Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

from DealZone:

BlackBerry maker’s CEO sends letters of reference to sway NHL

balsillieJim Balsillie, the co-CEO of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion desperately wants a National Hockey League franchise and relocate it to his native Southern Ontario.

Balsillie has tried twice in recent years to buy a hockey team, only to be blocked by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who this week assured people there was nothing personal between him and Balsillie. Balsillie is currently locked in a court battle with the NHL in his efforts to move the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton.

On Monday, Balsillie sent in his application to the NHL explaining why the Phoenix Coyotes should move to Hamilton, Ontario and why he'd make a good owner. Late Tuesday, he supplemented that with 22 letters of recommendation from a variety of mostly Canadian VIPs.

Still, with friends like these, maybe Bettman will be swayed this time. Here are some excerpts:

NHL and Blackberry maker boss face off in court


The United States is just across the lake, of course, and on clear days you can almost see it – a sort of line, a sort of haze…Strange, and more dangerous – that much is clear – and maybe because of that superior. Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride

In his book Star-Spangled Canadians: Canadians Living the American Dream, journalist Jeffrey Simpson chronicles the lives of Canadians who have left their homeland to display their talent on the world’s biggest stage.