'Yotes still in limbo as season finishes

ROB LONGLEY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:49 AM ET

TORONTO -- With the 2008-09 NHL season now officially over, the Coyotes are still in Phoenix.

For how much longer depends in part at least on when and what Arizona bankruptcy court judge Redfield T. Baum rules on the potential sale and application to relocate the team to Hamilton.

Both the NHL and the legal team representing Waterloo, Ont., billionaire Jim Balsillie are still waiting Baum's ruling on the Research In Motion co-CEO's bid to purchase the team from bankrupt owner Jerry Moyes. Specifically, the two sides are anxious for Baum's ruling on potential relocation fees.

Baum wrapped up hearings on Tuesday and has been deliberating on the testimony surrounding the validity of Balsillie's $212.5 million U.S. offer and issues related to the move to Hamilton.

For now, all that is left is for both sides to wait direction from Baum, though the league was surely appreciative that a potential landmark ruling didn't interfere with last night's Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final in Detroit.

When the colourful judge will rule is anyone's guess.

"We have had no communication with the court on timing," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told Sun Media in an e-mail yesterday.

Given what they have seen from Baum's courtroom demeanor, the two sides agree that the judge won't be rushed into any decision.

"It's my understanding that Judge Baum doesn't tip his hand to anyone," Balsillie spokesman Bill Walker said.

The only information Baum has released publicly since testimony wrapped up came Thursday, when he said he would not preside over a separate hearing to deal with a possible relocation fee.

Once Baum rules, the next key date may end up being June 22 when an auction for the bankrupt club is scheduled to take place.

ROB.LONGLEY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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