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An all-or-nothing play in bankruptcy court

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

A judge's ruling will determine whether Balsillie has a hope of bringing the Phoenix Coyotes to Ontario ...Read the full article

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  1. Howard Young from Canada writes: I don't think the judge can rule on whether the team can be moved, I think he can only rule on whether the guy who bought and paid for the team can declare bankruptcy and sell it to the highest bidder in order to maximize the amount repaid to those who are owed money.
  2. Steve Church from Canada writes: Howard, agreed. This is the first article that's ever said if Moyes is allowed to accept the conditional offer, it means a move. Additionally the article overshoots everything with the suggestion the April e-mail meant the NHL knew Moyes was in the process of a deal - they said stop, and he never said he was continuing to negotiate. The biggest strange thing in the article is the theme that tomorrow is all-or-nothing. Everything else I've seen and read said this thing is likely to go 15 rounds in the courts, and the Coyotes may not play this year.
  3. Allan Livingstone from Canada writes:
    Hmm, an American team, an American league and an American judge.

    Colour me cynical but, however the decision is worded, I doubt very much if it will in any way allow the team to move to Canada.

    Perhaps it's just as well. There are far too many teams in the NHL. Best allow a few to fade away.

    Then again, unfortunately, that won't happen either. They will either keep it where it is or move it to another American city where it won't be supported and where, in a few years, it will be back in the bankruptcy courts.
  4. Matthew McKenzie from Thunder Bay, Canada writes: Well I would like to see Mr. Balsillie get this one. Three times a charm. However I don't know how enthusiastic he is about bringing the team to Winnipeg. It depends on how bad he wants an NHL team.

    However the only true Canadian sports league starts up soon, the CFL. Go Stamps Go!
  5. J Law from Canada writes: The more I see of the NHL the more I see someone who cares absolutely nothing for the fans. That is from owners to players.

    Gees, who would take a piece of ice and put it in the middle of the desert to have a few people watch it melt and think that is good business while fighting vigorously to ignore a market that has millions chomping at the bit to get out to see your sport?

  6. Don Williams from Canada writes: A good comparison...... Bettman to Lewenza! Both idiots...... both should be turfed for the betterment of their industry's
  7. Jeffrey Burgoyne from Ottawa, writes: In the end, can a bankruptcy judge in Phoenix actually produce a court enforceable verdict for Hamilton, an area easily outside his jurisdiction? Can he override the franchise rules the Coyotes agreed to when granted a franchise? In all likelihood, the NHL can still go to court in Canada and prevent the team from moving to Hamilton because they would consider it in violation of Canadian franchising laws. A court of law cannot rule on whether Southern Ontario 'deserves' or 'can support' another team, it must approve the sale of assets in a timely manner for the creditors involved, and a move to Hamilton is not likely to be a timely sale due to potential legal avenues in Canada. Can the judge accept a conditional offer when the conditions are not within his bounds to execute?

    And one also now has to wonder if Balsillie (and to a lesser degree Hamilton) has so overstepped their bounds that the NHL may never give them serious consideration in the near future.
  8. Harvey Mushman from cambridge, Canada writes: Jeffrey Burgoyne...your argument seems reasonable...I can't see that either.

    What I can envision is the judge says putting the club into Chapter 11 was OK and then throwing the doors open to bid on the assets. Leaving the whole relocation thing back in the hands of the NHL.

    In the end, I believe if Gary doesn't get what he wants he'll just revoke the club's franchise to spite Balsille.
  9. David any from Loon -A-Tick, Canada writes: I don't think any of you get this. The whole struggle for the team is an amazing wrestling (WWF) promotion. You people are not near cynical enough.
    The little guy against the Big guy/Canadians against Americans/ good against evil....
    Don Cherry could easily be a Wrestling promoter. People...Get your perspective on this....NHL is a Corporation in the business of making money. It makes money by manipulating your Emotions.
    Support your Minor hockey league and leave the BS of hockey to the Ballsalies and Bettemens.
    'Thats Entertainment'
  10. Smokezz from Southern Ontario from Canada writes: Love the legal experts here! Hockey has sucked since Bettman took over.
  11. paul y from Canada writes: The ruling today is about Moyes right to put the Team into bankruptcy. If he rules against Moyes then the Bailsille deal is dead, because the NHL will move to option#1, which is sell the team to Reinsdorf for a price around 120M.

    I see Bettman back peddle and said he would rather the team move back to Winnipeg. You got to be kidding Bettman with Winnipeg. Winnipeg new arena only sits 15,000 and would need some upgrades to be NHL ready. The only way the team would work in Winnipeg is if it became a Manitoba/NW Ontario/Saskatchewan/North Dakota team.

