SBD/Issue 234/Franchises

Glendale Seeks To Have Moyes Disqualified As Coyotes Creditor

Glendale Contends Moyes
Received Improper Payments
The City of Glendale in a filing Friday asked U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Redfield Baum for an emergency hearing to have Coyotes Owner Jerry Moyes "disqualified as a creditor" in the team's bankruptcy case, according to Steve Milton of the HAMILTON SPECTATOR. The filing refers to $104M Moyes loaned the team "over the past year" and claims that the loan "dilutes how much other creditors will receive." Glendale also "contends Moyes has received 'improper payments on account of the 'loans,' 'that those transactions are avoidance actions under bankruptcy law and that due to Moyes's 'misconduct as an owner and manager' his claims should be subordinated." Milton noted neither bids for the Coyotes from Bulls and White Sox Chair Jerry Reinsdorf nor Ice Edge Holdings "contain provisions for paying off" the loan, and if Baum "agrees to hear the case against the Moyes's loan and agrees with Glendale's assessment, it would make those stay-in-Glendale bids more agreeable to the bankruptcy court" (HAMILTON SPECTATOR, 8/22). In Phoenix, Carrie Watters reported Glendale in the filing also "called into question" Coyotes Managing Partner & coach Wayne Gretzky's "claim as a creditor" of the team. Glendale "wants to eliminate or cap" the $9.3M Gretzky "might receive through the team's sale." Glendale requested that Baum "rule on the issues on or before the team's auction" on September 10 (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 8/22).

MELNYK UNHAPPY: The CP's B.H. McKenna reported Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk Friday took RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie "to task" and called himself the "victim of a Balsillie 'cheap shot.'" Melnyk, who Thursday issued a "lengthy statement responding to the latest court filings on behalf of Balsillie," said that Balsillie "simply isn't playing by the rules." Melnyk: "Yes, it's etiquette, but it's more than that. It's about fair play." Melnyk said that he has "spoken with Balsillie twice" since the court filing, but Melnyk "dismissed his response as 'unsatisfactory'" (CP, 8/21). Sources close to Balsillie said that he "never meant to embarrass Melnyk by bringing up his fines with the Ontario Security Commission." A source said that Melnyk's name was "brought up 'reluctantly' and only as a means 'to show context into how (Balsillie) has been portrayed by the NHL." The source: "We don't feel character is an issue at all" (TORONTO STAR, 8/22). In Toronto, Steve Simmons wrote among the "really stupid things Jim Balsillie has done in his attempt to secure an NHL franchise, nothing was dumber than taking a pot shot" at Melnyk, who was "one of Balsillie's few allies around" (TORONTO SUN, 8/23).

Writers Upset With How Coyotes
Situation Has Been Handled
GETTING UGLY: In Toronto, Damien Cox wrote the Coyotes situation has "degenerated into one of the ugliest, nastiest and messiest squabbles in NHL history, a thoroughly tawdry affair that has soiled the credibility and integrity of everyone involved." Cox: "What was the point of alienating Melnyk? Why denigrate the NHL as an organization filled with shady characters when it is precisely the organization you wish to join?" (TORONTO STAR, 8/22). The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin wrote there "was a time when discreet, private assassination was the preferred method of blackballing a sports rival such as Balsillie," but the "subtler arts have given way to a more public process of story leaks, open letters and good-old intemperate media availabilities with reporters." Dowbiggin: "Salvoes from both sides have continued to any reporter who could spell bankruptcy" (GLOBESPORTS.com, 8/23).

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