"If you want a short and snappy answer about where the Phoenix Coyotes will play, just say Kansas City." — Aug. 6Then it gets out that the NHL's Hail Mary play to buy the Phoenix Coyotes would only keep the team there for one season before they would try to move it. They have to protect those expansion fees, don't you know (and Eric Duhatschek's put-the-Coyotes-in-Toronto theory actually makes a lick of sense, keeping in mind this is coming from a newspaper which is part of the same corporate family as TSN):
"In an about-face, the league's bid to purchase the Coyotes out of bankruptcy court specifically mentions it is open to relocating the team.
" ... Since the NHL states in its bid that it 'does not anticipate there would be a net profit upon a resale of the team to a Glendale buyer,' its own interests, and those of the creditors, would likely be best served by relocating the team to a market where its value could be maximized beyond $140-million.
The league’s apparent openness to relocating the Coyotes flies in the face of its commitment to Glendale, dating back to when the team’s troubles surfaced last season and throughout the league’s four-month fight with Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie ..." — globesports.com
"... the NHL’s plan (to buy the Phoenix Coyotes) is nothing but a stay of execution. In the short term, it will give Glendale one last chance to lure a local investor or bring (Jerry) Reinsdorf back into play. If it doesn’t work, the Coyotes will be off for greener pastures." Arizona Republic
In the words of a Kurt Vonnegut character, "I had to laugh like hell." Make It Eight, Eh dug out a great quote from NHL deputy commish Bill Daly from just last month.
"Daly stressed the new terms would not allow the Coyotes to break the lease in a year or two and move elsewhere.Whoopsy-doodle. It turned out those "communities" are not actual communities where people live and pay taxes, but groups of really, really rich guys. There is, for instance, L.A. Kings owner Philip Anschutz, whose company owns an arena in Kansas City which needs a tenant from a big ball-and-stick league. (This just a personal opinion.)
"The NHL must fight for the bankrupt Coyotes to stay in Glendale long-term, he said, to send a message to other cities that have spent money attracting or retaining hockey teams.
" 'If we want communities to continue investing in our franchises, we need to work arm in arm to protect their investments,' Daly said."
Meantime, it's behind the times to portray this as Hamilton vs. Phoenix (Puck Daddy). Never was. Gary Bettman and Bill Daly know who they work for, and it's whoever needs a hockey team as a front for Hoovering back scads and scads of corporate welfare.
Plus, for the Bob Loblaw Law Blog devotees, there is the whole issue of the NHL violating an important legal principle. Sub judice restrictions don't apply in the U.S., let alone in civil court, but it still doesn't mean it's not jerkass arrogance:
Long story short, this is ugly. At least we now know where the NHL was coming from. It never really made sense why they were so gung-ho about Phoenix, other than Bettman's ego. As Make It Eight, Eh says:
"Confident that the fans and the sports media would back them up ... the NHL circled their wagons and put on a Balsillie Is Rotten campaign.
"The pinnacle of NHL hypocrisy came in remarks recently made by Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. Melnyk is often deservedly ridiculed by the outside-of-Ottawa hockey press for his allegiance to a lame-duck general manager (Bryan Murray). Ottawa's recent run of personnel crises has been reflected in league and playoff results.
"Melnyk, as the sports press seems so quick to forget, was the subject of an Ontario securities commission inquiry which alleged misleading and untrue statements made in the financial statements of Melnyk’s company, Biovail Corporation. Melnyk, before the OSC chastised him, blamed his staff! He settled the charges in 2007, was fined $1 million and ordered to cease being director of his company, Biovail, for one year. The OSC record is no credit to Melnyk.
"What pricks the conscious of caring lawyers is the NHL pre-emptive strike against Balsillie even while the bankruptcy proceedings are sub judice in Phoenix. By sending out their general counsel Bill Day to media outlets to spin doctor the rejection of Balsillie by the NHL board based on, apparently, Balsillie’s lack of integrity and character, not only offends the rule of sub judice, but seems to be the epitome of hypocrisy.
"The media is lapping it up too. The venerable Sports Illustrated published an article which actually quoted Melnyk’s self-serving drivel.
"The NHL and the Reinsdorf group were looking to relocate this team either now, or within five years to another centre that fits the plan of the NHL.Who knows what will happen. There's a fatigue at this point. It is perfectly rational and understandable if you have shunned sports radio and probably will until it gets resolved, since the Howard Bergers of the world are way in over their heads with this story. It has been fun, though.
" ... The NHL has shunned the fans of Canada, and is quickly shunning the fans of Phoenix.
"Jim Balsillie has a brighter future in the NHL than Gary Bettman, and let’s see who is around in 10 years.
"Jim Balsillie, despite being voted against, has been approached by other struggling franchises, and is the true white knight to help the destitute owners."