Saturday, December 12, 2009

NHL intends to sell Coyotes to Ice Edge Holdings


The National Hockey League announced Friday that they intend to finalize a deal that would sell the Phoenix Coyotes to Toronto-based Ice Edge Holdings.
"The NHL and Ice Edge Holdings announced (Friday) that they have entered into a Letter of Intent to proceed in attempting to document and close a proposed transaction pursuant to which Ice Edge would purchase the Phoenix Coyotes' franchise," the league said in a statement. "While much remains to be done, the NHL looks forward to working closely with Ice Age to bring the sale to conclusion as expeditiously as possible. Ice Edge has committed to keep the Coyotes in Glendale, Arizona."
The Coyotes are currently bankrupt and owned by the league. While trying to figure out a buyer for the club in bankruptcy court, the most lucrative offer came from Jim Balsillie, but his bid was rejected due to his intent to move the team to Hamilton, Ontario.
To compete with Balsillie's offer, the NHL stepped in with a competing bid after Chicago sports mogul Jerry Reinsdorf pulled out of an attempt to buy the franchise. The league's board of governors had already overwhelmingly rejected Balsillie's application for ownership, but Judge Redfield T. Baum could have overturned the NHL's decision due to bankruptcy laws.
Baum eventually ruled that the league has a right to choose its owners and locations of its franchises.
Ice Edge had put in a bid -- much lower than Balsillie's -- for the team in bankruptcy court but withdrew its offer. The league eventually purchased the team with the intent of finding a buyer that would keep it in Phoenix.
According to a report in the Phoenix Business Journal, Ice Edge would keep the team in Phoenix but play some home games in Canadian cities without an NHL team.
It was previously learned on September 23 that the Coyotes would play this season's schedule in Glendale amid all the turmoil created when previous owner Jerry Moyes filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May.
Since moving to the desert in 1996 from Winnipeg, the team has consistently lost money and has had trouble drawing a fan base. The Coyotes have only made the playoffs five times since going to the desert and have never made it past the first round. Also, the team has had just one winning season since last making the playoffs in the 2002-03 season.
The Coyotes have played surprisingly well this season with a record of 18-11-2, which is good enough for a sixth-place tie in the Western Conference.


Post a Comment