    Hamilton is not ever going to get a team. So, people need to realize that it is not in the card unless Buffalo moves to Hamilton. NHL has no aspirations of putting a 3rd team in Ontario, especially saturated the market with Ottawa/Toronto/Detroit/Buffalo.

    The NHL markets under served are the pacific NW (Seattle/Portland). Seattle would be a good spot for a team, because it no longer has the SuperSonics and could use a tennant for their arena. I say move the Panthers to Seattle and then move Detroit back to the Eastern Conference or where they should be in the first place.
  12. Bjoergvin Bjoergvinsson from Austria writes: Well, for Moyes putting the team into bancruptcy was the best decision he could make. The team is only being sold to pay off the debt and I believe currently he is standing at the end of the line for his 100million as an unsecured creditor.

    If as David Naylor suggests that 'I can see there being some room for a negotiated outcome that maybe doesn't involve Moyes but working at something with [Jerry Reinsdorf] and getting creditor support for that offer,' said Prof. Lawless.' I cannot see Moyes backing any other offer where he doesn't receive his 100mil back. Although it is a conditional offer he will be fighting tooth and nail to get paid back his money and it will be interesting to see the judge say that he should receive less money than he is owed when there is a better offer on the table.
  13. Hunkered down in the land of never ending promises from Canada writes: Bettman will keep that team in the U.S. even if it means cajoling other owners to cough up operational money for as long as it takes. His personal distaste for Canada is evident in his posturing and isn't it funny that the last time a Canadian based team won the cup was when Bettman became Commissioner, in 1993. I guess once Bettman is gone the cup will reside again north of the border.
  14. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: I hope Balsillie wins, and then the NHL revokes Phoenix’s charter. That way Moyes gets paid off (which he deserves), Balsiliie gets a team (which he wants – even if it can’t play any other teams in the NHL), and the NHL can still sell the rights to Southern Ontario (which it has the rights to, and wants to get full value for).
    They all deserve each other.
    I wonder if all the pundits who want another team in the GTA/Southern Ontario area will attend games that are burdened with a $1 Billion start – up cost? ($400 million for the franchise, $800 million to the Sabres, and MLSE, plus who knows how much for actual start up costs). I figure $100 for standing room alone.
  15. J. Michael from Canada writes: Hey, the judge might hate hockey and want to see one less team in the US!
  16. Martin Seto from Markham, Canada writes: This situation is all about if the NHL league bylaws are excempt from restraint of trade laws. The NHL is a cartel there is no dispute about that. The court's job is to determine if the bylaws are illegal and thus unenforcable. My guess is that they are not and the precedent is the Raiders of the NFL that were allowed to move. The use of bankruptcy law was a brilliant move by Moyes to fight back the NHL and their restrictive trade practices. Mr. Moyers has a right to get maximum value for his time an effort and his 100 million dollars he has lost. Moyers proabbly knew about the Reisdorf offer of 120 million and did not like it, he would rather have 220 million. Moyes has been backed into a corner by Bettman and is fighting back with the courts to get his 100 million that he would not get with the Reisdorf offer.
  17. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: So if everyone believes that the reason there has been no Canadian based cup winners since 1993 is that “the fix is in”, doesn’t that put NHL hockey on par with wrestling?
    Is it any wonder it is not a major sport in the USA? Does it not make everyone who worships the NHL or (insert team here) a bit of a fool?
  18. Richard McAdam from Halifax, Canada writes: Lamont, one person brought up the '93 thing. That hardly classifies as 'everyone.' The simple truth is that no Canadian team has been good enough to win 16 games in the playoffs since that time.

    The NHL's determination to 'save' a franchise that has so little fan support is what continues to astonish more than anything else in this little saga. 150 people turned up to a 'Save the Coyotes' rally over the weekend. When Winnipeg moved, you had 150 people per square metre rallying to save the team. I realize that hey, maybe it was hot and people didn't want to stand around in the blazing Arizona sun to save a mediocre hockey team, but 150 people? Very, very weak.
  19. K McIntyre from Oshawa, Canada writes: Howard Young wrote: 'I don't think the judge can rule on whether the team can be moved, I think he can only rule on whether the guy who bought and paid for the team can declare bankruptcy and sell it to the highest bidder in order to maximize the amount repaid to those who are owed money.'

