‘Ex-Army guy’ Foley follows orders, is no Jim Balsillie

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Jim Balsillie’s plan to buy the Phoenix Coyotes out of bankruptcy and move them to Hamilton, Ontario, always had one fatal flaw that doomed it from the beginning — the NHL wanted no part of the plan, with one league office-friendly executive (Brian Burke) going so far as to call it a “hijacking.”

Bill Foley, it seems, is no Balsillie. The man who’d like to, perhaps, one day be granted an expansion team in Las Vegas is pledging to work with, not against, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman et al.

“I’m an ex-Army guy. I follow orders,” Foley told the Canadian Press. “We’ve been very careful in our meetings with the NHL administrative staff, just trying to make sure that we do things in the proper fashion. We’re not pushy, we’re not demanding.”

Balsillie once said of his plan, “For me, this is really about advancing the best interests of the league and trying to help the game.”

And a lot of fans agreed that Hamilton would be a better hockey market than Phoenix.

But as we’ve learned in the past, the NHL will decide for itself what’s in its “best interests.” Clearly, Foley knows that, and respects it.

Hey, it worked for the Jets’ owners.

Related: Vegas ownership group launches website