He warned us but we still didn’t see it coming.
This ‘no decision’ by Baum guarantees there are no winners, only losers, not even the fans in Phoenix win.. The judgement that the Glendale arena lease requires performance (’Yotes playing there), means that the NHL & any prospective buyer are stuck with the full lease for 25 years.
In any event, if all of the other issues were ruled on Jim Balsillies way, this part of the ruling would have made relocation financially impossible. Other than the fans in Hamilton the big losers are the fans in Phoenix & the NHL. The fans in Phoenix lose because the lease will prevent anyone from bidding on the team now. They are on life support until the funds dry up, when that happens the trustee will wind up the team.
The lack of any decision by the courts on Moyes antitrust case & the judges’ reliance on a flawed Canadian Competition Bureau investigation (incomplete & mislead by the NHL) caused Baum problems where he could not rule favourably on relocation.. If Moyes wins his antitrust case, he will be able to sue the NHL now for all losses incurred.
The CCB can now reopen its investigation & should be encouraged to do so by all of us. The new evidence in the public domain provides enough for them to render a decision against the NHL & could pave the way for a lawsuit by the city of Hamilton for damages & a loss of income for a team that should have located in the 5th largest hockey market long ago.
The ruling on the Goldwater challenge in court today was postponed to December, which means that lease concessions by Glendale are still subject to rejection by the courts. No serious bidder would close before that issue is settled & it still looks like Goldwater will prevail there.
The NHL is now in a pickle because if they amend their bid to include Moyes & Gretzky then they will be stuck with the lease as the auction winner. If they accept ownership, then even if they decide to fold the team they as a league will be responsible for the lease.
Jim probably believes & rightly so, that the burned bridges behind him will mean a long wait before the NHL invites him into their clique, if ever. I would suggest that the NHL, once chastened by all of the fans & multiple government agencies that will now hound them mercilessly, would be wise to consider him first for a franchise in Hamilton.
The fans of hockey in Canada & especially those of us in Hamilton thank you Jim for all of your efforts. You have laid bare the inner workings of an organization & allowed us to see with our own eyes that hockey is not a sport to those running it, but a money making, tax dodging scheme to enrich an elite handful of the NHL board of governors. That knowledge is worth every penny you spent & you did us a great favour by doing something no one else could do.