Once again there will be no quick decision as to whether Canadian billionaire
This leads to a very reasonable question: what are the Coyotes worth? My estimate, conservatively: a negative $45 million. That's right -- $45 million red ink-stained dollars, and likely a good deal more.
"Jim, have you taken leave of your dollars and senses?" you may ask.
But consider: Balsillie's bid ($212.5 million with perhaps an additional $50 million for Glendale, Ariz.) may be ridiculously high, but it comes with the team moving to a place the NHL doesn't want it to go with an owner it does not want in its ranks. In reality, Balsillie is bidding not just for the Coyotes, but for territorial rights in what may be the world's most lucrative hockey market.
The NHL's $140 million is well off the $200 million-plus it's been citing as pretty much the bare minimum for any franchise -- without an arena lease or roster -- since the 2004 lockout. It also comes with the substantial caveat that should it gain control, the NHL will decide what creditors get paid and sell the franchise to a buyer who may leave Glendale with an empty white elephant that taxpayers funded to the tune of $180 million based in part on assurances that the city would be protected by a lease binding the team to the arena for 30 years. Said lease was thought to be ironclad in part because, well, because the Commissioner himself told the developers and city fathers that the NHL "does not run out on its partners."
Consider also that proposed bidder
If you value this franchise according to what it is -- a losing hockey team in a market that shows little interest, especially in going to an arena outside the city of Phoenix and it's most prosperous suburb, Scottsdale -- the Coyotes would appear to be, in the words of former Arizona Cardinals head coach
"But wait," as the late Billy Mays used to say, "there's more." According to owner
So, conservatively estimating by half, the Coyotes have likely bled at least $45 million over the last three years. That's our minus value, and we haven't even begun to figure in the value (or lack of same) of
At those kinds of numbers, one is tempted to suggest that
While bilking investors out of $20 million to buy part ownership in the Nashville Predators, William "Boots" DelBiaggio was vetted and approved by the same Board of Governors that found Balsillie lacking in "character and integrity." Del Biaggio also scammed another $90 million and has been ordered to pay back some $67.5 million as part of his sentence. That prompted us to do a little scorecard regarding the merits of the approved DelBiaggio and the disapproved Balsillie.
Hmmn, as undesirable actions that show an appalling lack of character and integrity go, this is a choice between a guy vetted by the NHL's due diligence investigation who is now going to federal prison on a fraud rap and a fellow who merely angered the NHL by taking ticket requests for a team he didn't yet own.
You be the judge.
While we're on the subject of ownership issues, it appears the much-hyped sale of the Florida Panthers is in trouble. The NHL doesn't like current owner
Given the situation in nearby Tampa Bay, it's a fairly reasonable concern, but it does beg the question of exactly what do you own when you buy an NHL franchise even if you're approved as an owner?
The NHL has argued in court that Moyes had no right to put his beleaguered Coyotes into bankruptcy, and it should be noted that the NHL acted very quickly to remove the Rigas family as owners of the Buffalo Sabres once they fell into the sights of federal prosecutors who, much later, convicted them of fraud and security funding issues.
But who really owns an NHL franchise: the owner of record responsible for all expenses and the majority of risk, or the league?
The NHL seems to be arguing that a franchise comes from the league itself and therefore it has sway over who can be a partner and can pull a franchise from an owner under certain circumstances. The NHL certainly seems to be making headway in that regard as it has all but disowned Lightning co-owner
Neither Koules nor Barrie appear to have the resources to buy out the other, let alone pay back the money owed to the estate of the late
There's a buzz in hockey circles that the NHLPA is thinking about trying to hire outgoing Major League Baseball Players Association boss
From here, it looks more like a smokescreen designed to take pressure off the PA, which has come under fire from a variety of directions, including
It's hard to imagine Fehr as a candidate when the PA's interim boss,
Fair point, especially if you're looking to replace Kelly with one of the instigators of the coup, but one could also argue that the new way of firing the union head might not be right either. This was done by a vote from a very small slice of the rank and file: one rep from each of the 30 teams.
I've worked union and non-union jobs and while I can't speak for every union, the ones I've been associated with have always allowed for the members to vote on their leadership, pro or con. In dismissing Kelly without giving a voice to players like superstars
Worse, the PA provides no voice for retired players like Lindsay, Orr, Gretzky and
To exclude so many isn't just wrong, it's shameful. Almost as shameful as firing the man who found justice for the many retired players who were victims of Eagleson's shameless conduct.