Friday, August 07, 2009

Balsillie Back in Coyote Hunt

Research in Motion owner Jim Balsillie appears to be very much back in the game after a ruling Wednesday by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Redfield T. Baum.

Judge Baum held that all bids to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes will be considered in a September 10th auction of the team, including bids by prospective owners who intend to move the team outside the Phoenix market.

If successful, Mr. Balsillie seeks to relocate the hockey club to Hamilton, Ontario.

Hockey Buzz' writer Steven Hindle argues Jim Balsillie Will Outbid Everybody For the Phoenix Coyotes:
Balsillie really will do everything and anything he can to make sure no one else gets the Coyotes. Now that he is legally allowed to bid, what is going to stop him?

He is by far the most hungry of all potential owners and he will have no problem increasing the amount he is already willing to pay, if he must.

The Board of Governors have sent Balsillie their seal of disapproval many times, yet this time around, Judge Baum has truly given Balsillie's 'Make it Seven' campaign some serious life.

The Globe and Mail's take - Smart lawyer is Balsillie’s ace in the hole:

It isn’t tough to find someone to malign Richard Rodier, chief counsel to Jim Balsillie in his quest to secure an NHL franchise for Hamilton.

He has been described as a “rogue” lawyer, has been blamed in some circles for Balsillie’s failure to make friends among the NHL’s governors, has rubbed people the wrong way, has been accused of leading the billionaire down a quixotic path that can’t possibly end in success.
Bankruptcy law is Rodier’s world. When it became clear that there was no direct route to NHL ownership for Balsillie – or at least NHL ownership in Hamilton – the entire strategy shifted to finding a club teetering on the brink, to find an owner who had lost faith, who needed to get out and get out fast.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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