    He can rule on whether the team can be moved if he wants to. The only thing that prevents the move is the franchise contract between the league and the Coyotes. The whole point of bankruptcy law is to override contract law when somebody gets out of money. In general, if somebody has signed a contract which reduces the amount of money creditors will receive, the court can void the contract (or part of it).

    So the court can void the arena lease that would normally cost $700 million to cancel, and annul the franchise contract to the extent that:
    a) the team can be sold without NHL approval, and
    b) the team can be moved without NHL approval.

    The judge could choose to do any or all of those things, but doesn't have to do them. There are a great many considerations in play, which is why there is no consensus on how this will come out.
  20. Edward Carson from Canada writes: Win or lose this hearing Bettman comes out badly. Balsillie's conditional offer has a clause to pay out the creditors both secured and unsecured. Does Reisendorf's? We'll never know since Bettman is fighting to not have it shown. And if it doesn't how does Bettman explain taking such an offer when the number 2 secured creditor is the NHL? How can you keep the faith of owners when you are sabotaging your own business?
  21. Winni Miss from Canada writes: If the NHL has such tight control on all aspects of the franchise, since last fall already, why didn't they foot the losses? Is the owner just there to pay the operating losses on behalf of the NHL?

    The court should grant the NHL's request to have full control of the team but order them to pay former owner Moyes the same as he is being offered by Balsillie. The NHL can then make up the money by selling a new expansion franchise in Southern Ontario to the highest bidder (possibly Balsillie) and by moving the Coyotes to Las Vegas or Winnipeg.
  22. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: Richard McAdam: I was only pointing out that idiocy of people who believe in a Bettman lead conspiracy to keep hockey and the Stanley Cup out of Canada. If you have been following this story at all in the G&M, one of the big themes is how much Bettman is against Canada.
    As for the NHL, if I have enough money, and the NHL grants me a franchise, I can run a team in my back yard in Acapulco, fan interest is irrelevant. The funny thing is all the so – called supporters of “hockey” – when in fact they are supporters of the NHL. If you really like/love hockey, go out there and watch your local junior/senior team.
  23. Nick Be from Toronto, Canada writes: GO BASILLIE!
  24. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes:
    Martin Seto: The NHL is not a cartel. Nothing prevents anyone from starting a rival league. Balsillie is like someone who wants to be in the food business only if he gets a McDonalds’ franchise, and only if he gets to operate on a certain cornier. Blaming McDonalds for not granting him a franchise is disingenuous at best. Considering the money any new team in Southern Ontario could cost, it really would be less expensive to start a rival league.
    Anyone who did start a rival league, could ten take the NHL to court, over the wording right on the Stanley cup itself “for the Championship of Ice hockey in Canada”. Think about it, a true “NHL” with every city in Canada over 250,000 or so, having a pro team (salary cap say $10 million, arenas of 8,000 or so being possible) actually being able to compete for the trophy that they are now being shut out of ever winning. Balsille should put his money up for that one.
  25. t w from Canada writes: The bankrupcy judge will rule in a manner that is in the best interest of the creditors. The offer from Balsille is a conditional offer, conditional on moving from Phoenix. The NHL has juristiction over where clubs play. I cannot foresee a bankrupcy judge overturning this point. The most likely scenario in my mind is a new owner subsidized financially by the NHL, and the club remaining in Phoenix.
    Bettman is irate with Balsille, not for wanting to take a franchise to Canada, but for questioning the NHL's authority and bullying them into an expensive legal battle.
  26. David Bakody from Dartmouth, Canada writes: Population USA 300 Million vs Canada 32 Million ...... follow the money and power!
  27. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    This appears to be much bigger than just the NHL. Phoenix news reports the following:

    Finally, the NHL contends it has a right to determine where its teams play, through a vote of its owners.

    On Monday, the NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball all asked the court to support the NHL's rules regarding ownership transfer and relocation of a franchise.

    Gary Roberts, dean of Indiana University School of Law, said that while a bankruptcy judge has discretion, he thinks it's unlikely Baum would wade into the antitrust waters.

    'My guess is he would give deference to league rules and legal authority to control who owns a team,' said Roberts.

    Despite the league's contention that it wants to keep the Coyotes in the desert, Bettman as recently as April 3 acknowledged he may have to 'start looking at the moving option' if no buyer could be found to keep the team in Glendale, according to a court filing

    Earl Scudder, an adviser to Moyes-. 'I told him that at some point, if we don't have an alternative (in Phoenix), I will have to start looking at the moving option,' Bettman said.
  28. billy weathers from Canada writes: here comes the nhl to hamilton bout time
    bye bye bettman
    agree with another post
    the nhl has watered down hockey
    it needs brett hull as commissioner
    and get rid of clutch and grab
    more teams in canada
    if the nhl wins
    it will be a sad day
    for a great game
    canada s game ice hockey
    cheers
  29. R W from Canada writes: Think the key point here is that if Ch 11 is allowed, then the owner and the NHL lose control of the franchise. Control moves to the secured creditors.

