June 15, 2009
Good news if you're a Phoenix Coyotes fan.
Bad news, yet again, if you're Jim Balsillie.
Judge Redfield T. Baum laid down his judgement earlier this evening, rejecting the proposed sale to Balsillie. Baum, in his 21-page ruling, stated that the June 29 deadline set by the Balsillie camp was too soon for the issues argued about in the case to be agreed upon.
The judgement kills any chance for the planned auction of the team that was to be held next Monday, June 22.
The Phoenix Coyotes are staying in the desert and Jim Balsillie loses again in his battle against Gary Bettman and the National Hockey League. It surely won't be the last time we see the Research in Motion founder in the mix for a team. It's inevitable that Balsillie will eventually get his hands on a team, as long as he goes through the proper channels. The question that remains is if the NHL would ever be willing to relocate a team to the Hamilton area or prefer to stuff their pockets with the expansion fee that a team in the Greater Toronto Area would bring.
UPDATE: NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly released the following statement regarding the decision:
"We're pleased the Court recognized the validity of League rules and our ability to apply them in a reasonable fashion. We will turn our attention now toward helping to facilitate an orderly sales process that will produce a local buyer who is committed to making the Coyotes' franchise viable and successful in the Phoenix/Glendale area. We are confident that we will be able to find such a buyer for the Coyotes and that the claims of legitimate creditors will be addressed.”