Balsillie, the co-CEO of BlackBerry wireless device maker Research in Motion, failed in a bid to move the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton, Ontario in September when a U.S. judge blocked the attempt.
It wasn't the first time Balsillie had tried and failed to buy a National Hockey League franchise and move it to Canada, attempts that have not sat well with the NHL. (Other efforts involved the Nashville Predators and the Pittsburgh Penguins).
When Reuters asked Bettman if Balsillie might ever own an NHL team, Bettman pointed out that the NHL owners had already said in a vote that they were not comfortable with the Canadian billionaire being involved with the league. And then he was even more blunt.
"There is a lot of water under this bridge, and I'm not prepared to say that the bridge hasn't been washed out," Bettman said.
A representative for Balsillie did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment on Bettman's statement.