    If Hamilton comes in as the highest bidder, providing the best return for creditors, it would be interesting to see if that is enough to legally force the NHL to allow the franchise move.

    Of course, once in Hamilton, you can be sure the spiteful Bettman will do his best to make it fail.
  30. J A from United States writes: I wish it was otherwise, however, there is no way the Coyotes are going to Hamilton. Reinsdorf bid is connected with Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Bettman wants a team in Las Vegas which is where the Coyotes will end up once an arena is built there.
  31. hunter cole from toronto, Canada writes: everyone in the coyote organization is fretting right now....there is no way they want to leave arizona to live in Hamilton or Winnipeg.. man...can you imagine the thought of living in one of those hell holes?? Phoenix is a great city...unreal place to live.... hamilton and winnipeg....not so much
  32. Gee Dubya from Canada writes: J A from United States: I completely agree. Bettman really wants a team in Vegas, where they are in the midst of working on getting a new arena built. Also, even though it's a long shot, Kansas City possibly wants in the mix, as they have a brand new arena and even offered a team to play there lease-free for 10 years or something crazy like that.

    The bottom line is, Ontario has its hockey. Within a general radius you have Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Buffalo and Detroit. Not stretching far from that radius is Pittsburgh, Philly, Minnesota and Columbus. The market is well served and another team in Ontario will just be someone pitching a tent in someone else's back yard.

    No offense to the people of 'southern Ontario' (I still chuckle when I hear it being called that) but really the last thing Bettman and the NHL want to see is the 'Kitchener-Waterloo Manatees' on national television.

    Hey. now that I think of it, how cool a jersey would that be?
  33. Hockeydad London from Canada writes: Some key points in the article, if the court rules Moyes had no right to petition the team into bankruptcy, still the issue of the sale and creditors. If the above occurs, then JB is out of the picture from get go, but who ponys up the money? I would hope that the judge would find that OK NHL, you get to keep the team here, but if there is any shortfall after the team is bought, you loose your creditor position and/or pay off all the creditors. I am sure the owners would love to shell out some more of their money to keep Phonex in place. See you in Vegas baby.

    Gee Dubya, agree, Gary's worst case senario are more Canadian teams to sell to US tv audiences. Most can't find Canada on a map, let alone KW or Hamilton.
  34. gentleman caller from Canada writes:
    Moving to Las Vegas?

    The Las Vegas Capades?

    If ever there was a nail in the coffin.

    Geez, I thought the Disney team was the lowest it could get.
  35. J L from Winnipeg, Canada writes: 'hunter cole from toronto, Canada writes: everyone in the coyote organization is fretting right now....there is no way they want to leave arizona to live in Hamilton or Winnipeg.. man...can you imagine the thought of living in one of those hell holes?? Phoenix is a great city...unreal place to live.... hamilton and winnipeg....not so much '

    You do realize people say the same thing about Toronto too, right?
  36. Ken DeLuca from Canada writes: There is a special circle of hell reserved for the likes of Gary Bettman. And columnists Ibbitson, Granatstein and Simpson wonder what feeds anti-Americanism in Canada!
  37. Alex Yaxmos from Canada writes: Balsillie can buy the team but the NHL will decide where he can move it. Clearly the Leafs don't want another team in Ontario. They might actually have to perform to hold their fans. I would like to see a NHL team on the East Coast.
  38. Does The Work from Canada writes: Hey Ken DuLuca, it's not ANTI-aMEARICANISM, it's anti stupidity. The Unified Stakes gave up their Amearican status when they exported their job's to outside countries.
  39. hunter cole from toronto, Canada writes: JL...yes they do..as they should. i would rather be in phoenix than any city in canada...and so would most NHLers
  40. gentleman caller from Canada writes:
    Hey, if they want an American team, I'm sure Anchorage would be happy to have one.

    No more hockey teams in places where ice is only found in drinks, please.
  41. A K from Canada writes: Bettman is trying to shove hockey down American throats. He is failing. Sooner or later most NHL teams in the sunbelt will fold.

