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Balsillie Willing To Keep Coyotes In Phoenix For One Year
Published May 18, 2009
|Balsillie Would Be Willing To Have Coyotes
Play One More Season In Glendale
WHO'S IN CONTROL? The NHL's claim that it exercised a series of proxies and took control of the Coyotes in November '08 is wrong, according to a filing submitted to the court late Friday night on behalf of club Owner Jerry Moyes. The filing contends that Moyes had full power to file for bankruptcy on May 5 because he still controlled the team. A series of declarations by Moyes, former Coyotes CEO Jeff Shumway and Coyotes attorneys support the filing. Moyes said, “The NHL did not manage, control, run or direct Coyotes Hockey, the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team or any of their related operations.” By way of support, Shumway said that he, not the NHL, recommended the Coyotes cut non-player payroll in late '08 by 20%. He said that the league never intervened in player negotiations or trade talks after allegedly taking over operations in '08. He also said he resigned in January '09, contradicting NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly's claim that he was relieved of his job. That assertion was supported by an attorney with the team who suggested that the league learned of Shumway's resignation when he called NHL Exec VP & General Counsel David Zimmerman to inquire about making Moyes the team's governor to the NHL in place of Shumway. In his declaration, Shumway says the Coyotes ran out of money in November '08. He said he had concerns about the proxies the NHL drew up for the club that month and described them in an e-mail to Zimmerman as “sweeping,” but Zimmerman assured him that they were the same as proxies the club signed in '06. Shumway contends that the NHL's assertion that it took control of the club through those '08 proxies contradicts what Zimmerman said before those proxies were signed (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal). In the court filings, Balsillie and Rodier said that they “negotiated the proposed sale with Moyes believing he was in charge.” Rodier: “At no time did anyone suggest that Mr. Moyes did not have the authority he seemed to have” (GLOBEANDMAIL.com, 5/16). Moyes noted that the NHL “never publicly said it was in charge and in fact [Daly] was quoted in January as saying Moyes’ group was ‘making day to day business decisions’” (GLOBEANDMAIL.com, 5/16).
Labatt Breweries, Home Hardware Already
On Board With Balsillie's Web Site
THE RIGHT MOVE? A TORONTO STAR editorial stated, “What’s not to like about Jim Balsillie’s bid to bring another NHL team to southern Ontario? Hockey fans would benefit from another option … for NHL tickets; the economy would be boosted by an increase in tourism and other activity; and the beleaguered city of Hamilton … would get a much-needed shot in the arm.” Now is the “time to rally around Balsillie’s bid, not to second guess it” (TORONTO STAR, 5/16). However, in N.Y., Jeff Klein wrote, “In much of the cheerleading coverage of the current Balsillie vs. NHL saga from some Canadian sources, the use of the vague ‘southern Ontario’ obscures the potential damage to the Sabres that Balsillie’s move to Hamilton could cause.” Under “longstanding NHL rules, Hamilton lies within” the Sabres’ territory, and it would take an “enormous indemnification payment to the Sabres to make them give up as much as 15[%] of their annual business.” Buffalo is "by far the NHL’s strongest TV market in the U.S., despite its small size," and the Sabres are “often the No. 1 American team in sweater sales.” The NHL “would lose plenty” if a Hamilton team caused the Sabres to fold (NYTIMES.com, 5/16). In Toronto, Steve Simmons wrote Hamilton is “not the proper place for an NHL team.” The “best location for a second team in Southern Ontario is Toronto,” and the “second-best location is Western Ontario, somewhere in the highly populated area of Guelph-Kitchener-Cambridge, where there is significantly more business and more money than there is in the Hamilton area” (TORONTO SUN, 5/17).
Bettman Using Radio Talk Show
To Talk Directly To Fans
BUYER BEWARE: In Hamilton, Steve Milton wrote the NHL “has publicly attacked Moyes’ integrity -- right in the town where he’s been a leading citizen for years.” So, if you are an owner with a franchise to sell, “which route are you going to follow?” What the league “suggests you do or what your accountants and lawyers suggest?” The recent “ugly history points directly to the former.” So “how many other owners would dare to deal with Balsillie, if he loses this round? Not many” (HAMILTON SPECTATOR, 5/16). The GLOBE & MAIL’s Stephen Brunt wrote the Coyotes situation is an “interesting test of how the NHL treats its own.” Moyes “kept hockey alive in [the] Valley of the Sun by himself for the past six years.” He “bought in to the program. He believed what he was told. He got creamed.” There is a “lesson there, if you’re an NHL owner in a market struggling for survival.” However “they treat the least of their partners, some day that’s how they will treat you” (GLOBE & MAIL, 5/16).