NHL, Balsillie go into overtime

News Sep 12, 2009 Ancaster News

The high-stakes financial game between the NHL and Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie has gone into overtime.Arizona bankruptcy Judge Redfield Baum has delayed his decisions on the numerous and complicated issue involving whether Mr. Balsillie can purchase the Phoenix Coyotes and relocate them to Hamilton.Judge Baum said during court Sept. 11 he will be careful in how he writes his decisions, knowing full well it will be appealed by either party. The NHL has warned Judge Baum it will appeal the decision as far as possible to a higher court.During the two-day hearing, both parties sparred, negotiated and also reformed their bid proposals to purchase the Coyotes. Mr. Balsillie compromised on his $252.5 million bid, increasing the offer to the city of Glendale for $50 million, something the city is considering. He also withdrew his Sept. 21 deadline he had made to the court if he wasn’t allowed to bid on the NHL franchise. The NHL moved, but only slightly, in its bid.The NHL is offering $140 million for the club, which would remain in Glendale. If the NHL is allowed to purchase the team, the league would then sell the Coyotes to a third-party.NHL officials argued Mr. Balsillie shouldn’t be allowed to purchase the team because of his character, a statement Jeffrey Kessler, Mr. Balsillie’s lawyer jumped on.Questions also surrounded if Mr. Balsillie did purchase the team, he would have to abide by the NHL’s rules including guidelines involving relocating a team to another city.During the hearing, an NHL lawyer wanted NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to confirm the league has been in discussions with other “very wealthy” potential owners to relocate a team to Hamilton. Judge Baum prohibited Mr. Bettman from answering the question.NHL lawyer Tony Clark had earlier stated that the league believes Hamilton is a great possible location for a franchise with “rabid fans.” “We have never denied that,” he said.Also during the court proceedings, a letter sent by Mayor Fred Eisenberger raised a few eyebrows from the NHL. The letter reiterated the provincial and federal government’s commitment to assist the franchise to relocate in Copps Coliseum. Mr. Eisenberger stated the city is also willing to help, by providing the arena for the team. But he stated Hamilton taxpayers won’t be footing the bill for the club for any renovations.It is unclear when Judge Baum will make his decisions. He will have to determine if Mr. Balsillie can take part in the auction, the amount of a possible relocation fee, or even if the franchise would not even be sold.Judge Baum raised that possibility on the first day of the hearing, prompting both parties’ lawyers to scramble for answers to the possible scenario.

NHL, Balsillie go into overtime

News Sep 12, 2009 Ancaster News

The high-stakes financial game between the NHL and Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie has gone into overtime.Arizona bankruptcy Judge Redfield Baum has delayed his decisions on the numerous and complicated issue involving whether Mr. Balsillie can purchase the Phoenix Coyotes and relocate them to Hamilton.Judge Baum said during court Sept. 11 he will be careful in how he writes his decisions, knowing full well it will be appealed by either party. The NHL has warned Judge Baum it will appeal the decision as far as possible to a higher court.During the two-day hearing, both parties sparred, negotiated and also reformed their bid proposals to purchase the Coyotes. Mr. Balsillie compromised on his $252.5 million bid, increasing the offer to the city of Glendale for $50 million, something the city is considering. He also withdrew his Sept. 21 deadline he had made to the court if he wasn’t allowed to bid on the NHL franchise. The NHL moved, but only slightly, in its bid.The NHL is offering $140 million for the club, which would remain in Glendale. If the NHL is allowed to purchase the team, the league would then sell the Coyotes to a third-party.NHL officials argued Mr. Balsillie shouldn’t be allowed to purchase the team because of his character, a statement Jeffrey Kessler, Mr. Balsillie’s lawyer jumped on.Questions also surrounded if Mr. Balsillie did purchase the team, he would have to abide by the NHL’s rules including guidelines involving relocating a team to another city.During the hearing, an NHL lawyer wanted NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to confirm the league has been in discussions with other “very wealthy” potential owners to relocate a team to Hamilton. Judge Baum prohibited Mr. Bettman from answering the question.NHL lawyer Tony Clark had earlier stated that the league believes Hamilton is a great possible location for a franchise with “rabid fans.” “We have never denied that,” he said.Also during the court proceedings, a letter sent by Mayor Fred Eisenberger raised a few eyebrows from the NHL. The letter reiterated the provincial and federal government’s commitment to assist the franchise to relocate in Copps Coliseum. Mr. Eisenberger stated the city is also willing to help, by providing the arena for the team. But he stated Hamilton taxpayers won’t be footing the bill for the club for any renovations.It is unclear when Judge Baum will make his decisions. He will have to determine if Mr. Balsillie can take part in the auction, the amount of a possible relocation fee, or even if the franchise would not even be sold.Judge Baum raised that possibility on the first day of the hearing, prompting both parties’ lawyers to scramble for answers to the possible scenario.

NHL, Balsillie go into overtime

News Sep 12, 2009 Ancaster News

The high-stakes financial game between the NHL and Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie has gone into overtime.Arizona bankruptcy Judge Redfield Baum has delayed his decisions on the numerous and complicated issue involving whether Mr. Balsillie can purchase the Phoenix Coyotes and relocate them to Hamilton.Judge Baum said during court Sept. 11 he will be careful in how he writes his decisions, knowing full well it will be appealed by either party. The NHL has warned Judge Baum it will appeal the decision as far as possible to a higher court.During the two-day hearing, both parties sparred, negotiated and also reformed their bid proposals to purchase the Coyotes. Mr. Balsillie compromised on his $252.5 million bid, increasing the offer to the city of Glendale for $50 million, something the city is considering. He also withdrew his Sept. 21 deadline he had made to the court if he wasn’t allowed to bid on the NHL franchise. The NHL moved, but only slightly, in its bid.The NHL is offering $140 million for the club, which would remain in Glendale. If the NHL is allowed to purchase the team, the league would then sell the Coyotes to a third-party.NHL officials argued Mr. Balsillie shouldn’t be allowed to purchase the team because of his character, a statement Jeffrey Kessler, Mr. Balsillie’s lawyer jumped on.Questions also surrounded if Mr. Balsillie did purchase the team, he would have to abide by the NHL’s rules including guidelines involving relocating a team to another city.During the hearing, an NHL lawyer wanted NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to confirm the league has been in discussions with other “very wealthy” potential owners to relocate a team to Hamilton. Judge Baum prohibited Mr. Bettman from answering the question.NHL lawyer Tony Clark had earlier stated that the league believes Hamilton is a great possible location for a franchise with “rabid fans.” “We have never denied that,” he said.Also during the court proceedings, a letter sent by Mayor Fred Eisenberger raised a few eyebrows from the NHL. The letter reiterated the provincial and federal government’s commitment to assist the franchise to relocate in Copps Coliseum. Mr. Eisenberger stated the city is also willing to help, by providing the arena for the team. But he stated Hamilton taxpayers won’t be footing the bill for the club for any renovations.It is unclear when Judge Baum will make his decisions. He will have to determine if Mr. Balsillie can take part in the auction, the amount of a possible relocation fee, or even if the franchise would not even be sold.Judge Baum raised that possibility on the first day of the hearing, prompting both parties’ lawyers to scramble for answers to the possible scenario.