U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Redfield T. Baum on Wednesday afternoon ruled that all qualified bidders will be allowed to take part in an auction for the Coyotes on Sept. 10.
The NHL had asked Baum to limit the auction to bidders who want to keep the team in Glendale.
Canadian businessman Jim Balsillie has offered to buy the team and move it to Hamilton, Ontario. Last week, however, the NHL's Board of Governors unanimously rejected Balsillie's application for ownership.
Two other groups - Glendale Hockey LLC and Ice Edge Holdings LLC - want to buy the team and keep it based in Glendale.
"We are in receipt of and have reviewed the Court's Order issued earlier tonight," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. "Obviously, there is a lot to be done and possibly decided before September 10. We remain confident that the successful bidder will be one who is committed to continuing to operate the Coyotes in Glendale for the long term. We also remain confident that Mr. Balsillie's bid for the team will never be approved by the Court for a variety of reasons, including that his application for ownership was overwhelmingly rejected by the NHL Board of Governors last week. We look forward to making significant steps toward resolution of this unfortunate situation over the next several weeks."
Along with his ruling, Baum scheduled a hearing to discuss auction issues for Aug. 11 at 1:30 p.m. in downtown Phoenix.
Earlier Wednesday, Baum delayed a hearing on whether to find team owner Jerry Moyes and his lawyers in contempt of court for publicly filing sensitive documents regarding the contents of bids.