NHL vs. Balsillie

It looks like Jerry Reinsdorf’s group has pulled out of the bidding for the Phoenix Coyotes. All potential buyers had a deadline of yesterday (Tuesday, 8/25/09) to submit their offer. Reinsdorf’s group gave reasons for withdrawing their offer, such as “an unwilling seller” and “We have faced an organized publicity effort designed to provide negative and misleading information to interested parties,” … “Not only has this stymied negotiations, but it has eroded local market demand for Coyotes tickets, luxury boxes, and sponsorships.”
The only two offers that made it in before the deadline were Jim Balsillie’s $212 million to move the team to Hamilton, and an offer by the NHL. Financial details of the NHL’s offer have not been released at this point.

Judge Redfield T. Baum will now have to decide whether or not Balsillie’s offer is worthy and he is a capable owner, even though the NHL Board of Governors have turned him down with a vote of 26-0. If the Judge decides against Balsillie and favors the NHL and their offer, the NHL says that they will then sell the team to a private investor.

There will be a hearing on September 2nd to work through some documents that Balsillie has filed, including a provision that would allow him to walk away from his offer and the deal if thing are not settled by September 14th. The auction for the sale of the Coyotes is set for September the 10th.

Doesn’t this tell Bettman and the NHL anything?? NO ONE wanted to make an offer to keep the team in Phoenix. Can’t they get a clue??!! An NHL team cannot survive and thrive in Phoenix. Please stop making the other teams in this league financially support your bad decisions, and do what is right for the league, the sport of hockey, and its fans… LET BALSILLIE WIN and LET HIM MOVE THE TEAM TO HAMILTON where Canadian citizen live and breathe hockey.


Related Posts:
·  Hockey Hero?
·  Bettman bettin’ Nashville! (but what’s Jim thinkin’?)
·  Hey Hey Hamilton!
·  Phoenix (not) rising…
·  Time to send a message… No more hockey in the Desert!
·  Kansas City, here I come…
·  Bettman gets desperate… again
·  Canada, eh?

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33 Responses to “NHL vs. Balsillie”


  1. 1 JP Aug 26th, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Could not agree more. There has been a lot of noise also for a team in Quebec City and until the mini despot is removed, we’ll be in the same position 2 years from now when other franchises are in the same financial position due to amazingly bad market analysis or dumb stubbornness..

  2. 2 OddyOh Aug 26th, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Pretty good ride thus far…we’ll see how this whole auction thing turns out. Surely the NHL isn’t going to have more money than Jim, unless MLSE bankrolls them half a billion or two to keep a more talented team from moving in on their turf. Likely Bettman is willing to risk the entire value of the league to outbid Balsillie at this point…and he says this isn’t personal…LOL!

    I’m dying to know how much the NHL offer is, and where the money is really coming from. Ironically most of it is probably pure profits from the Canadian teams. I guess the NHL thinks they’ll make it all back when they conjure up another criminal buddy to sell the team to in Phoenix, but there’s no way that will work out, short term or long term.

    Plus, the trouble for Bettman is, as JP mentioned in his comment, that this process will simply start all over again once the other crap teams are put up for sale. You just know other owners are saying out loud to themselves right now, “Holy fuck, my crap team is worth $200 million?! I gotta unload this turkey!”

    The other delicious news this week was that DirectTV is dropping the “Versus” network like a rotten hot potato, specifically due to low ratings. But, Mr. Bettman, how the fuck can that be?! Gary has told us every week on his radio show that “Versus” was growing and growing every day and would crush ESPN soon enough (ok maybe I added that last part!). Well, apparently DirectTV thinks otherwise.

    Time for Gary to go…but I say that every time. What floors me is Bettman always says he wants “30 strong teams”…unless 7 of them are in Canada, right Gary? What a complete jerk.

  3. 3 JP Aug 26th, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Could not agree more.

    This is supposed to be the “man with a corporate vision” – with a mindset like his he should work for Wall St and their like as he seems to have the same ethics..

    Did not hear about Direct TV dropping Vs, and with NBC possibily maybe potentially showing some games, there goes the US national distribution falling apart. How can you maintain or even consider building an audience without content distribution? I’m a canuck so I’m covered but the US fanbase is going to lose viewers for other sports in that case..

    The governors need to start acting like business people and show Ye Olde Gary the proverbial door.

