Tag: Jim Balsillie

Coyotes shirts

It’s official: Board of Governors approves Coyotes sale


Finally, it’s over.

After four years of up-in-the-air status, bankruptcy court, and numerous failed bids — the Phoenix Coyotes have been sold.

The NHL announced the Board of Governors approval of the sale of the team to the IceArizona group (aka: Renaissance Sports & Entertainment). Commissioner Gary Bettman released this statement about the sale.

“The National Hockey League believes in Arizona as an NHL market and that these new owners can provide the Coyotes the opportunity to secure a stable, long-term future in Glendale,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “We thank Mike Nealy, Don Maloney, Dave Tippett, team captain Shane Doan and all the players and staff for consistently going ‘above and beyond’ on behalf of the franchise during this long and complex process. We thank the Coyotes’ devoted fans for their patient, perseverant support. We are extremely pleased that a positive resolution has been achieved for the fans, the city, the Coyotes and the League.”

With the Board of Governors approval, the deal the City of Glendale made with IceArizona goes into effect to help manage Jobing.com Arena and ease the financial stress of purchasing the team.

Of course, that city-approved deal also has a five-year out-clause that allows IceArizona to sell the team if they lose $50 million over that time.

While that might be a story further down the road, for now the Coyotes saga is at an end and for the first time since Jerry Moyes declared bankruptcy and attempted to sell the team to Jim Balsillie, they have a real ownership group in place.

Columnist on Edmonton arena deal: Daryl Katz blew it

Daryl Katz

Oilers owner Daryl Katz had his dream of a new, money-making arena in Edmonton right there ready to be signed off on. Then he decided he wanted the city to pitch in even more money than they were already set to fork over. During a lockout.

Eric Duhatschek of The Globe And Mail says Katz’s thinking on why he should get more money was highly flawed at best.

“The justification seems to be that owners in Pittsburgh and Winnipeg received more generous support from their respective governments, so why shouldn’t Katz belly up to the trough for more, too?

Edmonton city council is in no way bound by precedents established by governing bodies in other jurisdictions. It has only one responsibility in the here-and-now, and that is to the taxpayers who elected them to office.”

Pittsburgh’s situation was a bit more dire when Mario Lemieux forced the city’s hand to get a deal done as he posed the serious threat of moving the team to Kansas City. That coming on the heels of Jim Balsillie’s failed bid to buy and move the team as well as other failed arena initiatives, the team and city worked things out.

Katz got the deal he was looking for at first, he just got too greedy in wanting more. It’s almost as simple as that. He figured looking a gift horse in the mouth was the way to go.

When a city is ready to back up the Brinks truck to get your deal done, the smart move would’ve been to just let them do it.

Glendale is rich! (Or at the very least, less poor)

Jobing.com Arena
1 Comment

According to The Arizona Republic, the City of Glendale could be getting a cool $4.75 million settlement from Jerry Moyes’ bankrupt company, Coyotes Hockey LLC.

No truth to the rumor that Glendale will build a monorail with the windfall.

The proposed settlement still has to be approved by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge next month.

Glendale has claimed $590 million in losses stemming from Moyes’ decision to abandon his NHL team’s lease at Jobing.com Arena.

The 30-year lease at the city-owned arena (with the massive penalty for breaking it) was reportedly one of the main factors that led to Moyes’ and Jim Balsillie’s decision (scheme?) to place the franchise into bankruptcy. Often a bankruptcy court will cancel leases, and a canceled lease would’ve opened the door for a move to Canada.


No word yet if Wayne Gretzky will receive any settlement money.

Bill Daly denies rumors that NHL is rebuilding bridge with Jim Balsillie

Jim Balsillie
1 Comment

It wasn’t very long ago (even if it seems like it happened forever ago) that Jim Balsillie upset NHL executives by trying to sneak his way to owning (and ultimately moving) the Phoenix Coyotes. That attempted backdoor deal forced the league to step in and find themselves in the paused crisis they’re in right now.

