Sunday Sports Review

Happy holiday Sunday folks. Lots of banter our there today. I am heading out for the day, so here are the blurbs from the stories you may want to catch up on later. All the usual suspects are here. Not too many surprises. I ask you this question: For months the Bettman administration told us there was nothing wrong in Phoenix. The Bettman administration was lying. How do they expect to be the least bit credible in the future. I think Damien is on to something. However, I don’t know how anyone listens to one word coming out of the commissioners mouth without laughing. Mccown is wrong, Bettman isn’t The Count, he is Pinocchio. I think Phoenix is the perfect market for the Bettman administration.


Sunday Sports Review:

“The question isn’t whether Brian Burke would accept the $25.5M over six years remaining on Ryan Malone’s contract in order to move up to grab John Taveras in the Entry Draft — of course he would, just as would any team with deep pockets — but it’s whether the NHL would allow Tampa Bay to move down five slots in the draft in order to shed payroll.”

“The greatest danger for Gary Bettman may not lie in losing to Jim Balsillie in bankruptcy court. It may lie in winning. If Bettman is able to successfully block Balsillie’s attempt to move the Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton, you see, he’ll be stuck with Phoenix. He, and the league, will be marrying the Arizona money pit for at least another decade. He won’t just be able to turn around and relocate the Coyotes to Las Vegas or Kansas City two or three years down the line because he would then be revealed to be all that Balsillie has accused him of being, namely a spiteful executive stubbornly dedicated to blocking another NHL team in Canada and running interference for the Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment at all costs rather than acting in the best interests of the game.”

“Well, given the nasty falling out between Moyes and the NHL, there might be a few in Phoenix wondering why anyone would want to do business with Bettman. Specifically, as Moyes alleges in his latest filings to the Arizona bankruptcy court, the NHL’s claim that it took control of the Coyotes last November after advancing $6 million (U.S.) in shared league revenues was “concocted in a transparent attempt to avoid legitimate bankruptcy filings.” “Moyes accuses the Bettman administration of “deception” and “misleading acts,” while the former chief executive officer of the Coyotes, Jeff Shumway, said in a sworn declaration the NHL “did not run, manage, operate, control or direct” the Coyotes from 2006 to the day he departed the organization in January, 2009. Shumway backs up his contentions with emails and correspondence between the Coyotes and NHL headquarters, all of which leaves the NHL with some explaining to do. For months it said publicly it hadn’t taken control of the Coyotes, and only asserted it had after the team was plunged into bankruptcy. This, of course, is what Tuesday’s hearing in Phoenix will be largely about – namely whether the NHL or Moyes controlled the team at the time bankruptcy was filed and Balsillie was revealed to be the “stalking horse” bidder for the team.”

“NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told officials with the Phoenix Coyotes in early April that the NHL would consider moving the team to Winnipeg but not Hamilton, court filings show. Earl Scudder, a lawyer who works with Coyotes majority owner Jerry Moyes, said in an affidavit filed last night that he told Bettman on April 3 that there was interest “by a purchaser from Canada that wanted to move the team to Southern Ontario.” Bettman replied that the league would not approve relocating the Coyotes to Hamilton because Copps Coliseum was over 30 years old, according to the affidavit. However, he added that “if the team did return to Canada, it would be to Winnipeg,” Scudder alleged. Bettman added that a new team in Southern Ontario would have to be an expansion club, the filing alleged.

“Scudder said Bettman “attempted to direct me not to negotiate with anyone regarding the relocation of the franchise” because that was a matter for the league as a whole to consider. And, Bettman said he wanted the Coyotes to remain in Phoenix because of the arena lease the club had with the city. Nonetheless, Scudder said he continued negotiating with the buyer, now identified as Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie, because he had made the best offer. Scudder’s allegations refute the NHL’s position that it was unaware of Balsillie’s offer until after Moyes put the team into Chapter 11 protection on May 5 and announced the proposed sale to Balsillie. The league has argued it knew nothing about that agreement and that it was pursuing a deal to keep the club in Phoenix with Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls. Details of that offer have not been made public.

“Here in the centre of the hockey universe, where we get our playoffs from elsewhere, you had to listen to Buffalo radio to find Game 7 of the Pittsburgh-Washington series. No Toronto station picked it up … On NHL radio, Red Wings star Henrik Zetterburg was asked from Anaheim if he was watching the other playoff series on television: His answer: No, because his hotel didn’t have Versus”

“Their 15 minutes are up: The kid umpires in the fancy seats behind home plate at the Rogers Centre. And please, can someone tell the old woman behind home plate to smile, just once in a while.”

Larry Brooks is here
Diamen Cox is here
Globe and Mail is here
Steve Simmons here

About the Author