From The Toronto Star:
Billionaire Jim Balsillie contacted the owner of the Buffalo Sabres about buying the team earlier this season, a sign the Research in Motion co-founder is still seeking an NHL franchise after two previous high-profile flameouts.
Balsillie phoned Sabres owner Tom Golisano around Christmas, according to a source familiar with the matter. Golisano indicated he would be open to selling the club – but not if Balsillie intended to relocate it.
Golisano, founder of payroll processing company Paychex based in Rochester, N.Y., has long ties to the Western New York area. Worth about $1.8 billion, in 2003 he bought the Sabres out of bankruptcy for $92 million.
Comparatively, Balsillie’s pursuit of an NHL team has been chock-a-block with tumult. The 47-year-old had a tentative agreement to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2006. But he withdrew his offer after learning the NHL would restrict his ability to move the club. His next attempt was to buy the Nashville Predators. That was scuttled last summer.
Sabres Managing Partner Larry Quinn’s response:
Well that just about sums it up, doesn’t it?