For the bullet summary, please go here. To contact your MP regarding the Veto issue, please go here. Click here to file your complaint about the Veto of the MLSE (Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment) to the Canadian Competition Bureau (CCB).
Editor’s Note: This was mentioned on the Coyotes’ fan site, Five for Howling:
MYTH: This is never going to work.
FACT: Nothing is ever certain in life. Ice Edge may not be able to save the Coyotes despite their best efforts. But their odds of succeeding are far, far greater than anyone seems to be giving them credit for at this juncture. And for fans of the Phoenix Coyotes, hope is a currency far more valuable than gold.
Just a note to the fans of Phoenix: You will find that Jerry Moyes was your only friend. Nobody gave as much to this failing franchise, and nobody will again.
In Charles Sandor’s second instalment, we learn just how ethical the NHL has been in court. To lie or not to lie…. was it ever a question?
By: Charles Sandor
Judge, I’m Tellin’ The Truth………….Honest!
The NHL has made outright misrepresentations to the judge and he is very aware of it.
First Lie – The NHL said the team never needed to be put into bankruptcy.
There are now reports that studies were done in conjunction with the NHL back in Nov. 2008 showing the current lease and financial situation was unworkable and a best case scenario to break even required a $25M subsidy from Glendale. Bettman apparently negotiated a $15M subsidy with Beasley and bragged he could get more. However, the braggart couldn’t come through on his brag since no deal was ever finalized.
How does this make the NHL a liar?
The NHL knew the existing lease was killing the franchise. The only way to stop the bleeding was either renegotiate the lease or kill it. Glendale wasn’t playing ball, so that left the only option of killing it and the only way to do that is through BK. The NHL needed this lease killed as badly as Moyes did. A team that needed $25 million annually in subsidies just to break even is a team that is in desperate financial trouble, the kind of trouble only BK can cure.
Second Lie – The NHL said there were as many as four (4 ) interested bidders to keep the team local.
Yet when all was said and done, four (4) became one (1) bidder in Reinsdorf and it was never a serious bid because it required a subsidy that we now know the NHL itself had been unsuccessful in getting for the previous eight (8) months. Interesting how all the other bidders disappeared and the NHL explained it by saying that all these other bidders coalesced behind Jerry Reinsdorf which of course immediately brought allegations of collusion from the BK Trustee (which is another problem for the NHL). Then to try to steer the Trustee away, magically, the phantom Ice Edge offers appears. Then, true to form these offers all disappeared prior to the auction.
The Glendale lawyer at the auction tried to blame PSE for scaring away the bidders. The judge would have none of it. Judge Baum argued with the NHL that the other bidders were “just hanging around”, and that they were not serious. I guess that should clear up the Moyes contempt issue.
The judge also knows that this lie caused the process to drag on longer than it had to. The NHL’s lies that there were plenty of local buyers helped delay the process. Time and money have been wasted by the NHL’s lies to the court. Why was lying so important to the NHL and dragging the auction out all summer. Very simply, the NHL could not argue against relocation for this season if this Coyotes mess had been cleared up in June. There would have been plenty of time to redo the schedule. But by dragging out the auction process, the NHL could finally bring the “no time to change schedule” argument.
Third Lie – NHL told the court hockey can work in Phoenix financially.
Under normal circumstances, no it cannot. Hockey will only work in Phoenix with massive subsidies. Bettman, going to Beasley and negotiating for $15 million proves the NHL knows that. With enough subsidies, the NHL could work anywhere even Dog River, Saskatchewan. Could hockey work in Phoenix under normal financial conditions? The answer is no and that was the lie.
Fourth Lie – The NHL bid.
The NHL knew they were going to be a bidder while they were also deciding who would be in the bidding process. Not disclosing this is a very serious omission on par with a lie. The NHL itself deserves to be cited for contempt for much of their conduct in this matter.
Fifth Lie – The NHL veto.
The NHL has told the court that its teams do not have a veto. Their own Constitution confirms this, bet Bettman does a quick shimmy shuffle and says ” I can interpret it as I see fit”. The MLSE letter shows Bettman lied; the Macaluso letter show Bettman lied; the Leipold deposition proves Bettman lied; and the Eugene Melnyk Fan 590 interview supports that Bettman lied.
Sixth Lie – NHL argued against turning over data to PSE that would help his expert put a value on relo saying the request’s byBalsillie’s were too volumous and couldn’t possibly be complied with in such a short time.
