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Coyotes Hearing Underway In Phoenix, Decision Not Expected
Published June 9, 2009
|Moyes Believes He Can Sell
Coyotes Through Court
STATING HIS CASE: Balsillie Friday on ESPN Radio’s “Tirico & Van Pelt” show said the Coyotes franchise has “lost a lot of money. It has a fairly difficult financial and limited fan base issue for whatever reason there is. The judge has to pay attention to creditors, and I said I’ll look after the creditors if I can put (the team) in a market where it can afford to pay its bills. … If somebody thinks they can get value in Phoenix, top the offer.” Balsillie added, “There are twice as many fans in this southern Ontario area as surveyed as there are in the whole New York area. There are three teams there, and there is one here. So if New York can support three, you could argue that southern Ontario could support six.” Balsillie also discussed the Maple Leafs’ possible objection to a team in southern Ontario, saying, “The Leafs have a huge following and they sell out forever, and will forever. We put a list up for ticket signups and it sold out in a day, so there’s no question the team will do very, very well and continue to do well. I don’t think it’s a principle concern in terms of their gate” (“Tirico & Van Pelt,” ESPN Radio, 6/5).
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FOLLOW THE RULES: Oilers Alternate Gov. Cal Nichols said, “This is Balsillie’s third attempt to reach his goals and objectives and, you know, I have watched it from a long distance, and he is just going about it in an inappropriate way.” Nichols: “The first thing you do, is you go and do your homework and build your consensus with those who run the league -- Gary (Bettman) and his staff -- or you chip away, one by one, at the board of governors. … It seems to me this is a very bullish way to try and achieve what you want.” The NATIONAL POST's Joe O'Connor notes a prospective owner requires 23 of 30 votes from the NHL BOG, and an NHL exec said of Balsillie, “I am not sure he would have the 23 votes, to be blunt. … Sometimes in life, whether we like it or not, rules are rules. And guidelines are guidelines. And at the end of the day, if there can’t be an acceptance or a realization that certain things have to be followed well, then …” (NATIONAL POST, 6/9). Meanwhile, the GLOBE & MAIL’s Stephen Brunt writes it is “increasingly hard to believe” the court battle involving Balsillie and the NHL is not about personalities. Brunt: “Would it have really come down to this -- a decision by a bankruptcy court judge in Arizona with acres of earth scorched en route -- if it weren’t” Balsillie and Bettman involved? (GLOBE & MAIL, 6/9).