Apparently Jerry Reinsdorf was close to purchasing Coyotes

Posted by Richard Pollock in Phoenix Coyotes on May 6, 2009 — 3 Comments

From TSN’s Bob McKenzie:

The first thing you need to know is that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was in Phoenix today, ostensibly to put the finishing touches on an intent to purchase agreement from Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, whose intention was to apparently keep the financially-troubled Coyotes in their current home of Glendale, which is also home to Reinsdorf’s spring-training baseball facility (a mile away from the Coyotes’ Jobing.com Arena). That offer was expected to materialize within the next few days.

We don’t know a lot about the Reinsdorf deal but suffice to say it likely wasn’t in the $212.5 million range.

In any case, today’s events clearly caught everyone, from the Coyotes’ staff to the NHL head office, completely off guard.

Read the entire story here.

This situation continues to get more messed up by the hour.  Ostensibly, it is Balsillie’s lawyers versus the NHL lawyers and both sides think they have a very valid case. 

In terms of Reinsdorf, I am surprised he’d purchase this team, even if it is a sweetheart deal and is close by the White Sox spring training complex.  This team has proven to be a black hole and even if Reinsdorf is extremely wealthy, which he is, nobody likes losing money.

I’m sure this situation will continue to change throughout the day, so we will do our best to keep you abreast of the situation.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com Kyle

    This whole deal is pretty messed up. Why does Bettman keep saying that the NHL “doesnt walk out” on cities? If I were in the press pool, I would just sit down and chant Jets or Nords until he recanted this bullshit. My gosh, is he aware that not NHL fans are under 12?

  • Bob Roberts

    Of course Gary would say the league was asked to step in re: Quebec and Winnpeg, just the way some countries claim they have been asked to intervene in the affairs of other countries.

    You never can get a grip on slime — it just squirts out of your hands. Smells bad too.

    What’s really interesting here is that Ballsillie now should get his day in court.

    If he wins he wins.

    If he has a chance of winning in court (no one can ever trust a US court after the Florida election fiasco, but you never know, and Gary will be guessing too) the NHL will have to deal with him because Gary has this image of himself and he couldn’t personally (aside from anything the current owners might say or do) stomach the chance of Balsillie winning even a partial victory.

    Can you say “Non-disclosed agreement.”?

    And Jim has deeeeep pockets, which equals leverage. And patience…how long has he been after a franchise? God knows the man must want to defeat Gary’s blocking almost as much as he wants a franchise in Southern Ontario. This is capital P personal. I’d love to see Gary cave and try to save face.

    Squirm time Gary — it could just be squirm time here.

    Gary knows all this, and while he may manage to squirm out of it again, he will know that things will never be the same and that Jim Blackberry will never quit.

    As for the other owners, what will they think of Gary’s move to dismiss the current owner? What’s to stop him doing the dirty to them? Besides, a strong franchise to replace Phoenix would be directly financially beneficial to all 29 owners.

    Where Gary keeps saying they would have to approve any sale in a feeble attempt to distance himself from personal involvement — “Hey, I’m just doing what’s best for the league as directed by the owners: they make the decisions!” — , he is also reminding them that they have the power to force things.

    The Leafs and Sabres could see the move to Southern Ontario as a chance to cash in on “territorial rights”, too.

    I see Paul Kelly has put the pressure on by saying this has to be resolved by the end of June — which hat did he pull that date from, I wonder? — for the good of the league.

    Nice one there, Paul. This is May 6th.

    Tick tick tick…

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com david

    Battle of Lawyers – feels like the 2000 Presidential Election all over again.