NHL Needs an Owner Derby

I’m really not horribly interested in all of the Coyotes drama, but I’m more and more impressed by perennial non-owner Jim Balsillie’s ability to get under the skin of NHL owners.

This week, we see Balsillie take on Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk with some good, old-fashioned financial compliance smack talk.

I don’t know who is crazier: the NHL owners, who continue to poke the bear that is Balsillie, or Balsillie, who is increasingly obsessed with simultaneously joining the NHL and destroying it.

Neither side is backing down, so it seems like these outbursts are going to be a feature for quite some time. After all, there are still 28 other owners Balsillie hasn’t attacked.

There is a solution, though. The NHL can take this anger and harness it. And best of all for Balsillie, my proposal would allow him to join the NHL.

How will this be done? Simple. Create an owner-only roller derby league and allow Balsillie to participate. Every week, the owners could pound Balsillie (or other owners they don’t like). Balsillie would also be free to lash out at the owners who have spurned him and his Blackberry money. But best of all, the NHL could make a little extra scratch by broadcasting these weekly matches. I bet CNBC or Fox Business would pay quite a lot for the rights to broadcast some owners going at it on skates.

My theory is that if the owners and Balsillie got to physically attack each other on skates every week, the bickering and personal attacks would dissipate, while simultaneously creating an event people would pay to watch. Hopefully, the NHL has the courage and foresight to run with this plan.