At the very same time, the NHL had secretly commissioned three (3) experts to render a value to relocation and had the time and in fact did provide to them the very same documents that the denied Balsillie. They told the court there simply wasn’t enough time to comply with such a request even as they were complying with it for their own experts.
The judge is very aware of all the lies, misdirection and delaying tactics of the NHL. There simply is no chance of the NHL being rewarded by Baum for such contemptible behavior. For Baum to reward the NHL for this would be as if Baum would have declared open season on the truth in a court of law.
It is so ironic that the NHL is asking the court to observe its rules all the while that the NHL has broken so many legal rules and procedures to force the recognition of the NHL rules. The court will recognize that the NHL has become too arrogant, so full of itself to the extent that it thinks it can lie and manipulate the court for its own endgame. The court will see that neither the NHL, nor its Constitution and rules are above the law and the NHL will be brought back down to earth……hard!
A Head To Head Collusion?
Definition: “collude – conspire: act in unison or agreement and in secret towards a deceitful or illegal purpose;”
Point 1: Evidence seems to suggest that the NHL, Bettman in particular was working with Reinsdorf and negotiating with Beasley on concessions from Glendale all the while that Glendale was refusing to even talk to Moyes about concessions. Was the plan to ensure Moyes got no help a bid to force his hand and force him out of ownership for the purpose of then flipping the franchise over to Reinsdorf with an agreement on concessions already in place?
Moyes has mentioned many times how he couldn’t get a return call or email from Beasley. He was persona no gratia. However Jerry Reinsdorf and Bettman had no problem connecting with him. Beasley was negotiating with Reinsdorf and Bettman as if Reinsdorf was already in place as the owner of the Coyotes while the real owner is kept in the dark.
Point 2: Has the league acted in collusion with other phantom bidders to create a phantom auction and then delay it for “scheduling purposes”? It’s telling that the Coyotes were trying to solicit bids since the summer of 2007. There were supposedly a few tire kickers, but no one willing to put anything on paper. Then all of a sudden, there is a BK auction and friends of Bettman come out of the woodwork with public announcements of interest in buying the team and keeping it local.
However, once it was time to “show the dough”, all these other bidders but Reinsdorf disappeared and Reinsdorf’s bid was only in because it requires him to “not show the dough”, rather it was Glendale’s dough required to show. Then when the BK Trustee started asking what happened to all those bidders the NHL had and have now disappeared, the Ice Edge offer appears, the offer that talked the talk, but never did walk the walk. If there ever was a bid engineered to pretend to be a serious offer, this was it.
So just how many markers did Bettman and other power brokers in the NHL call in to create this phantom need for an auction and then the delay to bring the scheduling issue to bear. That the NHL and “friends” have colluded to pull the wool over Judge Baum’s eyes and force out Moyes seems clear and Baum is a smart guy, he sees it and I’m sure he doesn’t like it. No judge likes being played.
Moyes will have one hell of a case against the NHL, Glendale and “friends” as even more details come out about the collusion. Only question is, will Moyes options be limited to civil court or perhaps criminal court as well? And how about the court and Baum himself? If he sees that the BK process has been manipulated for ulterior purposes by the NHL and others, what price might they pay over and above simply losing the auction?
Editors note on Ice Edge Holdings bid:
Was Anthony LeBlanc (Ice Edge investor & former RIM exec) co-opted to bid by Gary Bettman as a result of the responses he gave during the Kroll Report investigations or did LeBlanc see an opportunity after being pumped for negative information on Balsillie? Or both?
“Former RIM VP/Global Sales Anthony LeBlanc, who is a partner in the Ice Edge bid, said, “Southern Ontario can support another (NHL) team — there’s absolutely no question, and I think Jim would be a tremendous owner. It’s just that we don’t think that Phoenix is the right team because we think there’s a real savvy business case that can be had in Phoenix.” Ice Edge has “won the blessing” of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman (GLOBE & MAIL, 7/25).”
The league hired Kroll Inc. to perform the investigation. In conducting its due diligence, former Research In Motion vice-president Peter Broughall was contacted by Kroll’s investigators.
According to the article, he did not feel the questions asked of him were what he considered to be normal procedure. Broughall said “If this is due diligence, I found it surprising that the line of questioning was not in line with trying to seek accurate positive information as well as negative.”
“I could tell by my answers that he wasn’t satisfied,” said Broughall. “I wasn’t giving him the information that he was hoping to get from me…He realized he wasn’t going to get any dirt out of me because I didn’t have any dirt to offer.”