Tuesday, June 09, 2009

To the courtroom of Judge Redfield T. Baum

It's nearly High Noon in the Arizona desert, and as our would be gunslingers get set to take their places, the firestorm of papers may finally come to an end.

Judge Redfield T. Baum will bang a gavel sometime on Tuesday and with that the latest chapter in the old west (and east, south and north) tale of Bettman and Balsillie will be written.

It's decision day in Glendale, as the Judge will apparently (we hope, we hope, we hope) render a verdict as to whether Mr. Moyes (the current owner, depending on who you chat with) of the Coyotes has the right to sell off his failing business to a savvy and rich billionaire from Ontario.

If not, then Commissioner Gary Bettman has won the latest battle of Wounded Flee and once again will have wrested a franchise from the tentative grip of Billionaire Jim and his blackberry fortune.

The last few weeks of discovery have provided for much in the way of entertainment, information and obfuscation all at the same time. From the circling of the wagons of the big sports commissioners to lend a gun to Bettman, to the rather fantasy like offerings of yet another would be Toronto hockey team owner, who offered up an alternative option to the Ballsillie plan, offering to be the "little brother" to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

We've heard the Commissioner suggest that the billionaires bid is mere chicken feed compared to some real money men (never actually identified) who may just want that Phoenix team and keep it there, we've heard the current owner Mr. Moyes offer up his suggestion that hockey isn't worth a warm bucket of ice in the desert, destined to never turn a dime, never be a success.

The City of Glendale more than a little worried that they are going to be stuck with the whitest of elephants, provided the helpful management advice that maybe head coach Wayne Gretzky should take a five or six million dollar haircut to help out the Desert Dogs.

All in all, quite fascinating drama, all of it eclipsing what is supposed to be the showcase offering of the NHL that Stanley Cup playoff championship.

And once again the timing of today's events is spectacular, Judge Baum will provide his thoughts on the matter mere hours before the Penguins and Red Wings take to the ice for what may be the final game of the season.

One wonders what we'll all be talking about, whether its the developments after the gavel drops or the results of the game following the puck drop!

June 9-- Balsillie says Leafs are bad boys and business bullies
June 9-- So much going on, Bettman might need a double
June 9-- Fight over Coyotes heats up
June 8-- Money for Nothing
June 8-- Balsillie v. Bettman is always personal
June 8-- Glendale, Moyes spar over Coyotes’ viability
June 8-- NHL, Balsillie drop gloves in final statements before relocation ruling
June 8-- Bettman claims Argo owners expressed interest in Coyotes
June 8-- Judge stuck between a rock, hard place
June 8-- Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes bares his soul on Phoenix TV (sort of)
June 8-- Phoenix Coyotes' mess heads to court
June 8-- Coyotes' litigants may be asked to sort things out themselves
June 8-- Balsillie's lawyers put attention on Leafs
June 7-- NHL spills its secrets in court
June 6-- Maple Leafs thrust onto stage in NHL v. Balsillie
June 5-- Balsillie's bid a threat to six
June 5-- Letting Coyotes sale proceed in best interest of creditors: Moyes
June 5-- NHL Dreams
June 4-- Union boss: 'Pull the plug' on Coyotes

This post first appeared on my HockeyNation blog..

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