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Entries with the tag: jim balsillie
BlackBerry billionaire Jim Balsillie will not be appealing a ruling by a U.S. bankruptcy court judge that rejected both his and the NHL’s bids for the beleaguered Phoenix Coyotes.
The ruling effectively ended Balsillie’s long legal battle to relocate the team to Hamilton.
“From the beginning, my attempt to relocate the Coyotes to Hamilton has been about Canadian hockey fans and Canadian hockey. It was a chance to realize a dream,” Balsillie said in a statement. “I believe I got that chance. I respect the court’s decision, and I will not be putting forward an appeal.”
The ruling was clearly a victory for the NHL, even if it didn’t win outright.
from Kelly McParland of Full Comment at the National Post,
Balsillie’s strategy is transparent. He intends to make an offer so enticing that only a true dufus could refuse it. Clearly this is another example of Balsillie’s lack of integrity and unsuitability as an owner of the NHL, which prefers crooks, charlatans and windbags, who have limited understanding of the game and can thus be counted on to treat Bettman like he knows what he’s doing.
from Camwest Newservice/National Post,
Jim Balsillie is sweetening the pot in his bid to buy the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes.
On Monday, lawyers for the co-CEO of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion filed a revised purchase agreement with the bankruptcy court in which he has made an offer to buy the city of Glendale out of the Jobing.com Arena lease for a minimum of US$40-million.
from the CP via TSN,
Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie has submitted an amended proposed agreement to buy the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes for US$212.5 million and immediately move them to Hamilton, with or without the NHL’s consent.
The document filed Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court says Balsillie can walk away from the deal if the contentious issues in the complex case have not been resolved in his favour by Sept. 14. That’s four days after the scheduled auction of the team and one day before the Coyotes are to play their first pre-season game.
from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,
There was a time when discreet, private assassination was the preferred method of blackballing a sports rival such as Balsillie, the Research In Motion billionaire. But the subtler arts have given way to a more public process of story leaks, open letters and good-old intemperate media availabilities with reporters.
When NHL commissioner Gary Bettman declared that a queue-jumping Balsillie was not grovelling, er, dignified enough to own an NHL franchise (losing scads of money in Nashville or Phoenix being more dignified than making piles of dough in Hamilton), the battle for hockey hearts and minds went directly to the media and the blogosphere.
more plus other hockey notes including some XM Home Ice changes…
from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,
Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie devised a “self-serving scheme” to put the Coyotes into bankruptcy in order to force it to be relocated, according to documents filed by the NHL into bankruptcy court yesterday.
Further, according to the NHL’s document, Balsillie “co-opted” Phoenix owner Jerry Moyes into his plan “with an offer of cash, which Mr. Moyes was only too eager to take.”
The NHL made its claim in a document filed to support its contention that Bill Daly, the league’s deputy commissioner, should manage the business affairs of the Coyotes, rather than Moyes, and a bankruptcy trustee should replace Moyes at the team’s helm.
from Michael Traikos of the National Post,
According to the National Hockey League, “there is no truth to the suggestion” that the Toronto Maple Leafs are blocking another team from moving into southern Ontario.
PSE Sports & Entertainment, the company Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie formed to pursue ownership of the Phoenix Coyotes, filed a document into bankruptcy court on Wednesday accusing the Leafs of exercising their territorial veto to prevent Balsillie of purchasing the Coyotes and then moving them to Hamilton….
“At no time has the Toronto franchise or any representative of the Toronto franchise voiced an opinion at a Board of Governors Meeting even remotely consistent with the allegation that is being made,” NHL deputy commissioner Billy Daly wrote in an e-mail to the National Post Thursday.
“In other words, its a total fabrication, that has no basis in fact or in law.”
from the CP via TSN,
Jim Balsillie wants the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to allow him to probe the rationale behind the NHL owners’ overwhelming rejection of him as a potential owner of the Phoenix Coyotes.
The Canadian billionaire, in a court filing on Monday, also contends that Judge Redfield T. Baum has the authority under bankruptcy law to award the bid to Balsillie despite the actions by NHL owners.
from Bob McCown at Fadoo.ca,
Almost by definition, lawyers are optimists. Even in the darkest hour, they must continue to believe they will win; that the case they have presented is worthy of victory.
It comes as no surprise that Richard Rodier is confident when the dust finally settles in the Phoenix Coyotes’ bankruptcy proceeding, his client, Jim Balsillie will prevail.
You see, Rodier isn’t just an attorney in this matter. He is, in fact, the architect of Balsillie’s desire to own an NHL franchise in Southern Ontario.