  4. 4 Al Aug 26th, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Unfortunately I don’t see Jim Balsillie owning the Phoenix Coyotes unless he drops his demand that the team be moved immediately. I have to agree with the NHL that there simply isn’t enough time for the Coyotes to move to Hamilton before the upcoming season. But if Balsillie is willing to keep the team in Phoenix for the upcoming season with plans to move it to Hamilton the following year, then I see the judge ruling in favor of Balsillie.

    As for the NHL bidding on the Phoenix franchise themselves, don’t they understand that they can’t assume that they will continuously find owners who will do what the league wants? They can’t assume that they will find a buyer who keep the team in a struggling market and thus, lose money every year. I think their business practices are based on that assumption. Assuming the NHL outbids Balsillie and owns the Phoenix franchise, they will eventually own the Nashville, Tampa Bay, Anaheim, Carolina, Florida, Atlanta, and Columbus franchises.

    The NHL needs to take a deep breath, step back, and start looking at the long-term health of the league. The NBA, NFL, European soccer leagues, and several other sports leagues do this very well. But the NHL is a prime example of why only focusing on short-term gains will lead to the downfall of the business, or in this case, the league.

  5. 5 JP Aug 26th, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    This just in from SRC (French CBC):
    http://www.radio-canada.ca/sports/hockey/2009/08/26/003-coyotes-mercredi.shtml

    3 offers on the table:
    - NHL offers 140M$, keep the team in AZ and the lease on the arena
    - Ice Edge offers 150M$ but wants to renegocite the lease
    - Jim’s offer of 212.5M$ but moves the team.

    Al’s right, Jim needs to keep the team for the season in AZ for 09/10 then move it, a move now is just undoable.

  6. 6 LuckyCanuck Aug 26th, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Bettman continues to make these lunatic moves. He’d better hope the judge rules in Balsille’s favour.

    Let’s say the Coyotes lose $50 million next year, a generous improvement of $17 million from last year. That means every other team in the league gets to kick in $1.7 million dollars to support them.

    Suppose their ticket sales fall off a cliff, as is being predicted. Could Phoenix lose $80 million? $100 million? Will teams be willing to support the Coyotes to the tune of $3M to $4M each? Particularly when several of those teams are on the brink already, and are forced to spend _up_ to the salary “cap”, _even with revenue sharing_.

    If the NHL has to pay the Coyotes’ losses for a year or two, it could push other franchises over the edge. Talk about a house of cards.

    I really hope the NHL owners come to their senses and fire this guy. How far does the league have to fall before someone realizes that burning money isn’t a sound business strategy?

    Here’s my prediction: before this is all said and done, the NHL BoG will shuffle GB off to retirement and beg Balsille to take some basket case franchise and move it to Hamilton. Or Waterloo. Or London (Ontario). Or anywhere where it won’t bleed the league dry.

  7. 7 Bob le Blob TM Aug 27th, 2009 at 4:45 am

    Only one thing is certain : GB will be lying that everything is perfectly fine TO HIS GRAVE. That man is just unbelievable.

  8. 8 Joe Hockey Aug 28th, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    One of the first things Bettman did when he got this job was to remove the team logos on the game pucks thus kids would not be able to feel the joy of getting a game puck with their team logo on it during the heat of the game (safty issues aside. But the rich kids could buy one. At this point I decided he would ruin hockey, and he has.

  9. 9 calvin12 Aug 28th, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    OddyOh :

    You have the finances all wrong, the NHL is only offering about 140M. But even if they wanted to outbid JB it would cost them almost nothing. you have 29 teams to split the cost with and the NHL itself could be a 30th party. lets say they want to offer 600M for the ‘yotes, thats only 20M per share. JB can’t outbid the NHL, but thats not hte way the NHL is even going at it, they are offering low hoping hte Judge sides with them since they are the NHL and JB was turned down by them (this ime)

  10. 10 calvin12 Aug 28th, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Al:
    The NHL does not even wantthe team to stay in AZ. Their own offer states that in a year the NHL can resell the team to any buyer who wants to move the team to a place they approve of.

  11. 11 calvin12 Aug 28th, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Joe:
    team logos are on the puck now, and GB took over in 93, I got a game puck in 94 at chicago stadium and it has the hawks logo also.

