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THN.com Playoff Blog: Relationships good and bad

Dion Phaneuf had 17 goals and 60 points with the Flames in the regular season. (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Dion Phaneuf had 17 goals and 60 points with the Flames in the regular season. (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)

What’s this? Actress Elisha Cuthbert is seen in the arms of another famous NHLer?

The lucky s.o.b. this time is Flames star Dion Phaneuf, who I was hoping would be saving himself – I’ll give you a few seconds to stop snickering – for that chest-beating, Vegas-inhabiting, cheesy Canadian music star.

Because you and I both know the world could get a whole lot of laughs from Celine Dion-Phaneuf. Yes, even more than she provides already.

• What’s this? Jim Balsillie is still interested in purchasing an NHL team? Interesting.

As has been noted in this space more than once, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see the BlackBerry magnate return to the NHL scene and attempt for a third time to become a member of the league’s ownership fraternity. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him bid on any and every available franchise for the next decade, until the league relents and allows him to join the gang.

Balsillie didn’t rise to the top of the communications world by turning tail and running away from a challenge. To the contrary – I suspect that, like any hockey fan, he relishes the chance to mix it up with the big boys.

What will be interesting to see is how the NHL finds ways to keep Balsillie on the outside wanting in. With every repeated rejection of a billionaire whose technological savvy could help it immensely, the league lops off another bit more of its nose in an ill-advised act of face-spiting. But I suppose that’s somehow Balsillie’s fault, right?

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• Best wishes go out to Chris Botta, who resigned Monday as the New York Islanders’ vice-president of media relations.

 You won’t find another PR type who was more open-minded and appreciative of his team’s fan base, and with his departure, the league and Isles are far poorer today than they were a couple days ago.

THN.com's Playoff Blogs, featuring analysis and opinion on the action from the night before, with insight on what happened and what it all means going forward, will appear daily throughout the NHL playoffs. Read more entries HERE.

Adam Proteau is The Hockey News' online columnist and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Mondays and Wednesdays, his Ask Adam feature appears Tuesdays and Fridays, and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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