Here’s something to howl about if you’re a hockey fan. RIM Co-CEO wants to buy the Phoenix Coyotes. Before I go into details, let’s see how the offer came about. The ownership group of the Phoenix Coyotes had filed for bankruptcy protection May 5, 2009. The filing as noted by a news release also included was a proposed sale for $212.5 million by an organization organized by Co-CEO Jim Balsallie. The NHL was not aware of the bankruptcy court proceedings and since removed Jerry Moyes, who was in charge of them, from acting on the behalf of the team. The NHL has taken ownership of the team.
Jim Balsallie has been trying to bring US hockey teams to Canada for the last 2 and 1/2 years. This includes the Nashville Predators and Pittsburghn Penguins. Both were dropped when the NHL denied the relocation of the teams. It’s no secret that he has a passion for hockey, he heads to a hockey rink once a week at 5:30 am to train and plays twice a week in a local old-timers league. He loves his hockey and sports, and no one will argue that. Balsillie has also started a public plea for help by coming up with a website called Make It Seven. The sale is with the condition of relocation to some undisclosed area in Southern Ontario.
The Phoenix Coyotes and their fans have not sat back quietly either. They have come up with a website for public support as well called Save The Coyotes, and even asking for fans and Arizonans on Twitter to please show support and to help by purchasing a t-shirt called Keep It Six. They are hoping to find a new owner to outbid Mr. Balsillie and stay in Arizona.
A bankruptcy judge still has to accept the chapter 11 filing and the purchase offer. From that point any other bidders may bid for the team and try to outbid Mr. Balsillie. Now if the bankruptcy court decides they cannot force the team to move, then the deal will fall through. So ultimately the fate of the Coyotes rests in the hands of the courts and with the influence of the NHL. Whether or not they find a new owner to outbid Mr. Balsillie, we will see. If the Coyotes do relocate, they will be returning as they were once the Winnepeg Jets before coming to Arizona to become the Phoenix Coyotes. If Jim Balsillie succeeds, does anyone care to make a guess as to what name might await the Coyotes?