Originally posted by Vancouver Sun (vancouversun.com)Both bids rejected in Phoenix Coyotes auction By Don McGowan, Canwest News Service September 30, 2009 4:32
Jim Balsillie's dream to "make it seven" is over.
Balsillie ended his bid to buy the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes and move them to Hamilton after his offer was rejected Wednesday by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Redfield T. Baum, who also rejected the National Hockey League to buy the beleaguered franchise.
Balsillie, the billionaire co-CEO of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, said he would not appeal the judge's decision.
"From the beginning, my attempt to relocate the Coyotes to Hamilton has been about Canadian hockey fans and Canadian hockey," Balsillie said in a news release. "It was a chance to realize a dream. All I wanted was a fair chance to bring a seventh NHL team to Canada, to serve the best unserved hockey fans in the world. I believe I got that chance. I respect the court's decision, and I will not be putting forward an appeal."
Balsillie, through his company, PSE Sports and Entertainment, and the NHL were the only bidders in an auction for the Coyotes, who've been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since May.
"In hockey parlance, the court is passing the puck to the NHL, who can decide to take another shot at the sale net or it can pass off the puck," Baum wrote in his 30-page ruling.
Baum rejected the NHL's bid "with prejudice," saying Balsillie's bid could not be successful because it doesn't meet the NHL's rules about relocating a franchise. The NHL's bid was rejected "without prejudice," meaning he left the door open for the NHL to modify its bid and could not rule on an offer he has yet to see.
"It's a major victory for the NHL and, more generally, it's a major victory for professional sports leagues: maverick prospective owners can't alter the rules at their own choice. This ruling is limited to the NHL, but other leagues had an interest in this case," said Michael McCann, an associate professor of law at Vermont Law School and a columnist and legal analyst for SI.com.
Well, there you have it. Likely, the NHL will make their adjustments and the judge will go their way. The story also says Ice Edge Holdings may yet come back into the picture and make THEIR bid, if they can ever work out a deal with Glendale over the Jobing.com Arena lease. Saskatoon is mentioned. We can all have a laugh.
Leetch is in the first year of his two year deal - $6.6m this year and $6.4m next year (like it really matters since no one will be playing hockey next year). Hopefully Sather will be gone by the end of the conract and Leetch will be brought back to NYC....