Some years ago, he convinced the RIM boss that the National Hockey League would encounter big problems if forced to defend itself in anti trust proceedings. Rodier told Balsillie that if they were able to get their hands on a team, any team, that the League would ultimately not be able to prevent them from moving it.
from Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail,
As much fun as it is watching Gary Bettman squirm - comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable, you understand - I’m getting the impression it’s almost time Jim Balsillie gets new legal advice or, at least, a new hobby.
After NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly sent the Hamilton Spectator an e-mail message saying: “This is all about Jim. At some point Jim has to look in the mirror and start taking responsibility for his actions. Hamilton is a great hockey town with passionate hockey fans. But it may be time for the city to come to the realization that it married the wrong spouse.”
Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger told the paper he would have some advice for the Blackberry Baron. “One is not going to be successful if you continue down the same path that has not succeeded in the past,” Eisenberger said.
a bit more...
from CBC Sports,
The NHL’s rejection of Jim Balsillie’s application to purchase the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes is the latest attempt by the league to prevent another team in Canada, the Canadian billionaire’s spokesman, Bill Walker, told CBC’s Newsworld….
“I think that hockey fans can judge what this is really about in terms of the NHL trying to block Canadians from having a seventh professional hockey team in Canada,” Walker said.
from Bruce Arthur of the National Post,
...sources familiar with the meeting told the Post’s Theresa Tedesco that it was a remarkably contentious affair, with governors taking turns lambasting Balsillie for his failings, real or imagined.
Sources told Tedesco that during the 90-minute meeting, deputy commissioner Bill Daly peppered Balsillie with questions about his withdrawal from buying the Pittsburgh Penguins for US$185-million in 2006.
Former Nashville owner Craig Leipold, now the owner of the Minnesota Wild, accused Balsillie, who offered US$238-million for the Predators in 2007, of using the team’s trademark without permission, and of destabilizing the already-fragile hockey market in Nashville by selling season tickets in Hamilton….
Sources also told Tedesco that George Gillett, the outgoing owner of the Montreal Canadiens, hammered Balsillie for telling a French-language newspaper in November of last year that the Canadiens were for sale, claiming that Balsillie’s comments destabilized the franchise and directly contributed to Montreal’s failure in the playoffs.
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
The value of a franchise in Hamilton is important because it would form the basis of how much Balsillie would have to pay – on top of his $212.5 million (all figures U.S.) offer for the team – in indemnity and relocation fees to the league and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The NHL letter to Balsillie’s company outlines 23 specific pieces of information the league says it needs before it can approve Balsillie as an owner including “all data, information and/or sources used in calculating the estimated value of an NHL expansion fee ($225 million – $265 million).”
The NHL has never put a price tag on an expansion fee for Hamilton.
Balsillie’s legal team indicates he’s a bit more than halfway to providing the information.
from Paul Waldie of the Globe and Mail,
The National Hockey League says it will have a firm local offer for the Phoenix Coyotes by the end of this week.
“The NHL remains confident that a local bidder will put in a firm bid on or bevfore the June 26th deadline set forth in its proposed bid proceedures,” the league said in a fillng in an Arizona bankruptcy court today.
The league also disclosed that it expects to have a decision on Jim Balsillie’s bid to buy the club and move it to Hamilton by the end of July….
The league said its board of governors plans to interview Balsillie soon about his bid to relocate the club. The board is expected to question him about his two previous attempts to buy and move clubs, the filing noted.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Today is Make it Seven Day in Hamilton. Yesterday, was send a letter to Gary Bettman Day. We’re not certain, at this time, what tomorrow may bring.
We do know this much: Every day seems to be Annoy the National Hockey League Day for Jim Balsillie.
It’s as if he can’t help himself. The harder he pushes, the farther away the NHL gets from him, and by extension, from southern Ontario.
He may not know this because he may not know the NHL people all that well: But I can tell you with almost certainty that they hate him. More and more with each passing day, they hate his publicity stunts. They hate his overt public relations campaigns. They hate the way he disregards whatever may be going on around the NHL—like last night’s award show, for example—and continues in his bull-in-a-china-shop kind of way, blinded by everything but his own ego, hell-bent to bring a seventh NHL team to Hamilton.
When all of this first came out, Balsillie wants to buy the Yotes, I was leaning towards saying, ok, fine with me, but all the marketing spins he has come out with has completely turned me off. Not sure what he is trying to do, but it sure isn’t working for me.
from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,
There’s balls and then there’s balls.
Chutzpa versus cojones.
Exhibit A: Jim Balsillie; Exhibit B: Nicklas Lidstrom.
Both have taken it in the groin – one off the ice, from the courts; the other on the ice, from a hockey stick. You are invited to take the measure of each man.