  12. 12 calvin12 Aug 28th, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    I agree bettman has to go, but the owners won’t get rid of him, they are making money and he’s nothing more than their puppet. Buff and Tor don’t want a team in hamilton, that is whats stopping it, butthead is just the puppet put in front to keep the owners out of the light. The owners care for nothing other than their franchises values, they dont care about the NHL.

  13. 13 iusedtolikehockey Aug 29th, 2009 at 7:58 am

    i totally agree Calvin12. as much as i want to see Bettman go he is just doing the bidding of the owners. what a sad state of affairs. the NHL is being ruined. wouldn’t it be nice if another league would form with the original 6 teams plus all the teams in Canada. i would watch that over the NHL any day.
    and by the way i am American.

  14. 14 PeterPiperPicks Aug 30th, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Both the NHL’s and Ice Edge’s bids are dead in the water if they cannot negotiate an “out clause” in the cureent lease with Glendale at the arena. They don’t have much time left to pull it off.

    On the other hand, Glendale city councillors are adamant that they don’t want to change the lease. Better for JB if he offered them $10M to break the lease as a goodwill gesture, even though as I understand it is not mandatory under a bankrupcy situation. It’s not like Glendale will be totally without revenue since the Coyotes occupy 42 home games per year plus practice sessions. There are always the “tractor pulls” and concerts that can produce revenue.

    If the lease is broken at all by any party, Glendale will have to refund “Jobing.com” for the naming rights of the arena. I hear that number is around $10M, but cannot get an exact fix.

    Any way you look at it, all eyes are now on Glendale to relax their lease requirements to the group that wants to keep the team in Arizona, while appearing not to be caving into too many concessions. Their taxpayers and the Goldwater Institute will be challenging any deals in the courts.

  15. 15 PanMan Aug 31st, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Calvin12 is wrong…many of the owners are starting to rise up behind closed doors against Bettman. Just not the most powerful ones…yet. While Balsillie is a cowboy when it comes to owning a team, he does want to own a profitable one. Not only that but, he remained so confident that Hamilton would support a team, he offered to NEVER pull from the revenue sharing option, but only pay into it!! How can GB turn down the head of the “fastest growing company in the world” (as touted by Forbes Magazine) as not the right person to own a team?? GB has the proverbial “short-man complex”. He wants to beat Basillie and nothing else. The Leafs and the Sabres will not have the final say in this. I fully expect that at some point in the next 2-3 years there will be another team in hockey loving Southern Ontario. After all, the NYC area has three teams, but Southern Ontario only ONE? doesnt make sense to me. Also the third bidder, ICE EDGE, is headed by a guy who used to work for Basillie. Plot thickens, eh? So Gary Bettman, the angry short man or as some have compared him to…Napoleon…is about to meet with his Waterloo…or at least a guy named Jim Balsillie who is from Waterloo…either way same end result…Bettman is screwed….

  16. 16 Umberto Aug 31st, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    I love that Gary Buttman can just up and decide to lose an extra 140 million dollars from a league that first insisted on the stupid salary cap and then continually dropping it. I think he wants to buy it, ruin any sort of weak infrastructure it already has, and then sell it for a loss the following year to the Reinsdorf group. I hope Gary Buttlicker will finally answer for his crimes against hockey before the close of the next hockey season. I do hope Jim wins and destroys Gayry’s crudibility so the league has no choice but to fire him.

    And just a side note I am a Wings fan who live in Columbus. The hockey market is growing considerably down here and I do believe that the Blue Jackets will start to become a team that can financially hold its own in the near future.

  17. 17 calvin12 Sep 1st, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Pac Man:
    I’d love to believe that but a 26-0 vote following buttheads guidance says the owners are behind him at the moment, and it also says they are terrified of what will happen if relocation is allowed w/o their approval. They know that teams will try to move into existing hot areas if they can’t be stopped. I think Hamilton can take a team, but if you are buff or Tor, you don’t want your fan base eroded. If they get to move there w/o league approval what is to stop carolina from deciding to move to chicago w/o approval since there is denad there, or Florida to Boston?
    As much as I think AZ should move, either to KC or Hamilton if it happens w/o league approval it sets up a really bad precidence for the league.

  18. 18 iusedtolikehockey Sep 1st, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Pacman, i would like to here where you get your info. Like Calvin12 said above the majority of owners don’t want Jim as an owner. Even Eugene Melnyk to swipes at Jim.
    i really do wish what you say is correct but you need to back it up with something.

