NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly made the rounds of the local media yesterday and while there was the usual bravado and rhetoric one comment strikes me as not only important but very essential to the ongoing debate over the future of the Coyotes.
Daly stated in several places that if Judge Tom rules in favor of Jim Balsillie on September 2nd, the NHL will immediately go to court to appeal the decision. It would be the first time in this tangled process that one of the Judge's decisions would be appealed to another court (in this case the US 9th District Court of Appeals) and it would surely slow down the auction process.
As we have said all along, the NHL will do anything to preserve its' constitution and by-laws and their rights to select owners and determine where teams play. This is a strike issue for the league. Having a bidder who has already been voted off the island by the NHL qualifies in their eyes as a strike issue.
If Judge Tom rules in favor of the NHL and excludes Balsillie from the bankruptcy process, my legal friends tell me he doesn't create an antitrust case for Balsillie because there are no damages. He may create one with Moyes though because that finding would limit Jerry's potential recovery. The Moyes camp (funded by Balsillie) may or may not choose to mount their own legal challenge.
And while all this goes on, the clock ticks on Balsillie's September 14th deadline. The NHL would like nothing more to run out the clock here, even if it means pushing the auction process back a couple of months.
Next time at the computer, I'll address the rock and hard place that Glendale now finds it self between.