We’ll start with the player, Detroit’s inestimable captain, a ferocious warrior who, despite gallant effort, was unable to capture a second straight Stanley Cup triumph for the Motor City.
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
It’s all in the numbers. The Phoenix Coyotes aren’t moving to Hamilton. Jim Balsillie’s campaign to have the Coyotes relocated to Canada is toast. His Make it Seven campaign now can be called Keep it Six.
So what else did you expect, even though Balsillie’s spokesman suggested “we’re still here” in reply to the ruling on Monday by U.S. Bankruptcy Court chief judge Redfield T. Baum?
“We look forward to hearing from the NHL soon on its view of our relocation application and an appropriate relocation fee, so as to allow the court to determine if that fee is reasonable,” the Balsillie spokesman added. “We still think there is enough time for the NHL to approve Mr. Balsillie’s application and move the team to Hamilton by September. Mr. Balsillie is willing to participate in mediation if the NHL is also willing to do so.”
Hmph! What part of the NHL’s reaction to the bomb Judge Baum tossed doesn’t he understand?
from the CP via TSN,
Jim Balsillie’s attempt to bring the Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton has been rejected by an Arizona bankruptcy judge.
Redfield T. Baum’s much anticipated ruling came down Monday night, nearly a week after a dramatic hearing in his Phoenix court.
In the 21-page document he said the court didn’t believe there was enough time to resolve all the various issues before the sale of the insolvent team to Balsillie for US$212.5 million that was due to close June 29.
That nullifies the proposed June 22 auction for the team and other related deadlines.
NEW YORK (June 15, 2009)—National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly tonight released the following statement regarding the ruling by the United States Bankruptcy Court pertaining to the Phoenix Coyotes:
“We’re pleased the Court recognized the validity of League rules and our ability to apply them in a reasonable fashion. We will turn our attention now toward helping to facilitate an orderly sales process that will produce a local buyer who is committed to making the Coyotes’ franchise viable and successful in the Phoenix/Glendale area. We are confident that we will be able to find such a buyer for the Coyotes and that the claims of legitimate creditors will be addressed.”
Toronto, May 29, 2009 – Plans to transform Hamilton’s Copps Coliseum into a spectacular home arena for a new Southern Ontario NHL franchise were unveiled today by Jim Balsillie.
With a focus on fan-friendly cutting edge designs, the new Copps Coliseum would feature a soaring atrium-style entrance lobby, a range of luxury boxes, new lounges and restaurants, food and bar amenities throughout and capacity for more than 18,000 spectators. The design also fully addresses requirements the NHL has previously communicated for Copps Coliseum.
continued with more computer designed pictures…
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Jim Balsillie says he will withdraw his bid for the Phoenix Coyotes if a sale cannot be completed by the end of June.
In a document filed on Tuesday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Thomas Salerno, a lawyer for Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes, said Balsillie notified the Coyotes that he made this ultimatum because he “nor any other known entity will fund another year of significant losses.”
from Malcolm Kelly of CBC Sports,
Gary: Hello? This is Gary Bettman, commissioner of the National Hockey League, and the man unequivocally in charge.
Jim: Hello, Gary. It’s Jim Balsillie.
Gary: Hello, Mr. Bal-Silly. How are you today?
Jim: Fine, Gary, but it’s Ball-silee, the accent is on the first syllable.
Gary: Oh, Balls-illy. Well, that makes some sense, doesn’t it? Don’t you think so, Bill?
Bill: Yes, sir!
Jim: Bill Daly’s on the line?
Gary: Oh, yes. Bill’s my right-hand man. Wherever I go, Bill goes too. Am I right Bill?
from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,
However the Phoenix Coyotes’ bankruptcy proceedings go this week, the public scrap has become a zero-sum game for the two sides.
The release of private documents has embarrassed NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, lifting the cloak of secrecy he and the league use to keep faltering franchises in line. The guerrilla attempt by Jim Balsillie to buy and relocate the Coyotes’ franchise to Southern Ontario has distanced him from even his most sympathetic supporters within the league.
But with no ceasefire in sight, the sides keep firing away. The release last Sunday of unprecedented Labatt Brewing Co. Ltd. commercials supporting Balsillie’s makeitseven.ca website has ratcheted up pressure on the league, portraying it as anti-Canadian and self-serving.
from Record News Services,
Last night, Balsillie’s latest filings in response to some strong words earlier in the week from the NHL appeared to include that kind of logical, meet-you-halfway solution. In his court documents, Balsillie offered to keep the Coyotes in Arizona for one more season if the league will let him buy the team for $212.5 million (U.S.).
