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TSN.ca Staff
12/15/2006 6:42:47 PM


Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie has pulled his bid to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Sources tell TSN at the last moment the NHL provided a list of terms that Balsillie didn't want to agree to. Among those terms was a promise that the franchise would remain in Pittsburgh regardless of circumstances. Also, if problems arose, the NHL would take over control of the franchise.

The sale is not entirely dead yet, as Balsillie and the NHL may still find a way around the terms or eliminate them altogether, but right now everybody involved is in limbo and Balsillie, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and the league are not talking.

''Jim Balsillie delivered a notice of termination today, and it is our understanding that he has stopped negotiating with the National Hockey League to get the necessary consent to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins,'' Penguins owner Mario Lemieux said in a statement. ''While these developments create significant uncertainty, the Penguins organization will re-evaluate our situation after the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board makes the decision on the awarding of the Pittsburgh gaming license.''

Though terms were never official, it was believed that Balsillie would have spent $175 million on the franchise.

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