The bankruptcy hearings continue in Phoenix this week. Here’s a quick sample of the latest news:
The Coyotes filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 5. Moyes’ attorney, Thomas Salerno, said Moyes has lost more than $200 million in equity and more than $100 million in debt with the Coyotes, although some of the debt will be paid as part of the bankruptcy settlement.
The league is contesting Moyes’ bankruptcy filing, as well as his attempt to sell the club for $212.5 million to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie, who plans to move the team to southern Ontario.
The NHL says Moyes gave up the right to place the team into bankruptcy when he received financing from the league last year. The league also contends Moyes has no right to complete a sale conditional on a move to southern Ontario because that territory belongs to the league.
“Who owns or controls the team is a distinction without a difference,” Balsillie said in a statement. “The team itself is still bankrupt, voluntarily or not. The owner of the team has a fiduciary obligation towards the creditors.”
Balsillie, the co-CEO of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, has twice tried and failed to buy an NHL team (Pittsburgh and Nashville) and move it to southern Ontario.
Balsillie said his offer, which is conditional on moving the team to southern Ontario, goes the furthest in “satisfying creditors’ claims.”
“At the end of the day, this is about the passion Canadians feel for the game of hockey and a chance to provide those fans with the opportunity to support a seventh NHL team,” Balsillie said.
“That’s what this is all about, great hockey fans in a great hockey market.”
Balsillie once again brings the fans into the argument, which is smart on his part. However, I don’t think he’s fooling anyone with that sentiment. At the moment it looks like the NHL still has the upper hand in the matter, but who knows how this will turn out. A few other things:
– Check out the photo gallery on that link. Is that not the oddest assortment of white guys you’ve ever seen? It’s like the worst Match.com compilation of all time.
– My phone contract is up in a week. If I buy a Blackberry, am I contributing to the cause?
– I still can’t decide if I feel bad for Moyes or not. He’s lost millions on the franchise, and now he’s throwing the fans under the bus to make up some scratch. It’s not often an owner says he’s “broke” and means it.
– Has anyone actually been to Copps? I was there a few years ago, and let’s just say if the Coyotes are playing there in October they better get to work right now.
Just a few things to think about while I buy a baseball glove and get ready for a doubleheader at the ballpark.