Okay...I confess, I just don't get it. The Phoenix Coyotes have lost between 200-300 million dollars, depending on who you believe. The owner has decided he can't go on losing that much money and declared bankruptcy. A buyer has come forward. He's willing to pony up enough cash to satisfy all the franchise's creditors, the only caveat to his taking on this cash drain being that he'll move it to a place where it will actually start making money instead of losing it.
So far, the story makes sense, right? Now though, Gary Bettman is arguing Jerry Moyes didn't have the right to file for chapter eleven bankruptcy protection because the NHL has actually been running the team since Februrary. Bettman wants to shove Moyes out of the way and sell to a buyer the Commish had been negotiating with before all this broke...a buyer who'd pay about fifty to seventy million bucks less for the team. I guess that means the NHL would be on the hook for the rest of the money owed to creditors, which Jim Balsillie would pay if he were to buy the team. And in this case "the NHL" is really the other teams in the league.
This is where I don't get it. Who loses if Balsillie buys the Coyotes and moves them to Canada? Bettman says the fans in Phoenix will. But they're not plentiful or dedicated enough to keep the team afloat so I'm not buying that argument.
The other owners are more likely to lose if the Coyotes stay in Phoenix. As long as the team is there, the strong teams like the Habs must continue to support it financially. There's an argument that if the team moves to Canada, it will generate more revenue and contribute to the overall league revenue pool that determines the salary cap. That means the cap will go up and cause undue hardship for weaker owners. I think that's BS because we're looking at a pending drop in the cap in this poor economic climate anyway. A new Canadian team will only offset some of the losses, not make up for the general downturn the league is experiencing.
The players will benefit if the Yotes move north. Another strong team makes a strong league and will support a healthy salary cap. Players say they prefer to play in good hockey cities, and a new Canadian franchise would certainly qualify.
I just don't get why happy owners, happy players and a happy Canadian public is a bad thing. Bettman's insistence on pushing to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix is stubborn, shortsighted and bad for business. He's ruining hockey and he disgusts me.