Toward the end of last season, I spent a lot of time on the Phoenix Coyotes bankruptcy situation. Things have been kind of quiet recently as the bankruptcy proceedings have been ongoing. Well yesterday was the deadline for prospective owners to submit bids for the franchise to the Phoenix bankruptcy judge. These are the bids that would go to keeping the club based in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale, and the auction is set for August 5th.
Only one bid was submitted for the franchise. Jerry Reinsdorf, as expected, submitted the only legitimate bid. But the seriousness of this bid is somewhat questionable to me. The bid is only for about $148 million. There will be no cash exchanged, and will consist of Reinsdorf assuming the team's debts. The deal is also contingent upon Reinsdorf achieving huge concessions from the city of Glendale regarding the use of Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, and it is also contingent upon concessions from the creditors. Also, Jerry Moyes, the current owner of the team, would not receive much from Reinsdorf.
I've been surprised by the judge's actions in this case in the past, but I just can't see the judge accepting this bid, not when Jim Balsillie has already offered up $215.5 million in a bid that would actually provide the creditors with real funds and not require any concessions on their part. I know if I were a creditor I would want the real cash, not some other sucker coming in and taking over the debts with the pledge to pay them off later. And under the Balsillie bid, Moyes would actually receive money for his share of the franchise.
I know the NHL thinks it's above the rules, but the role of the bankruptcy judge is to set whole the creditors, not to make the NHL happy. And you would think that the NHL would have done everything possible to make sure an actual bid with actual money was offered. This just serves to prove Moyes contention back when he filed for bankruptcy that he couldn't find any buyers fo for the team so he was left with no choice but to go into bankruptcy and accept Balsillie's bid.
If the judge doesn't accept this bid, new bids will be accepted from people seeking to move the team out of Phoenix, including Balsillie. And that auction would be held in September. So no matter what, I think the Coyotes will be playing in Phoenix this season.
Along with the Reinsdorf bid, a letter of intent was filed which stated that a real bid would be following at a later date. I honestly don't see the judge accepting this because it's not an actual bid, and the rules set forth by the judge were rather clear and easy to understand.