This afternoon the NHL Board of Governors unanimously approved the application to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes by Jerry Reinsdorf, while unanimously rejecting the application by Jim Balsillie. TSN has all the details, and Howard Bloom (@SportsBizNews) got word out right away via Twitter. A 3rd application by Anthony LeBlanc's Ice Edge Holdings was deemed incomplete at this time, and could not be acted upon, with this interesting note from the league:
"However, the executive committee reported favourably on the LeBlanc group's interview and endorsed the group's continued efforts to complete a bid to purchase the franchise."
After the jump, Balsillie's team responds with a public statement regarding the NHL's decision...This just came into my inbox from the Make It Seven campaign:
TORONTO (July 29, 2009) - PSE Sports and Entertainment, the company which represents Jim Balsillie's $212.5 million bid to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes and relocate the team to Hamilton, Ontario, issued a statement today regarding the NHL's position on Mr. Balsillie's ownership application.
"We do not think that Jim Balsillie's qualification to be an NHL owner is an issue in this case given his 2006 approval as an NHL owner," said PSE spokesman Bill Walker.
"We note that the bankruptcy court Judge Hon. Redfield T. Baum ruled in his June 15 decision that:
'Absent some showing by the NHL that there have been material changes in PSE's circumstances since 2006, it appears to the court that the NHL can not object or withhold its consent to PSE becoming the controlling owner of the Phoenix Coyotes.'
Walker noted that Judge Baum cited the legal precedent of Memorial Coliseum v. National Football League (known as the "Raiders" case) as showing that 'a right of approval or disapproval or a discretionary power... must be exercised within the parameters of the duty of good faith.'
"Presumably the onus will be on the NHL to demonstrate a material change in PSE's circumstances, although no such change was raised with us today," Walker said. "Beyond that we have confidence in, and respect for, Judge Baum and the legal process as this case unfolds."