    They dont care about hockey. Hockey comes after NBA, NFL, MLB, Nascar, Boxing and horse racing.
  42. Martin's E-ratt from Nashville, United States writes: Good point by Richard McAdam from Halifax. I think that rally was on a weekend as well. That really says alot considering the playoffs are still going on. We had a similar rally here in Nashville a couple of years ago late in July (well after the season was over and after the fire sale of 5 key players) and had about 10,000 show up on a tuesday evening. I'm sure people in Winnipeg or Hamilton might think they could draw a bigger crowd to such an event, but it was cool to be there. Also a few of the players and the broadcasters and announcers actually showed up to be a part of it.
  43. Does The Work from Canada writes: Hunter Cole, Watch out for the rattlers on the 7th hole of the golf course in the east end of the city. Nice course lots of Canadians in February.
    SEE YAH........................safe trip..................have fun .............. no hockey though...................just coyotees.
  44. Dan Shortt from Canada writes: Lets get some perspective here, folks.

    What was the top story on CBC newsworld this morning? The end of the war in Sri Lanka? The GM-CAW labour talks? The Oliphant Inquiry?

    No, none of those. The top news story of the day is whether Southern Ontario has a chance of getting an NHL team or not. Duh .....
  45. fiendy ! from K-W, Canada writes: 'They dont care about hockey. Hockey comes after NBA, NFL, MLB, Nascar, Boxing and horse racing.'

    Actually, you forgot - almost all college sports, professional bowling, some high school sports etc. etc. There's almost no end to the sports Americans will watch before ice hockey.
  46. donald lawrence from dallas, United States writes: I don't really understand why Bettman thinks teams in hot climates are a good thing. Didn't Paul Allen want to get a franchise for a team in the Pacific Northwest a few years back, and was basically shut down by Bettman? seems like his business strategy is pretty weak
  47. paul y from Canada writes: I can give you my take and that is I spent three yrs living in the midwest and this how they looked at things: 1. fall - Football 2. Winter - Basketball 3. Summer - Baseball/Soccer. I was in city of 400,000 called Des Moines and they had two rinks in the whole city. So, if you asked me that will they care down in Phoenix if the team left and the answer would be an emphatic NO. Reinsdorf will only buy the team with stipulations like I can move the team in two yrs, etc. I am not sure Las Vegas is ideal, because it just another phoenix with a little drama. In addition, if the team makes $100M in revenue then it still will not make a profit in Phoenix because of the arena deal and the lack of corporate sponserships. People in other areas of Phoenix are not going to drive to the arena to see Coyotes when they can be golfing or doing something else, espcially in the fall when football and in the winter when basketball is on. I think this team could be moved to Seattle and make money, because they would be the only show in town during the winter now that SuperSonics are gone. This would keep the team in the West and would open up the pac northwest to hockey. At least the pacific northwest has hockey, like Spokane Chiefs, Everett Silvertips and Seattle Thunderbirds, etc. I also think the judge can only rule on the whether the team can file for bankruptcy. If they can then I think he will allow for bids that are in the best interest of the creditors and for the team not to move out of phoenix. So, this is were Reinsdorf is going to come in. Bettman is lost if he thinks markets like Florida/Atlanta/Phoenix really benefit the NHL. If the truth is known the nhl needs to go back to its core competency and focus on areas that care about hockey. The great south experiment is a failure.
  48. tom hammarstrom from Phoenix, United States writes: The ice really is melting here (107 yesterday). Anyhow, the owners have filed bankruptcy in part so that they may avoid a several hundred million dollar debt owed to the taxpayers of Arizona, who foolishly financed the construction of a mostly empty but beautiful Hockey arena. Beware citizens of Hamilton or Winnipeg - you may be next.
  49. slapdash dapoint from harper is not a conservative, Canada writes: i hope JB gets the shaft. i'd like to see what he does then, that would be entertainment.

    he should take his Xmillions and create a new league based mainly in canada and the border states... then take the NHL to court to take possession of the cup.

    i stopped watching nhl hockey a few years ago. pretty much the only games i've seen in 10 years have been the leafs last game of the year, and a couple of the washinton/pittsburg series.

