Actually, there's not much to update as we're still waiting on the court date, but...some of the Canadian papers have been digging through all of the documents and papers filed by the NHL in support of their effort to take control of the Phoenix Coyotes.
Among those documents is the NHL Constitution. And the constitution has what has been dubbed the Doomsday Clause which says that upon the unanimous consent of all of the league members, the NHL can be dissolved. So while I haven't read the briefs that have been filed, I'm taking the filing of this document to mean that Gary Bettman is threatening to destroy the NHL if he doesn't get to keep a badly failing team in Phoenix.
And in other papers filed by the NHL, Gary Bettman argues that he has four ownership groups that are prepared to purchase the Coyotes, including the owners of the CFL's Toronto Argonauts, Jerry Reinsdorf, the minority owner of the Coyotes, and a Phoenix businessman who prefers to remain anonymous. And all of these groups want to keep the team in Phoenix.
Bettman argues that the bankruptcy shouldn't be approved because Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes didn't try hard enough to find a legit buyer for the franchise. This of course, contradicts what Bettman said in an e-mail to Moyes back in April in which he said it was proving difficult to find a new owner for the team.
But how about that Doomsday Clause? Seriously, it just seems like the NHL just keeps attempting to commit suicide. There's Gary Bettman, who has got to be the worst commissioner in the history of sports yet has a firm grip on his job. There's bad TV contract after bad TV contract. There's the glowing puck. There's the fact that Los Angeles and New York City have two teams, but Toronto has only one, and don't forget that lockout that shut down the entire sport for a year, but which seems to have failed in its goal of providing economic certainty for all teams.
My first love is baseball. And baseball will always be my number one sport. But I've always liked hockey, since I was a mere kid at the time of the original Houston Aeros, and since I've been covering this version of the Houston Aeros I've become a huge fan as I've gotten to know what great guys the players are and just been around. And it almost kills me to watch the NHL go on constant self-destruct mode.
I might not feel this way if it weren't for what Houston went through with losing the Houston Oilers despite supporting what was often an awful product, but it just seems to me that the Canadians, the people who love this sport more than anyway, have to suffer with a lack of big league franchises in their national game while teams fail year after year in Atlanta and Phoenix and Tampa and Miami, but Winnipeg and Quebec City and Hamilton deserve the teams more than the States do.
So perhaps it would be best for the NHL to exercise that Doomsday Clause. Then maybe some competent people could come and run things. Though I somehow suspect that, like the cockroach surviving the nuclear war, Gary Bettman will survive everything.