  19. 19 gary rhodenizer Sep 2nd, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Gary Buttman could not make 5 cents in a free world market. Let the team go where it can make money.

  20. 20 Panman Sep 4th, 2009 at 9:45 am

    First off it is PanMan not Pac Man…but I digress…unfortunately Calvin12 hit the nail right on the head with the comment about the movement of teams between cities unabated…that is what is the leagues biggest nightmare and what is still unifying the owners in a 26-0 vote against Basillie’s current bid. However, the vote is centered on the moving of the team, not against Basillie as the man/owner (unless of course you are Bettman). What they need to do is approve the team going to Hamilton first, then Balsillie will be the easy option for an owner within the league. Unfortunately, Balsillie got his back up with the first “almost” correct attempt to get a team, then went to his second attempt and pre-sold the tickets to a Hamilton franchise, again without approval from the league, then finally this attempt. The main reason they don’t want to approve the move is the fear of the richest team in the NHL – The Leafs – going full bore with a lawsuit against the league. Buffalo doesn’t really factor in here as much as the Leafs. The Leafs are all about MONEY…and nothing less…they are not owned by a single person wanting to win a cup, they are owned primarily by the Ontario teachers pension fund, which is also one of the richest, best run pension funds in Canada. MONEY is what counts. Highest ticket prices, suite lisencing fees that are exhorbitant and the cost of drinks, food, etc within those suites are ridiculous. (Believe me, I have signed several bills for the use of our box and 12 people running a tab of $1200 plus for pizza, chicken fingers salad a a couple of beers each is the norm.) The Leafs will undoubtedly sue and the league costs just went into the billions(?) if that happens.

    However there is a way around that…approve a team near the Kitchener/Guelph area..it would be out of the Leafs ownership rights radius and still have relative easy access for a mass of people with the 401 running right through the area and easy north/south access for a large concentration of the population in Southern Ontario. It also falls outside the Buffalo radius as well. Issues with this is who will foot the bill to build a new rink to play out of? I think if the carrot was placed in front of Basillie, saying you’re in if you accept the costs of building the rink it would be a done deal…he wants in that bad…

    As far as where I might “know” that the owners are rising up against him, let’s just say I might “know” a person who has sat in on every one of those meetings. The natives are getting real restless with Bettman and his refusal to bend…with Bettman it is more personal than anything…and the other owners are starting to call him on that part of the issue.

    Finally, Eugene Melnyk????….I am not sure too many people care what his opinion of his own team is, let alone his opinion of other people. The Sens don’t look exactly like a place anyone really wants to be these days…I know Heatley is acting like a spolied brat, but his actions are not the first of the big names leaving the Sens and probaly not the last…

    But maybe all this might be a moot point if the NHLPA hires a kick-ass gunslinger of a boss to cut the deal with the owners and Bettman for the next CBA…that might the fastest way to see Bettman thrown out once and for all…….

  21. 21 iusedtolikehockey Sep 4th, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    PANMAN,
    i do hope you are right and the owners are getting fed up with Bettman. i have been behind Balsillie for this entire time but i am starting to waver. first off he doesn’t seem to have any ‘bend’ in him either. Play half the year in Glendale and the other half in Hamilton???? doesn’t make any sense. it seems he could be more flexible, like play one year in Phoenix then move them.

    also, why didn’t he try puting the team in Waterloo or Guelph or wherever to begin with? then he wouldn’t have had this huge fight with the Leafs and Sabres.
    but now he seems to be stuck with Hamilton. if he backed out of Hamilton it wouldn’t be good, what with the unvailing of new stadium and all the support he has got there.

    i do hope the NHL gets it’s act together. They need to put back the names of the conferences and divisions, put more teams in Canada from the southern ones here in the states where no one cares about hockey.

  22. 22 PeterPiperPicks Sep 5th, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    The NHL KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE:

    The NHL knights of the round table have effectively rejected the black knight as the one who would save the desert maiden in distress who is covered in sand. The king of the round table evidently had convinced them all beforehand that his own white knight JR would ride in to save the day and the maiden. Then all would end happily ever after…..

    Oops, now the white knight has ridden off into the sunset having decided that the maiden wasn’t worth saving. The NHL king and his knights along with their knave Ice Edge, have decided to save the stranded maiden themselves. If they do, they will find the maiden will be very high maintenance indeed.