    garbage product, diluted player pool, barely any heart in the players. more intensity at midnight shinny
  50. Edward Carson from Canada writes: slapdash - I wouldn't even touch border states. But I would do the suing for the cup as its intended purpose was the best team in Canada...not North America.
  51. Another vicious kick right in the face from corporate execs to shareholders., writes: Did Balsilie have to give back ALL the dough he made by backdating options?
  52. Bill Smith from Canada writes: Time for the NHL to move into Mexico. I suggest they move the Phoenix team to Tijuana. Huge population in South America hungry for hockey. How about the Rio Amazons?
  53. Turning Right from Canada writes: I have said before, JB should get a consortium of wealthy Canadians and businesses and buy the NHL. They could get rid of the dead wood teams by moving them to Canadian cities or just let them go. Existing owners of strong clubs already in the NHL could keep their teams or sell to the consortium. This would at least get rid of Bettmen.
    It is just a thought however how unrealistic it may seem.
    Teams in the Southern USA makes no sense, as hockey is as popular there as watching paint dry.
  54. B.C. Expat from Ottawa-Hull, FCR, Canada writes: Allan Livingstone from Canada writes:
    Hmm, an American team, an American league and an American judge.

    Colour me cynical but, however the decision is worded, I doubt very much if it will in any way allow the team to move to Canada.


    I have far more faith in the ability of a bankruptcy judge in Arizona to be impartial about hockey than a Canadian judge, particularly with the jingoist manner the media has been covering this.

    The Toronto Star had a good article, though, noting that there is a specific performance clause in the lease. i.e. It is recognized that breaking the lease and remedying this with money is not a fair substitute for actual performance of the lease. The judge will very much take this into consideration.
  55. mike sty the Coalition Centrist from Canada writes: Isn't it about time that southern Ontario has an NHL team ???
  56. Right Winger (CON/Reform/Alliance supporter) from Canada writes: What get's me is the owners. You don't get to be in the position of owning a pro team by being stupid. It takes brains to be successful enough to own a pro team, and yet they have a guy like Bettmen running the show. A guy that has failed miserably at his job. The NHL is in even worse shape now more than ever, and yet the owners STILL let Bettmen run the show.
    Wow. Hockey will never be anything more than a fringe sport in the US as long as Bettman is there.
    GO Balsillie!! Bring hockey home where the fans actually care about the game.
  57. Allan Hewitson from Kitimat, B.C., Canada writes: The rally in Nashville succeeded because they had the Dixi Chicks performing and free key lime pie!
  58. Carl Hansen from Canada writes: I think the NHL wil get control of the team even if they have to pay 217.5 million for it. The NHL wil then transfer the team to Winnipeg and sell the team to somebody at a steep discount. Balsillie will never be heard from again.
  59. Scotty from Oakville from Canada writes: I'd support southern Ontario getting an NHL team - after all, they don't have one at the moment................
  60. foreign blue from Canada writes: hunter cole writes: "JL...yes they do..as they should. i would rather be in phoenix than any city in canada...and so would most NHLers"

    If you aren't a fan of Canadian winter, you ain't a fan of hockey. I assume you lump together the Canadian cities to show how pathetic the climate is and how much better the people are in Phoenix. Well, if the weather is go great why don't not just go out and play golf? Why sit in an arena sipping fake chocolate milk in 5 degree weather when you can be out and about in the sun? You going to try to play an outdoor game like the one they hosted in Buffalo in Phoenix? Didn't think so. The criticism that most Canadian fans bandy against Bettman and the 'new NHL' is that it has nothing to do with the hockey they love and grew up with. Thanks for proving the point about fairweather fans in US who don't truly appreciate the game. I still remember the 'tie' fondly.

    Lamont Cranston makes a very good point. I refuse to watch the tripe the leafs toss up there day in and day out. A rival league might bring me back into the fold. I'd rather dish out the cash for a season of St Mike's majors hockey than buckle down and give any more money to the Leafs directly.
  61. Carl Hansen from Canada writes: Even better outcome is the judge rules in favour of the NHL and Bettman sells the team to Winnipeg's Chipman for 50 million, that's about all the Yotes are worth. Or the team can stay in Phoenix and continue to lose 30 plus million per year.
  62. Desmond Whitton from Canada writes: If the NHL wins this one, all Canadians should stop supporting a league which obviously has no respect or consideration for its Canadian fans.
  63. j wilson from vancouver, Canada writes:
    The NFL is backing the NHL in this? The NFL obviously has no control over it's own team movement - it's hoping for a precedent that it can cling to.

    My guess is that Balsillie and Moyes are both working on hopeful hail marys. If teams could be sold and moved without permission if the league, KC, Vegas, and Winnipeg would have come out of a bidding war for Tampa last year. The team wouldnt have reamined in Florida with new, poorly funded owners.

    If Balsillie wins, the NHL is screwed in a way the NFL can only imagine. Another team will be moving every third month, looking for a new buyer in another hopeful town with a brand new line of credit.

