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Your reaction to Coyotes court ruling?
Thu, October 1, 2009

Billionaire Jim Balsillie is now 0-for-3 in his attempts to be a National Hockey League owner and Hamilton is oh-for-two decades in its attempts to house an NHL franchise.

And who knows now when any of that is going to change?

That was the sombre reality of the non-decision decision made by U.S. bankruptcy court Judge Redfield T. Baum, who rejected Balsillie's very public bid for the Phoenix Coyotes without prejudice yesterday and also rejected the NHL's bid, leaving it a back-door entrance should it choose to tie up the loose ends of its bid, with which the judge was clearly uncomfortable.

Baum gave the NHL some hope -- and at least control of this situation -- while at the same time striking Balsillie out of the game as a potential purchaser of the bankrupt Coyotes.

U.S. judge blocks Balsillie bid


This comment is FULLY MODERATED.


The last time I look Bettman DID NOT own the league, he only works for the NHL.So why is it that everyone blames him.. Maybe Balsillie SHOULD follow league rules instead of been a "SPOILED RICH BRAT"...It looks good on him.
HockeyFan, 2009-06-16 12:53:57

The only good news about this. If you are a CGY (like me), EDM, or VAN fan, you can go to a game in Phoenix and you might have more fans than the coyotes. you can get a home ice advantage on the road!!!!!
NHL Chris, 2009-06-16 12:31:35

Until Bettman is gone nothing is going to happen in Canada
5string, 2009-06-16 12:30:51

I, personally, don't see this as that big a win for the nhl. Mr. Baums' ruling seemed to be based more on timeline and the ability of each party to effectively bring to the court their respective cases. Really, at no point in time, was any concrete matter the defining point in making his decision

Having said that, I think it's absolutely ridiculous that the nhl would view this purchase as anything but a benefit for the entire league. Pheonix will only be viable for the years they are successful on the ice, which hasn't been accomplished yet, or in the forseeable future. Untill that happens, Pheonix being financially successful is a moot point.

The value of a second team in Ontario (Ottawa doesn't count, and the Leafs only do because of the perpetual money machine they are) has pretty much been proven by Mr. Balsillie. The fan base and desire for a team is real.

A better part of the southern teams, which are barely staying afloat, are being subsidized by the Canadian market and Canadian fans paying bigger dollars in ticket sales, to see the same product. In return, we are thanked by the platitudes of "Little Napoleon", Mr. Bettman, and his wish for more American greenbacks.

Had the teams in the southern states flourished, we wouldn't be having this conversation. But, as that's not the case, our useless commisioner seems hellbent, to the detriment of the league, in continuing this useless sharade. (remember, the lockout, and salary cap, were supposed assist those same teams...did it? and how does that make Bettman look, personally?)

What do I suggest? Well, don't know about you, but I won't be watching any of the games against the southern teams. Scratch Pheonix, Tampa, Florida, Atlanta off my list of games to watch. Why should my viewing habits, and the advertising dollars generated assist Bettman in denying Canadians what they want in the first place... more Canadian hockey!

Personally, I`d love to see all the Canadian rinks empty when these teams come to town! How good would that look on American tv!!!

But, that`s just how I feel.
bob, 2009-06-16 12:24:35

Well, I will agree with the court decision. If the NHL has the right to dictate the terms then so be it. I am disappointed though. Phoenix fans will still not show up for games despite this decision (even if they do it will only be for the first half of the season). The only way the fans will show up is for a winning team and the odds are against it. Honestly, I don't think the city deserves a team that goes bankrupt. Hamilton deserves it all that much more.
gerry, 2009-06-16 10:33:33

To all those people still talking about Winnipeg getting a team, STOP!

Winnipeg can't afford an NHL team so stop talking about Winnipeg getting a team! No sane businessman will pay $200M for a team that is going to lose money. There are great fans in WPG but the population and cash isn't here. Cheer on our AHL team and the Bombers and be happy with that.
JS, 2009-06-16 10:24:02

Well, another feather in the cap of Bettman...a continued effort to force a sport on markets who have clearly demonstrated they have no interest in supporting. Balsillie's best bet is to make a bid for the Leafs....God knows they still dont have progressive ownership and I am sure Toronto would love to have an NHL team!
TeeBone, 2009-06-16 10:10:42

Bettman just keeps looking more and more like an idiot. It's fine to try and stabilize the teams you have and hold off on expansion, but here was a chance to solidify one franchise and generate some buzz in the game. He can't use the excuse that he is building the game for the future in the south because no team in Phoenix will be profitable for the next ten years unless something changes. Even a Stanley Cup championship there would generate mild interest but would not fix the problem.

He can't use the excuse that there is a process and he's just safeguarding the league from a rogue owner. When Winnipeg or Quebec were moved, I think we can all see that there was no such process in place. Anyone with the cash could step in and move the team where they wanted, period. Heck, how many owners have proven to be broke, crooks or both? Bruce McNall was for years the golden child of the NHL owners, heck he even bought Gretzky, all with borrowed money while playing the bigshot.

Maybe the NHL has learned from that, but with their recent attempts to foist off the Isles and Nashville to whoever has an IOU, it doesn't look like it.

This is all about Bettman's ego and he is willing to turn away a financially viable owner who is a real hockey fan, as well as condemn the largest hockey market in the world to more endless years of futility and lack of access to seats.

In Phoenix, you probably get a free ticket to a game if you buy a Big Gulp down at the 7-11. In TO, you have to be willed seats by your grandparents to ever see a hockey game in person. How does either help the game?
Rick W., 2009-06-16 09:59:24

Have you ever seen a more biased column writer then Steve Simmons. This guy must be getting paid buy the Leafs and other NHL cronies. What ever happen to the objective media person!
Danny, 2009-06-16 09:56:29

Steve Simmons presumes "as a secured creditor it (the league) will get every dollar back when the team eventually is sold in bankruptcy auction." That presumes that the auction will raise enough to pay off all the secured creditors, an assumption that may or may not be justified. I'm not sure that is the case, if the next buyer going in is aware they have to stay in Phoenix and absorb losses. They'd have to pay me to take the team, frankly, as moving from Phoenix is not in Bettman's game plan.
lordshipmayhem, 2009-06-16 09:29:12

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