Richard Rodier has been described as everything from Jim Balsillie’s henchman to a “tough and uncompromising negotiator.” As an adviser to the RIM boss, he has emerged as a central figure in the bid to buy the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes and move the team to Hamilton. A Montreal native, and fan of the Canadiens, he made his mark as a corporate lawyer. In 2004, he started working with Balsillie, advising him in negotiations to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators. His dealings with the NHL over the past five years have earned him a reputation as an agitator, reports the SportsBusiness Journal. Even those friendly to his cause say Rodier “doesn’t mince words.” “If [Rodier was] a medical doctor, he’d have a lousy bedside manner,” the mayor of Hamilton, Fred Eisenberger, tells the SBJ. “I respect his passion for Mr. Balsillie, his passion for hockey and his directness in his approach.” Winning control of the Coyotes would be his first successful sports business deal.