Not so fast.
Balsillie’s offer was made on condition the relocation of the team gets approved and that the NHL would pick up all the losses, which may have amounted to $45 million this season.
Well, the NHL’s never going to accept that. The other 29 teams would never countenance such a deal. And Balsillie knows it.
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
“I’ve spent well over five years on this and more millions than anyone will know,” said Balsillie, who spent an hour Thursday with writers and editors of the Toronto Star and Hamilton Spectator. “It started out as fun, but segued right into who I really am.”
Balsillie made no apologies for trying to purchase the Coyotes and move them to Hamilton through bankruptcy proceedings, after being rebuffed twice in his efforts to buy other teams.
“There was no front door to get this team here. I looked. I checked every which way. I’m so inside in every which way. I know a lot of these owners,” said Balsillie.
“Mr. Balsillie is acting, again, in total disregard of any rules, or any structure. . . . I would be very surprised if the board would look favourably on the way that Mr. Balsillie has conducted himself in this instance.”
“He makes his own decisions and he’s making a decision that this is the way he wants to get into the National Hockey League. We don’t usually like to pick fights, but we end them.”
-NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly on Jim Balsillie. More from the CP via TSN.
added 11:129pm, from Paul Waldie and David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The group backing Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie’s bid for the Phoenix Coyotes unleashed its sharpest attack yet on the National Hockey League, alleging in a lawsuit that the league is operating like an “illegal cartel” by blocking Mr. Balsillie’s effort to move the Coyotes to Hamilton.
“The NHL is excluding competition and restraining trade in [the United States and Canada] through the application of unreasonable restrictions in its constitution and bylaws, which are preventing the relocation of the Coyotes from Phoenix, Ariz., to Hamilton, Ont.,” said the lawsuit filed Thursday in Phoenix.
“I think anytime you have someone who is a passionate hockey guy who loves the sport and plays the sport, who is a true fan of the sport, as an owner, is a great thing. If it happens that that person has deep pockets, that would be a better thing. Jim obviously has all of those attributes.
“I sensed his passion for the game [in conversations with Balsillie] and I do think it would be somebody worth considering. But there is a lot of politics and history here [between Balsillie and the NHL] that I am not in a position to comment on.”
-Paul Kelly, Director of the NHLPA on Jim Balsillie. More from Kelly from Alam Adams of CBC.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Jim Balsillie is well on his way to becoming the dumbest, most stubborn, successful entrepreneur around.
How else to explain his latest hockey outburst—his clumsy, all-too-public attempt to bully the National Hockey League into allowing him to purchase the now-bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes franchise and move it to southern Ontario.
If all he is attempting here is to find his name in the headlines, he is certainly accomplishing that.
But if he honestly believes he can pull an end-run on commissioner Gary Bettman, secure an NHL franchise, move it, and use a public website to drum up support for a seventh Canadian franchise, then he is either getting terrible advice or he is simply fond of banging his head against the wall. Because that’s all he can accomplish here. This is a war he may not be able to win.
from Cassie Campbell of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
So, the big question: could Balsillie be the new owner of the Phoenix Coyotes?
He has the money and he definitely has the passion for the game of hockey. With that combination shouldn’t the NHL want him on board? I believe so.
It all will depend on the NHL’s flexibility to allow a new owner to help the franchise as it is in Phoenix, BUT if the team continues to struggle financially, there should be a clause in the contract that after a certain number of years, the team can move to a more suitable market.
I completely understand why the NHL doesn’t want to give up on a franchise in Phoenix - they don’t want to disappoint fans or make it seem that when a franchise struggles the quick solution is movement. But when all is said and done, and the city of Glendale continues to be unable to support a hockey franchise, new options are inevitable.
NHLPA boss, Paul Kelly, supports moving a franchise from a struggling U.S. market back to Canada, which therefore means the players do, too.
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail, T
he next step in the journey for Balsillie, who makes little secret of his ambition to own an NHL franchise, ideally in Southern Ontario, may hinge on a coming legal argument in a California bankruptcy court.
As the complex proceedings involving disgraced banker and deal maker William (Boots) Del Biaggio III grind inexorably onward, the already fierce legal fight over his 27-per-cent ownership share in the Predators will only get more heated.
According to lawyers involved in the case, Balsillie’s prospects hinge on a crucial ruling likely to be made by Judge Thomas E. Carlson before spring.
The issue: transferability of the contractual rights associated with Del Biaggio’s shares.
from David Shoalts and Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
One source said the bid for the 27-per-cent stake is for $20-million. In Del Biaggio’s bankruptcy filing, the share is said to be worth $23.5-million, and is his biggest single asset. Fritch declined to say how much the partners bid, but admitted it was at a discount to the stated value.
