NHL changing rules to exclude Balsillie

GARY LOEWEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:22 AM ET

"I wouldn't join any club that would have me as a member," Groucho Marx once said.

So consider Jim Balsillie the reverse-Groucho.

He wants to join a club that would rather not have him as a member.

Today, the squabble continues in a Phoenix court regarding RimJim's attempt to buy the Phoenix Coyotes and move them to Hamilton.

The NHL governors have asked judge Redfield T. Baum to toss out Balsillie's bid, largely because, well, they don't like the cut of his jib.

When the board of governors suggested that Balsillie doesn't have the "integrity" to be an NHL owner, much guffawing ensued.

Since when was integrity a requirement to own a team, several million people asked?

Ah, but that's where the NHL got smart.

A declaration from board chairman Jeremy Jacobs said: "We voted to deny approval to Mr. Balsillie because we concluded he lacks the good character and integrity required of a new owner."

The words "new owner" are the key.

See, the league is trying to change the rules: "New owners" require character and integrity ... those old owners, heck, they can do whatever they please.

Gone, gone, going ...

Toronto's most unwanted list:

Justin Pogge -- traded to the Anaheim Ducks;

Alex Rios -- is on his way to the Chicago White Sox;

J.P. Ricciardi -- still here, but, surely, it can't be much longer, can it?

Major disappointment

Tiger Woods likely will consider 2009 a lost season if he doesn't win the PGA Championship this weekend.

Not since 2004 has Woods gone through a year without winning a major, and this is his last chance for 2009.

On the other hand, he has won five tournaments, including these big three: The Arnold Palmer Invitational; The Memorial, associated with Jack Nicklaus; and Tiger's own event, the AT&T National.

That's pretty good company. If only he had been eligible for the Jamie Farr Classic.

Hossa and Stanleys

Marian Hossa is in a bigger slump than the weather forecasters.

The winger lost a Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2008, then switched sides and lost a Stanley Cup final against the Penguins a year later.

But things may be looking up.

He has signed with the Chicago Blackhawks, who now happen to have a general manager named Stanley ... Stanley Bowman.


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