Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

NHL Cyotes to KW?


Sign the petition to "Make it Seven" (seven NHL teams in Canada)
Balsillie offers $212.5M to bring Coyotes to Ontario
Last Updated: Wednesday, May 6, 2009 | 1:04 AM ET

Jim Balsillie confirmed Tuesday that he has offered to pay $212.5 million US to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes on the condition that the bankrupt team relocate to southern Ontario.

Balsillie, 48, made the offer to Coyotes majority owner Jerry Moyes, consenting to buy it if he can move it, presumably to Hamilton or the Kitchener-Waterloo region, where he runs Research In Motion Ltd., maker of the popular BlackBerry mobile device.

Balsillie also agreed to provide $17 million US in bridge financing to keep the Coyotes operating in advance of the proposed sale.

"The current team ownership asked that I table an offer to purchase the Coyotes, and significant discussions resulted in an offer that is in the best interests of the franchise, the NHL and the great hockey fans of Canada and southern Ontario," Balsillie said in a statement.

"I am excited to move closer to bringing an NHL franchise to what I believe is one of the best unserved hockey markets in the world — southern Ontario — a market with devoted hockey fans, a rich hockey history, a growing and diversified economy and a population of more than seven million people."

Team ownership formally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday, at which time the Balsillie bid came to light.

A bankruptcy hearing reportedly is scheduled for Thursday.

"Obviously, the focus is the courts have to make a decision on the offer that I have made," Balsillie told reporters Tuesday in Toronto.

"It is a firm offer, it is a supported offer and the place I want to move the team to is in an unserved market in southern Ontario … but clearly, we believe there is a great opportunity there."

"It is the owner's decision whether to file for bankruptcy and we provided our support, or our offer, our financing into it, so really this is in response to events that happened," Balsillie explained. "We're responding to events and this is a very serious and committed offer by me — it is funded and financed and fully backed."
NHL relieves Moyes of duties

The NHL reacted swiftly, responding to the petition for sale and relieving Moyes of his duties with the Coyotes.

"We have just become aware of today's bankruptcy court filing purportedly made on behalf of the Phoenix Coyotes," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement.

"We are investigating the circumstances surrounding the petition, including the propriety of its filing. We have removed Jerry Moyes from all positions of authority to act for or on behalf of the club."

A spokesman for the city of Glendale, Ariz., where the team's arena is located, told reporters last week that the NHL had assumed control of the Coyotes and that the team ownership paid $351,000 US in overdue rent on Feb. 25 — reportedly after receiving a unspecified loan from the league.

"Extensive efforts have been undertaken to sell the team or attract additional investors who would keep the team in Glendale," Moyes told the Arizona Republic.

Moyes told the newspaper that the court process will attach a new owner and location to the Coyotes by June 30, but the sale of the franchise will still need league approval.

"The league will appear and proceed before the bankruptcy court in the best interests of all the club's constituencies, including its fans in Arizona and the league's 29 other member clubs," Daly said.
Tried to purchase Penguins, Predators

Balsillie tried twice before to buy an existing NHL franchise and relocate it in Hamilton, only to have both efforts fall through.

He struck a tentative agreement to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins for $175 million US three years ago, but the offer was dissolved because NHL commissioner Gary Bettman intervened and reportedly imposed restrictions that would keep the team in Pittsburgh.

Balsillie later agreed to purchase the Nashville Predators for $238 million US from Craig Leipold in 2007, and started a season-ticket drive in Hamilton when Leipold had second thoughts and scuttled the deal.

Leipold later sold the Predators for $193 million US and bought a 51 per cent majority stake in the Minnesota Wild.

Balsillie contacted Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano last year about the possibility of purchasing the franchise and, though receptive to a potential offer, Golisano preferred the team stay put in western New York.

Balsillie is seeking the support of Canadians in his bid to buy and relocate the Coyotes on a website called, referring to the possibility of a seventh NHL team in Canada.


  • At Wed May 06, 01:00:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Didn't peg you for a hockey fan, CC

    But you're right, that would rock

    Mike Wisniewski

  • At Wed May 06, 01:50:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Even if the Coyotes did come to KW (I'm going to assume you mean Kitchener-Waterloo), I doubt Tories like Peter Braid or the government can take credit.

  • At Wed May 06, 02:28:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger James Bow said…

    Well, let's not get our hopes up. Hamilton is far more centrally located to the population it would serve than we are. Hamilton can count on supporters from St. Catharines and Niagara Falls as well as from London and K-W. We would lose St Catharines' supporters and we don't have a significant centre to the north of us to replace it. Hamilton's Copps Colliseum makes the team location there almost a slam dunk. Only the presence of Buffalo raises questions.

    Maybe the team could move around a bit, though: call them the Wanderers of Ontario, with some home games in K-W, some at Copps, and some at the Ricoh Centre in Toronto, as well as some in Vaughan or Mississauga.

    I don't follow hockey, but the actions of the NHL board make me want to support this move out of spite. In fact, "Make it Seven"? Why not make it ten? Make it a national priority to pull the Predators from Nashville and give the Jets back to Winnipeg. Let's lose Florida and regain Quebec. Let's shoehorn a team into Halifax and maybe Regina, where they care about hockey, and for good measure, put in a THIRD team into the GTA (Basille can own GTA West, so let someone cover the GTA East. Oshawa, perhaps?).

    And if the NHL directors object? Let's ask Michaelle Jean to ask for her silverware back. It is technically still her's, isn't it? (Okay, probably not) ;-)

  • At Thu May 07, 10:34:00 a.m. EDT, Blogger Christian Conservative said…

    Okay Anon@1:50, please tell me you're joking... did anyone here say anything about politics? Did anyone say anything about "taking credit"?

    Dude, you need to get a life... not everything is about politics.

  • At Thu May 07, 12:25:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The thing with the NHL that rubs me the wrong way is the americanization of it. Their HQ is in NY and most of the teams are south of the border.

    What would american baseball fans say if we moved MLB HQ and Cooperstown to Toronto and 90% of their teams north of the border?

    It doesn't make any sense

    Mike Wisniewski


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