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NHL SUBMITS BID ON COYOTES

by Staff Writer / Arizona Coyotes
PHOENIX - The NHL has filed a bid in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to purchase the Coyotes and keep the team in Arizona.


NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a news release that the league took the action “to maximize the likelihood that the club ultimately will be sold to an acceptable purchaser who is committed to operating the franchise in Glendale.”

The release did not mention how much the league was offering to buy the team, which is scheduled to be sold at auction on Sept. 10.

Daly said that if the bid is successful, the league intends to sell the team to a third party outside of the bankruptcy process.

A group of Canadian and American investors known as Ice Edge Holdings also met Tuesday's court-imposed deadline for submitting an offer. Ice Edge Chairman Keith McCullough said in a news release that the plan was to "revitalize NHL hockey in Arizona and the southwestern United States."

Meanwhile, a group headed by Jerry Reinsdorf has pulled out of the possible purchase of the Coyotes. Reinsdorf's group said it was unable to meet Tuesday's deadline.

The group, in a statement, complained of an “unwilling seller” and “an organized publicity effort designed to provide negative and misleading information to interested parties.”

The Reinsdorf group also said in the statement that those tactics were a factor in the inability to reach an agreement with the city of Glendale on an acceptable lease to play in Jobing.com Arena.

Ice Edge officials spoke of a successful partnership with Glendale.

"In the last eight weeks we have worked with the NHL, the city of Glendale and members of the Coyotes organization to develop a solid plan for the successful operation of the Coyotes in Phoenix," Ice Edge COO Daryl Jones said.

Ice Edge officials repeatedly mentioned working with Wayne Gretzky, the former hockey great who is the Coyotes coach and owns a small share of the team.

"The Phoenix Coyotes organization presents a number of great hockey and business opportunities," Ice Edge CEO Anthony LeBlanc said. "We will build on the team's brand, the Wayne Gretzky brand and a partnership with the city of Glendale to ensure that Arizona continues to enjoy the NHL for many years to come."

The NHL's announcement came as another flood of documents were filed in the case, including one by Canadian businessman Jim Balsillie challenging the league's stand that it would be impossible to move the team for the coming season.

On Monday, Balsillie filed an amended purchase agreement that included a provision allowing him to walk away from the sale if the contentious issues in the case aren't resolved in his favor by Sept. 14.

The co-CEO of Research in Motion, the company that makes the Blackberry, wants Judge Redfield T. Baum to overturn the NHL Board of Governors' 26-0 vote rejecting him as Coyotes owner. He also wants the court to determine a relocation fee if the NHL refuses to do so.

A hearing on those issues and others is set for Sept. 2.


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