U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Redfield T. Baum on Wednesday rejected bids by the National Hockey League and Canadian businessman Jim Balsillie to buy the Phoenix Coyotes
In his 31-page decision Baum threw out Balsillie's bid with prejudice, saying it could not succeed because he can't properly satisfy the NHL's rights regarding relocation. Balsillie wanted to move the team to Hamilton, Ont.
"This conclusion effectively is the end for the efforts of PSE, Balsillie, Moyes and the Coyotes to force a sale and relocation of the hockey team based upon the claimed powers in Section 363 (f)(4) of the Code; i.e., those efforts and related motions are denied with prejudice," Baum wrote.
Balsillie said he would not appeal the ruling.
However, he left the door open for the NHL to take another crack at ownership by amending its bid.
"In hockey parlance, the court is passing the puck to the NHL, who can decide to take another shot at the sale net or it can pass off the puck," he wrote.
Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement that "we are pleased that the Bankruptcy Court has confirmed the League's right to select its owners and the location of its franchises. We are reviewing the opinion and considering how we can best address the court's concerns regarding our offer to purchase the Coyotes. It remains our goal to secure the long-term stability of the Coyotes in Glendale."
FOR THE COMPLETE TEXT OF JUDGE BAUM'S DECISION, CLICK HERE.