they have to grant you one. If they do, Tim’s decides where that store will be and how it will look. If you don’t like those rules you don’t have to apply for a franchise.
The NHL is no different. In effect this is a private club and its members have decided what the rules, procedures and protocol will be. If Jim Balsillie wants to be a franchisee he must go by their rules. I use the word “their” intentionally. Some believe this is a personal battle between Balsillie and Garry Bettman. Bettman is the commissioner but it’s the governors (owners) who decide what the rules are. In fact Bettman doesn’t even get a vote when it comes to ownership purchase or transfer. He is fighting the fight the owners want.
Why would an owner like Toronto arbitrarily give up a piece of the region they legally own and control just because Jim Balsillie doesn’t think it’s fair that they control it?
I don’t think it’s fair that the Shriners jam all those clowns into one car, but if that’s they way they operate what right do I have to challenge it. The Shriners have a private organization with their own rules and bylaws for their members and all the individual units which make up their organization. They are allowed to by law and I have no right to challenge it.
Jim Balsillie is now organizing a rally to keep the dream alive of buying and moving Phoenix to Hamilton. He is great at tech and marketing just lousy at reality.
When Jim Balsillie understands he has to go through all the laid out channels to acquire a team, the sooner his relationship will get better and maybe one day to the point where he would be accepted as a prospective owner. Right now he’s just that annoying freshman who keeps knocking on the door of the frat house party. He doesn’t know the password, but thinks that more knocking will do the trick.
Learn the rules and you’ll need less useless knocking.
See you at the rink.