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12/22/2006 10:42:38 AM

Jim Balsillie remains interested in purchasing the Pittsburgh Penguins, despite his decision last week to pull out of negotiations to buy the team.

The CEO of Research In Motion, maker of the popular BlackBerry wireless device, sent a letter to Penguins owner Mario Lemieux in which he apologizes for any misunderstanding which may have come out of last week's decision.

"I deeply regret that you have interpreted our inability to reach an agreement as an offence to you or the team," says Balsillie in a letter to Lemieux which was reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. "That was certainly never my intent and I apologize.

"Despite recent difficulties, I continue to be very interested in the team and in working towards an arena deal that is a benefit to the team and to the City of Pittsburgh."

Balsillie goes on to say that he has a team ready to start negotiating "Plan B" and that all the paperwork has been signed, except for the NHL Consent Agreement, which is what reportedly led the Canadian billionaire to withdraw his offer last week.

"Given all that has happened this week, I was hoping you would agree to go arm and arm with me to the Commissioner and make one last effort to get our deal done.

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