Regardless of the outcome of this, Sillyballs bothers me, always has. The guy is frothing-at-the-mouth desperate for an NHL team in Hamilton and he strikes me as someone who'd run roughshod over anyone in order to get his toy. Twice now he's made clumsy attempts to tear a franchise out by its roots and his failures at doing so make me think that just because he loves hockey and wants to put a team in a Canada doesn't make him qualified to do so. The Coyotes aren't an especially well-loved franchise, but his willingness to try and force the Penguins to Hamilton shows he cares nothing for actual hockey fans.
Balsillie doesn't want an NHL franchise, he wants and NHL franchise in Southern Ontario.
He's had that "bull in a china shop" reputation in the past with the Pittsburgh and Nashville bids in the past because he's spoken out exactly where he intends to put his team, should he gain one. But, if you notice this time, he's very carefully said "southern ontario" and hasn't specified an exact location which I think is smart.
This guy is one of the richest businessmen in Canada and you don't get to be in his position unless you're incredibly savvy and willing to take some lumps along the way. You can be damn sure that Balsillie and his team put a LOT more thought in this move and wouldn't have pulled the trigger unless they were sure they had a very strong case. I'd be willing to bet my savings that Balsillie and his team have done extensive relations work with other owners prior to this happening and that his reputation among owners is a great deal better then the last time they met.
I think Bettman was able to ward him off in the past by convincing other owners that Balsillie wasn't suitable to join their ranks and also by convincing owners that he indeed had a plan to strengthen the struggling teams in the league. Since then, teams like Tampa Bay, Florida, Nashville, etc., have gone further into the tank and Bettman has probably lost a LOT of owner confidence which only helps Balsillie's case. He's taken it out of the NHL's hands and into the courts which is exactly where Balsillie wants it and this could mark the beginning of the end for Bettman.
As for not caring about hockey fans, I fail to see how moving a failing team to the biggest hockey market in the world shows a lack of caring. You can make a case that he doesn't show interest in hockey fans in Phoenix by moving the team, but if you can find a bigger market then 10 million hockey fans that already has pre-existing infrastructure for hockey then I'm all ears...well...eyes at least.