An NHL expansion team in Hamilton could be worth between $225 million and $265 million, according to documents filed yesterday in the bankruptcy case of the Phoenix Coyotes.

The dollar figure is cited in a “Coyotes Confidential Information Memorandum,” but came to light through a publicly available NHL letter as the league is demanding to know every detail of Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie’s business plan if the Coyotes are allowed to move to Hamilton.

The value of a franchise in Hamilton is important because it would form the basis of how much Balsillie would have to pay — on top of his $212.5 million (all figures U.S.) offer for the team — in indemnity and relocation fees to the league and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The NHL letter to Balsillie’s company outlines 23 specific pieces of information the league says it needs before it can approve Balsillie as an owner including “all data, information and/or sources used in calculating the estimated value of an NHL expansion fee ($225 million — $265 million).”

The NHL has never put a price tag on an expansion fee for Hamilton.

Balsillie’s legal team indicates he’s a bit more than halfway to providing the information. Among the demands from the league:

• Analysis concerning the existing state of Copps Coliseum.

• How long it will take before the team plays in a “fully renovated” Copps Coliseum.

• Where the team might play if renovations interfere with the schedule.

• Financial projections and the basis upon which the business plan for the team operating in Hamilton was built.

• Census and demographic reports for Hamilton.

While the battle between the NHL and Balsillie continued to escalate, the three-way battle among the City of Glendale, Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes and hockey icon Wayne Gretzky headed for the sanctuary of a confidentiality agreement.

Representatives of the three camps asked a judge to force them to keep secret private financial affairs.

The City of Glendale, for example, wants a look at the tax records of Gretzky and Moyes. Moyes, the majority shareholder, and Gretzky, a minority owner as well as coach, claim to be among the largest creditors. Moyes says he’s owed $100 million, Gretkzy $9.3 million.

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