Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Bureaucrats Back Bettman's handling of Balsillie quest

Well Jim Balsillie can take the competition bureau off of his speed dial for a while, the federal watchdog of industry can't find any smoking guns when it comes to NHL decisions on franchise re-location.

Back in 2006 when Balsillie first began making his moves to try and bring the Nashville Predators north to Hamilton, much was made of the idea of the NHL trying to block the move with all their heart. Some at the time suggested a grand conspiracy out of the New York offices, designed to keep the game out of any more Canadian cities.

Chris Busuttil, the assistant deputy commissioner of the Competition Bureau said that their investigation found no veto has existed since 1993, when the NHL changed it policies. "There used to be a veto that a team could exercise with respect to the move," he said.

While he closes the file on the most recent bit of franchise mania, Busuttil did in a way hand over his business card to Balsillie, suggesting that he should give him a call if he has troubles in the future in trying to relocate a franchise into Ontario and Leaf territory.

Just in case things don't always appear as they should when it comes to franchise movement in the NHL.

Globe and Mail--Competition Bureau sides with NHL on franchise re locations
National Post-- Second Toronto-area NHL team doubtful after ruling
Toronto Sun-- Bureau: No laws broken

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