  23. 23 Al Sep 5th, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    I think the NHL should look like this:

    New Jersey, Phoenix, and Carolina are relocated to Quebec City, Winnipeg, and Hamilton. I’m going to assume that Quebec City wants an NHL team.

    Anaheim, Atlanta, Columbus, Florida, Nashville, and Tampa Bay are contracted.

    NHL realignment:

    Campbell Conference…
    Smythe Division has the Kings, Sharks, Oilers, Canucks, and Flames
    Norris Division has the Stars, Blues, Wild, Avalanche, and the Winnipeg franchise

    Wales Conference…
    Patrick Division has the Penguins, Sabres, Maple Leafs, Red Wings, Blackhawks, Capitals, and the Hamilton franchise
    Adams Division has the Canadiens, Senators, Bruins, Rangers, Islanders, Flyers, and the Quebec franchise

    The 10/14 split is made in order to more evenly balance the travel requirements of the Western (Campbell) vs. the Eastern (Wales) teams. Having fewer teams in the West (Campbell) means less travel requirements. In addition, they will have less competition to make the post-season, thus this will make the travel arrangement more fair for everyone.

    All teams will play 72 instead of 82 regular season games.

    Teams are bracketed and seeded by division, rather than conference. Therefore, the top four teams in each division make the post-season instead of having the top eight teams in each conference make the playoffs.

  24. 24 iusedtolikehockey Sep 5th, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    nice. but you just have to have Detroit and Chicago in the Norris division.

  25. 25 iusedtolikehockey Sep 7th, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    just found this website: thecanadianrevolution.ca

    anyone ever hear of it before??????

  26. 26 calvin12 Sep 8th, 2009 at 11:42 am

    you gotta be kidding, you want to have 16 out of 24 teams in the playoffs? it was bad enough when it was 16 out or 26. The regualr season has to mean something and you want 8 out 0f 10 on the west to make it? You gotta be smoking something. Yes teh league is overgrown, but any contraction would have to accompany a decrease in the playoffs, which the owners wouldn’t accept, thats their money maker. 14/14 would be the least that would make sense, dropping 2 teams max. 4 7 team division with the top 4 making hte playoffs would work.

  27. 27 hicks poor Sep 12th, 2009 at 10:40 am

    I southern and I’ve watched my last game.

  28. 28 sens4ever Sep 12th, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    I spend a week down in Phoenix every winter. I wanted to buy Coyote gear for my kids, but couldn’t even find a jersey after visiting at least 4 “major” sports stores. The clerks all stated that they didn’t order them any more because they just don’t sell – a hell of a lot of football, basketball and baseball gear available from every level imaginable.

    I also went to a game and I never felt so lonely in my life – I doubt if there were 5,000 people in the stands and they all seems to be cheering for the Flames.
    Who did the market research for Bettman and the NHL because I would love to sell them some useless land nowhere near a body of water for the purpose of building a beach resort. I bet they would go for it!
    Let Jim move the damn team to Hamilton and move some of the other southern teams to Halifax, Quebec City, Winnipeg and Saskatoon where people will support their teams.

  29. 29 xMRxWHEELSx Sep 19th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    BETTMAN IS THE WORST AT EVERYTHING

  30. 30 rkzorro Jul 13th, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    not quebec down east for sure hamilton that should a been a long time a go if quebec dont have no frenchmen on there team they wont back them no quebec out west always but bettman hates canadains put a team in the desert they never made money there hes a freaken idiot get rid of him lmfao

  31. 31 rkzorro Jul 13th, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    you no how the leafs can win a stanely cup DONT go to there games they dont care about fans all they want is money so let them have but let us have fun to so we can back a winning team in hamilton why do you think they traded all there first round draft picks for they wont spend the money on them so now we got burk who gets fighters for what they dont win games they got no body worth protecting either lmao put a team in brantford yeaaaaaaaaaaaaa soon as they get the old masseys building torn down lmao

  32. 32 cheap waterproof jackets Apr 28th, 2011 at 5:01 am

    So a few months ago I decided to do my Sport Management Term paper on the whole Jim Balsillie vs. NHL for the Phoenix Coyotes debaucle. The problem is that now that the dispute is solved (NHL won the rights to the team) I have no clue what to write about. I still have to stay on the subject of the Coyotes, since thats what I did months of research on… But I have no idea what topic I should focus on now…

  33. 33 bronks81 Apr 29th, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Gary Buttman could not make 5 cents in a free world market. Let the team go where it can make money

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