    Having said that, it depends on what the contract between the NHL and Moyes states. If the NHL really does have the right to keep a team from moving, it should be refected in a lower asking price or expansion fee. I dont think that's been the case.
  64. Huey Freeman from Mississauga, Canada writes: A new release of new documents from the Coyotes show they lost 76 million dollars in 3 years in a signed document for the Coyotes CEO. Ha....so Reinsdorf are you willing to purchase a team with no ROI in the foreseeable future? Gary Bettman has lied from day one on this story that they were not losing money and now the chickens are coming home to roost. You got punked by Jim Basillie and it looks good on you. This should be good I wish it were televised.
  65. Disgusted Canadian from Canada writes: To all of you, Garry Bettman will, over a short period of time, be the demise of the NHL! The only flourishing league, will be the Russian league. Does Bettman realise that almost all of the teams in the NHL have real owners? Welcome to the real world, Bettman because if I were an owner in a very suspect area, and there are alot of them, you may just find yourself the owner of alot of teamsthat are going down the tubes, because the owners are not about to sink an endless supply of money into a sinking franchise. Now, all of the professional sports teams in NorthAmerica, jumped in there as well, on the NHLS side, all of them with the brains in neutral. Winnipeg sank once, Quebec City once, and they want to bo back. Atlantasank once and still in trouble and others are floundering, welcome to the real world, Bettman, you can't sell the forest for the trees.
  66. Bones Monseki from Ottawa, Canada writes: Is there a conflict of interest here, If Bettman is "in charge" of the management of the Coyotes?

    Can we double his duties as commissioner of the NHL, while managing one of their franchises?

    As far as Balsille goes, the following is appropriate:

    "So why dont you turn me lose,
    Turn me loose,
    Turn me loose,
    Turn me loose,
    I gotta do it my way,
    I wanna fly."
  67. Dr. Xavier Octagonapus from Hamilton, Canada writes: Tom Hammerstrom from Phoenix has it right....if Balsillie is successful, he'll front some $$ for a Copps Coliseum Tune-up, but the word is he's looking to front 20 million on what might be up to a $100 million project....so the taxpayers of Hamilton get another $80 million bill. The initial hype will fade faster than blue jeans washed in bleach...within 5 years, I predict reading letters to the Editor of our local newspaper about how private enterprise is keeps coming to the taxpayer for $$ to prop up a money losing team to keep it in Hamilton. Mr. Balsillie, THANK YOU for thinking of us here in Hamilton, we are grateful for you putting us on the map for at least as long as this media hype lasts...but a team in Hamilton will have a life span of 5 years tops...hardly a good ROI for you.
  68. Bones Monseki from Ottawa, Canada writes: Scotty from Oakville from Canada writes: I'd support southern Ontario getting an NHL team - after all, they don't have one at the moment................

    Tell us one we haven't heard
  69. Steve Church from Canada writes: Huey Freeman wrote: "Gary Bettman has lied from day one on this story that they were not losing money ... " Bettman did lie. But your statement that he did, is a lie.
  70. Gary Bettman from Dunghill, United States writes: Ahh've bin talkin' ta my good ol' boyz an' we's agonna stop that evil Canuck Basilly!
  71. Jude Hannaford from Canada writes: Bones

    As an ardent Leaf hater, I agree.
  72. Bones Monseki from Ottawa, Canada writes: Jude Hannaford - It has all the hallmarks of a good joke, but lost it's charm and witt 4,000,000 posts ago.
  73. Martin's E-ratt from Nashville, United States writes: I don't know which is more disturbing..........Bones Moneski quoting a Loverboy song.....or me remembering that those lyrics were to a Loverboy song. Oh, and funny comment there Allen Hewiston from B.C.......Dixie Chicks might have brought in a few thousand more people. Pecan pie is more of a desert around here than key lime. I think that one belongs to Florida.
  74. Marcus L from Calgary, Canada writes: Regardless of the details of this legal case, it's now well beyond doubt Bettman is no friend of Canadian hockey fans. It's clear the Coyotes franchise is struggling with no ownership proposal in front of the NHL which assures the long-term viability and health of the franchise in the Phoenix market. If teams like Toronto or Buffalo are concerned by a team relocating into Southern Ontario, that's fine. Where are Bettman and the NHL's counterproposals to Balsillie to take the team to Winnipeg, if Bettman feels that is a better idea? Where is the honest, good faith dialogue with Balsillie and his partners? Add this to the NHL's long-standing condonement of unsanctioned physical unarmed combat, it's clear the NHL remains a unfunny joke to this Canadian sports fan with no sign of the situation improving.
  75. Bones Monseki from Ottawa, Canada writes: Martin E-rat - the second part ... I had to google search the band and song name, using the lyrics I remembered from a patio party this weekend.
    Still Loverboy is Loverboy, and I'm quoting them.

