The NHL, Jim Balsillie, various bidders, creditors and other interested parties with a stake in the Phoenix Coyotes are today waiting for a ruling from bankruptcy judge Redfield T. Baum, hoping to get some sense of the team’s future.
The only sure bet is that, whatever the judge rules, someone is going to be severely ticked off.
Baum is expected to hand down a decision on how the Sept.10 auction of the Coyotes will be conducted, including whether Canadian billionaire Balsillie will be allowed to participate or whether it will be restricted to the two bidders who intend, after reworking the team’s arena lease, to keep the team in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale.
Balsillie, of course, wants to move the team to Hamilton and is pursuing his purchase of the team even though he has been unanimously rejected by the NHL’s governors as a potential owner.
But don’t expect today’s ruling to be definitive or for it to end the soap opera-like drama that has surrounded the Coyotes bankruptcy. Even Baum conceded that however the auction unfolds, it will likely be followed by endless litigation.
This case has been steeped in angry rhetoric and finger pointing. Even yesterday, reacting to confidential information leaked Friday — details of the concessions Jerry Reinsdorf was seeking from Glendale in his bid — Baum yesterday ordered Jerry Moyes, owner of the Coyotes, to show why he should not be held in contempt of court.