While Balsillie failed to “Make it Seven,” True North Sports and Entertainment succeeded in his “mission.” With that in mind, many thought of the Research in Motion owner once again. There are two simple reasons why he remained a seemingly viable candidate for ownership: his company is a league sponsor and he has huge gobs of money to make it happen.

Earlier this week, Matt took a look at rumors that the NHL might give Balsillie a chance to own a team after all if he simply “behaves himself.” While league denials are frequently used to smoke screen events that are actually happening behind the scenes, it might be wise to take Bill Daly’s denial of the reports at face value.

The assurance for Balsillie has been reportedly extended by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, and appears to forgive previous, perceived ownership transgressions by Balsillie, who has bid on the Pittsburgh Penguins, Nashville Predators and Phoenix Coyotes.

But if Balsillie has been offered an olive branch by the NHL, it’s news to the league.

“No, we have not had any conversations or communications with Mr. Balsillie or any of his people regarding the potential acquisition of an NHL club,” NHL vice-president Bill Daly replied in an email Thursday.

As is the case with most ownership rumors, it’s rarely safe to trust anything unless an official announcement of an ownership change and/or relocation takes place. There’s a good chance we’ll hear about Balsillie again in the future, but it’s hard to imagine the Blackberry figurehead becoming an NHL owner as long as Gary Bettman is the league’s commissioner.

Crazier things have happened, though.

Jim Balsillie could get an NHL team if he “behaves himself”

BlackBerry Hosts Premiere Party for "The Conspirator" at TIFF

It’s no secret that Research In Motion’s Jim Balsillie has wanted a team for quite some time now. Just ask fans in Pittsburgh, Nashville, or Arizona. On the other hand, it’s no secret that the Blackberry broker has repeatedly irritated the NHL commissioner’s office with his brazen business tactics in his attempts to acquire an NHL team. But for the first time, there might be light at the end of the tunnel for Balsillie—and the reason for hope is coming from the top.

Mike Ozanian from Forbes has the scoop (thanks to Kukla’s Korner):

“RIM is run by billionaire Jim Balsillie, who has been repeatedly rebuffed by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in his attempts to buy a team. RIM is paying over seven figures for its sponsorship. Turns out that Bettman, according to my source, has told Balsillie that if he behaves himself and doesn’t create any more spectacles or bad publicity for the league, he will eventually get a team.”

The sound you just heard was the entire city of Hamilton, Ontario erupting. Since he started trying to acquire an NHL team, he’s been open with the fact that he wants to bring another team to southern Ontario. Whether it was because the league was hesitant to have another team in Canada or because they were hesitant to bring Balsillie into the “Old Boys Club,” he’s been met with resistance at every turn. For the first time, there’s a clear (and public) route for the RIM head to get his wish.

In his article, Ozanian openly wonders if the Phoenix Coyotes will be the team made available. Fans will remember that it was Balsillie and former owner Jerry Moyes who worked out an agreement behind the NHL’s back when the Coyotes originally filed for bankruptcy. A judged ruled the sale was illegal—and the league has been trying to sell the team ever since.

Aside from the Coyotes, the Columbus Blue Jackets stated earlier in the year that they lost $25 million last season and expect to lose money again next season. Of course, another option that is always available for the league’s owners is to explore the possibility of expansion. While many fans and hockey pundits are against the idea, expansion is always an option for the simple fact that expansion fees bring in a windfall of money for all 30 teams. Sooner or later, it all comes back to money. In the short term, the owners should be able to deal with a relocation fee instead of the more lucrative expansion fee.

Before fans get ahead of themselves, the entire story is based upon Balsillie’s perspicacity for the term “behave.” Assuming he worked all of the angles because he desperately wanted a team, we’ll see if he can work this angle as well. Like a parent speaking to a child, Bettman has basically said, “be good and you’ll get what you want.” It sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?

Only time will tell if Balsillie willing.