Thinking Outside the Box with Balsillie's Bid to Bring NHL to Canada

Martin AverySenior Writer IMay 11, 2009

MONTREAL- JANUARY 8:  Mike Komisarek #8 of the Montreal Canadiens body checks Matt Stajan #14 of the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Bell Centre on January 08, 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.   The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-2.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Jim Balsillie struck out two or three times, trying to bring an NHL franchise to Canada. What's a billionaire to do?

The BlackBerry billionaire followed the rules the first few times, trying to bring the Penguins, Predators, or Sabres to Canada. After striking out three times, he did what one of the best baseball players would do.

Some say Balsillie cheated by making a deal with the Coyotes owner when he declared bankruptcy in Phoenix. Others say he merely bent the rules a bit.

Maybe it's time the B.B.B. changed the rules of the game or took the ball and went home.

Hockey fans who remember the WHA and watched Russia set up a hockey league to rival the NHL must be thinking: What if Canada did that, too?

Russian and European hockey players, including Jaromir Jagr and Alexi Radulov, jumped from the NHL to the KHL.

What would happen if somebody started a rival league up north? What if Canadians took the Stanley Cup and went home?

Picture the NHL without Canadians and Russians.  Need I say more?