TORONTO — Jim Balsillie says his quest to bring a seventh NHL club to Canada is receiving “overwhelming support” from Canadian hockey fans.
The billionaire is attempting to buy the financially ailing Phoenix Coyotes and move them to southern Ontario.
In an effort to drum up some fan support, the co-CEO of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion launched www.MakeItSeven.ca. Nearly 100,000 people have registered on the website, according to Balsillie.
“We appreciate their overwhelming support and their desire to see a seventh National Hockey League team in Canada,” Balsillie said in a statement Thursday. “At the end of the day, this is about the passion Canadians feel for the game of hockey and a chance to provide those Canadian fans with the opportunity to support a seventh NHL team. Right now, the fans are signalling their enthusiasm in big numbers.”
Moving the team to Canada could be a battle.
The Coyotes filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday but NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has questioned whether Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes has the authority to initiate the proceedings.