Houston Aeros 1994-2013: Thank you for all the great memories and two decades of great hockey and entertainment.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

And The Coyotes Stay in Phoenix...For Now

The bankruptcy judge in Phoenix ruled late on Monday night that the June 29, 2009 deadline set by Jim Balsillie for the transfer of ownership of the Phoenix Coyotes to him did not allow enough time for the court to handle all of the complex issues that needed to be settled in the case, so the judge rejected the proposed sale of the franchise from current owner Jerry Moyes to Balsillie.

It is late, I've been sick, and I don't see much else out there on this yet, so it's hard for me to provide much analysis on the basis of an Associated Press article. But the one thing that I found interesting was this: the judge didn't care about the argument from the NHL (supported by all of the other major professional leagues) that its own internal rules were paramount above all else, and that allowing this sale to Balsillie would set the stage for mass franchise relocations across the country. The AP quotes the judge as saying that "Financially challenged sports teams have the same rights and obligations as any business" when it comes to bankruptcy.

From reading that statement (and the entire article), I get the feeling that the only thing that kept the Coyotes from relocating to Hamilton was timing in that the judge did not feel he had enough time to get all of the matters settled -- primarily the problems with the 30-year arena lease -- in the time desired by Balsillie.

It should get fun as the onus is now on Gary Bettman and the league to put up or shut up. I'm going to have to see some more in-depth stuff tomorrow, but the team is still in bankruptcy, and that means the judge is still in control of everything, and there is a plan from the NHL that if an auction that would keep the team in Phoenix does not come in at a price that would set the creditors whole, then the NHL will hold a second auction that would allow relocation. So I don't see that judge letting Gary Bettman get by with a sweetheart deal to one of his buddies.


AeroFinn said...

I guess it is starting to get unrealistic to have Hamilton or any other Coyotes apart from Phoenix Coyotes in the NHL
next year? When do you think would be the last possible date for the move? When does NHL make the schedule?
I'm starting to think that Hamilton Coyotes will soon be forgotten like Saskatoon Blues, Tacoma Capitals etc. whatever
there has been.
Bailsillie and his "make-it-seven" campaign seems to get all the headlines, nobody in Phoenix doing a "Save-the-Coyotes" one?

"Save-the-Caps" worked in 1982:

This one caught my eye in that article:

"About a decade earlier, the NHL had given D.C. an expansion franchise over Baltimore, Kansas City, Cleveland,
Phoenix, San Juan, and Mexico City."

Mexico City I can sort of still believe, but San Juan?....Maybe there is something in American journalism that I still don't
quite grasp. Incidentally I guess Mexico-City Toreros of the short-lived North American League is the only "professional" hockey team that they have had down there? (Good addition to Link Gaetz's also otherwise "exotic" hockey travels)
Mexico City would be an interesting addition to AHL. Not that it would really work but...has AHL ever thought about that?

beware the bear(s) said...

Hey, why not Mexico City.. way to go: have a vacation while attending an ice hockey game, a bull fight and an opera, all in the same week! LOL. JUST LOVE THAT IDEA ;)
I can just see: AEROS vs TOREROS and I'll be there for sure!

OLE Aeros!

Ms. Conduct said...

Yeah, there's a save the yotes movement, but I'm not sure it's big enough to provide much momentum. http://savethecoyotes.com/

AeroFinn said...


Thanks for the link...that is interesting! It seems that the people there read this latest development as a sure sign that Coyotes will stay in Phoenix.

I guess that "second auction" that was mentioned in John's posting would not be in time for the team to relocate for the 2009-10 season?

AeroFinn said...

btw beware the bear(s) next time you are in Mexico City be sure to try that experience!


Not quite AHL but... I'm sure there would be interest in the United States in a Mexican team. "Us vs them!". At least in
Europe you always try to beat your neighbours... A big problem (I guess) would be to convince your North-American/European
players to go down there. I think they would try extra hard to make the NHL :-) A similar experiment (well in a way, sent
players to a "non-hockey" country) was done by the Detroit Red Wings for the 1973-74 season when they sent all their young bachelor players(too much to separate families?) to London (England). Did not really work, London Lions played only one season as an independent team against opponents from Soviet Union, Finland, Sweden etc:
Biggest name for the Lions was Dennis Polonich who went on to play nearly 400 NHL games for the Red Wings.

And one more thing before I get banned for sending all these links:
IIHF recently had a great article on hockey in Brazil. If you read this article there is a link in the middle for a video
about hockey in Sao Paulo. I love the size of the rink there! Would make for some interesting hockey...

beware the bear(s) said...

WOW AeroFinn, went on to read about Mexico...thanks for the link, another 3 passion trip is shaping up in MY mind....;)
Hey Aeros .. how about an exhibition game in Mexico City to start or end any season. Beware however, the altitude in Mexico City can be a killer if one is not used to it.. Icehockey in Cuernavaca, on the other hand.. would be lovely and easier on the lungs/hearts! OLE Aeros!

Forecheck said...

We have to be hitting a drop-dead date soon so the NHL schedule can be put together.

Good luck as well to the Yotes signing free agents while they are in Chpt 11. Would you sign up for a jo with a bankrupt company not knowing what city you will be living in?