There is ample evidence, however, that Balsillie would not be afraid to make a much higher bid.
Before he was rejected as a potential owner by the NHL because he made no secret about his plans to move the Predators to Hamilton, Balsillie had agreed to pay Leipold $238-million for the team.
Fritch said the bankruptcy trustee may not be able to simply sell to the highest bidder. He said there are two complications: Balsillie’s bid would have to be approved first by the rest of the Predators’ owners, and then by the NHL’s board of governors.
added 6:33am, from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,
Could the league governors still reject Balsillie as an owner?
Well they could try, but presuming he meets their own rather loose standards (remember, the NHL leads all professional sports in the number of owners that have left in handcuffs), they would do so at the risk of legal action.
If Balsillie got his team, could they try to block him from moving it?
Well, again, they could try,...
“I think all your viewers know that hockey is the greatest game in the whole wide world. It’s actually not a game. It’s a religion. So I think you can understand it’s a religious obligation to be involved in the game. It’s fun, it’s a passion. I play it regularly. I played it Friday night, and I’ll play a couple of times this week. It’s passion.”
—Jim Balsillie speaking to Tech Check at CNBC this week, when asked about his continuing aspirations to own a NHL team
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
So with the U.S. economy swooning and a number of NHL team owners facing uncertain and potentially tumultuous futures – some investment bankers say they figure at least a dozen NHL franchises are on the market, either officially or otherwise – what are the chances BlackBerry co-creator Jim Balsillie might land a franchise in the near future?
Not good, current owners say.
While Balsillie’s battle is sometimes viewed as a one-on-one against NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, the reality, according to at least four NHL owners interviewed, is that Balsillie has annoyed many of the 30 team owners and probably wouldn’t be approved as an owner even if he was willing to overpay for a team.
From Rick Westhead at the Toronto Star,
Toronto lawyer Richard Rodier is part paranoid, part Canadian patriot. Both personality traits surface when he discusses his partnership with Jim Balsillie and their efforts to bring a NHL team to Hamilton.
His past clients?
“I can’t tell you. Solicitor-client privilege.”
His relationship with Balsillie?
“I don’t know. We work together.”
However, suggest that he and Balsillie would both be a lot closer to getting an NHL team if they were more diplomatic with the league, and Rodier warms considerably.
“The commissioner made it very clear he does not want Jim in the league under any circumstances..period,” Balsillie’s advisor Richard Rodier told TSN on Wednesday.
more from the TSN staff…
Note: For the original report and the NHL’s reponse, go here.
from Theresa Tedesco of the National Post,
As many as eight National Hockey League teams have been in discussions or made overtures to Jim Balsillie in recent months about a possible sale or minority partnership with the Canadian billionaire, sources say.
A struggling U.S. economy, strong Canadian dollar and weak hockey markets south of the border have combined to make the deep pockets of the 47-year-old co-founder of the BlackBerry device too irresistible to some NHL owners, despite Mr. Balsillie’s tempestuous relations with the league’s head office in New York.
Update 1:26pm ET: (alanah) The ‘war of words’ continues via TSN,
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly was quick to address the quote from Balsillie’s camp, maintaining that the league’s decisions on the matter are based from what the owners want.
“That certainly is inconsistent with anything I have ever heard the commissioner say,” Daly told TSN on Wednesday. “Ultimately, Mr. Balsillie’s ability to be an owner in the NHL will depend on his ability to find an existing owner who wants to sell him a team, and his ability to persuade the 29 other team owners - his prospective partners - that he would be a good owner and good partner in the league venture. That’s not something the Commissioner decides. Maybe Mr. Rodier would be better off confining his comments to subject matters as to which he might have some small level of knowledge; this subject isn’t one of them.”
There is no doubt about it, though: Balsillie wants to own an NHL team.
“I enjoy the pursuit. I do not get frustrated or discouraged. It would be a great thing to do and it may or may not happen. I think the most important thing is that Canada gets another pro hockey team, with or without me. I think the most important thing is to have one or two new markets in Canada.
“There are people who believe I am right and people who believe I am wrong. I have no doubt that Quebec could support a team and I have no doubt that Winnipeg could support a team.”
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Jim Balsillie is back in the running to buy the Nashville Predators.
The Research In Motion co-CEO is the owner of a group that has approached the NHL team with an offer to buy it if the deal with the current bidders fails.
According to a letter sent to Nashville’s Metro Sports Authority, Balsillie is now committed to keeping the team in Nashville and winning a Stanley Cup there.
a little more...