While no major decisions were made Tuesday by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Redfield T. Baum in a hearing about the Phoenix Coyotes sale, one significant development unfolded. A representative of the franchise's largest secured creditor told Baum that SOF Investments, a fund owned by computer mogul Michael Dell, had reached an agreement with bidder Jerry Reinsdorf and now approved the bid by the owner of the Chicago Bulls and White Sox.
It marked a positive change toward Reinsdorf's $148 million offer for the team, which he would keep in Glendale, and a strike against the bid of Canadian businessman Jim Balsillie, whose $212.5 million is based on moving the club to southern Ontario. Steven Abramowitz, representing SOF, informed Baum that Reinsdorf agreed "to a substantial pay-down and rollover of the remainder of the debt."
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was in court Tuesday and said, "today was largely a scheduling session.
"This process is ongoing with constant developments until it reaches an ultimate resolution," Bettman told NHL.com.
The commissioner added that a Sept. 2 hearing is planned to cover arguments for a number of motions presented by lawyers in the proceedings, including whether Balsillie qualifies as a bidder because he was recently rejected as a potential owner by the League's Board of Governors.
Another development Tuesday: Baum told Balsillie's attorneys they will have to reduce the number of people they propose to question as part of the information discovery process. The judge also told Balsillie's attorneys they will not receive the complete files about the other two bids (Reinsdorf and the Ice Edge group).
The auction for the Coyotes remains set for Sept. 10, two days before the team begins training camp.