Research In Motion (RIMM) co-CEO Jim Balsillie spends his daytime worrying about keeping ahead of Apple (AAPL) and other rivals in the smartphone market. But in his spare time, the billionaire is busy fighting to buy a hockey team, the Phoenix Coyotes, out of bankruptcy.
And his bid is getting uglier!
According to the Canadian National Post, Balsillie was rejected by the league last month, deemed to be lacking “good character and integrity.” Balsillie hit back, saying that the NHL has a long history of scumbag owners, including “indicted and even convicted criminals.”
He has reportedly singled out one owner, Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, who was fined for allegedly violating Canadian securities laws and had to step down as a director of his company, Biovale, for a year, according to the National Post. And now Melnyk is shooting his mouth at Balsillie, too.
National Post: Both Mr. Melnyk and NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly fired back at Mr. Balsillie yesterday. “I have watched with some dismay Jim Balsillie’s fall from being a deserving business icon to what now appears to be a desperate man willing to say anything or do anything to buy an NHL franchise,” Mr. Melnyk said in a release.
… Mr. Daly defended Mr. Melnyk in an email sent to Canwest News Service.
“Balsillie’s attempt in any way to disparage [Melnyk’s] reputation and his good standing as an NHL owner is nothing more than a malicious act of desperation,” Mr. Daly wrote.
Exciting! We’ll see what happens.
But if it’s possible that Balsillie lacks the “good character and integrity” to run a hockey team, how has he been so successful leading RIM?
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