    The "Keep the Predators in Nashville" gathering had what? 100 times the turnout of the 200 people who turned out in PHX?

    Awesome - in 13 years, the fanbase has grown by 200 people in the Desert.

    The Long Term plan of the NHL makes sense, but somewhere, sometimes, you gotta cut the fat off the meat. Realize it's not working, get out while you can, and keep chugging forward.

    Oh well!
  76. wayne powers from saskatoon, writes: Why is it when Calgary's owners wanted the city of Calgary's infastructure money a few years ago and they threatened to move the team if they didn't get the upgrades to the Saddledome (a facility built and paid for 100% with taxpayer's money)
    What are the ages of the Saddledome, Northlands, GM Place, and the Mellon arena and how is it that 24 years in Gary's world is 30 years. Just like most things he says close to the truth but just a little fudged.
  77. Carl Hansen from Canada writes: Bones Monseki from Ottawa, Canada writes: Jude Hannaford - It has all the hallmarks of a good joke, but lost it's charm and witt 4,000,000 posts ago.

    Yes, but in 6 months it's going to be funny again.
  78. Bones Monseki from Ottawa, Canada writes: Carl - nahhh, by Novemeber the Leafs will be first in the East, PHX will be bleeding money in the desert, and ever hockey fan in S.Ontario will forget about the Balsille Blackberry's of Hamilton.

    And at some point, my alarm clock will wake me up for work and bring me back to reality.
  79. Shades of Grey from Canada writes: Hockey is a winter sport that should be over by the May long weekend and should not be played in the desert.

    Go Jays (and Balsillie)!
  80. Martin's E-ratt from Nashville, United States writes: Easy there Bones! Ive actually seen the band twice in concert growing up......wasnt really knocking you there........just trying to be funny. Both Loverboy concerts I saw had good opening bands.........Zebra and a young upstart Dokken. Lots of babes showed up at those shows so it was pretty cool. Overall I prefer Rush and Danko Jones. 10,000 might not seem like alot to to you at a rally but that's cool. Still better than 200.
  81. Bones Monseki from Ottawa, Canada writes: Martin - ? sorry man, lack of tone and facial expressions in these posts. Wasn't attacking you in the least, more like running with the joke.

    Rush cool, Danko Jones...hmmm I guess. Try The Tragically Hip on for size, or BTO.

    I was pretty impressed with the "Keep the Predators in Nashville" turnout. Kinda showed Hockey may be starting to dig some roots in Tennesse. I was actually commending the fine people's of NSH on their support.

    As opposed to a measly 200 in PHX.

    Being a fan of an NHL team living in the US sunbelt, even you gotta agree - 200 is it a weakout turnout...
  82. Gary Bettman from Dunghill, United States writes: I'm going to move the coyotes to Mexico.
    Anywhere but Canada.
    I hate Canadians
  83. Martin's E-ratt from Nashville, United States writes: No problem there Bones! I'm actually an Opeth, Porcupine Tree, Mastodon, prog-metal fan. Rush and Danko are my fav Canadian bands I guess. I saw Bachman Turner Overdrive open for Van Halen on the 1st Hagar tour. They sounded alot better than drunk Michael, Eddie and Alex. I hope we never have to have another rally in Nashville again. We'll see. Whomever gets the Coyotes.......Winnipeg or S. Ontario....... will support them better.
  84. Gary Bettman from Dunghill, United States writes: Just because I'm a pigheaded idiot doesn't mean I'm a bad business man, does it?
    All my decisions are made for the good ol' boyz down south.
  85. Bones Monseki from Ottawa, Canada writes: Opeth, Mastadon - logical extension to Rush. Makes sense. Geddy Lee has seasons' tickets to the Blue Jays... Maybe Alexisonfire would be more up your alley
  86. Guy Smiley from Toronto, Canada writes: Harvey, good point. It might even make financial sense. I wonder if its possible if Bettman could win, then pay the creditors some amount less than their share of the 212 million (eg. with a discount for the certain losses upcoming). Then revoke the franchise and try to sell a new, expansion franchise to Southern Ontario, with all bidders at the table for a tidy sum.
  87. Harvey Mushman from Cambridge, Canada writes: Doh!!!!....National Post is blogging the proceedings...looks like Bettman's position is taking a hammering from the judge right from the drop of the puck.

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