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Balsillie v. Bettman–Friday Morning Update

Here is the latest on Balsillie v. Bettman for your “post morning papers Friday morning update.” (Read the full article here)

The highlights:

  • The league was caught by surprise by the Chapter 11 filing, and claims to have been working with Jerry Moyes right up until the court papers were filed
  • The league claims to have three potential suitors for the Coyotes, all of whom are committed to making the NHL work in Phoenix. One of the suitors would have satisfied the outstanding payments owed to the creditors
  • The NHL believes the bankruptcy was a “sham bankruptcy” designed only to break the lease between the Coyotes and the City of Glendale
  • The NHL argues that the only person who stands to benefit by the bankruptcy proceeding is Jerry Moyes, as none of the creditors would get additional monies from the sale

Instant analysis: The first thing I find interesting is that the person doing the majority of the speaking for the NHL over the last two days has not been Gary Bettman but rather has been Bill Daly. I believe this leads credence to my theory that Bettman will be out as commissioner regardless of how this plays out. Secondly, either the NHL does an impressive job of imitating an ostrich (with their heads in the sand), or Jerry Moyes is quite sneaky/slimy (depending on your interpretation) for going around the NHL and negotiating his own deal despite knowing a sale to an NHL approved owner was imminent. Third, I don’t know why the NHL would be surprised that Moyes was first and foremost only looking after himself, and he would turn down a potential deal for one that saw him benefit the most financially. Fourth and finally, if there are three other potential ownership groups who really, truly believe hockey in Phoenix is viable, then I am the Last King of Scotland

Stick with as this story develops throughout the day, as we will have the most immediate news and analysis available anywhere on the internet.