Compassion zero: Using the court like an insurance plan

The feud and the "Fuhrer's" furor: Can Bettman let this go?

Many months ago we wondered why Jerry Moyes did not have control over the franchise he supposedly “owned”. Now the hard feelings continue from the league that refuses to accept responsibility and “ownership” for a plan gone bad.

What was that we recently heard? A sports valuation expert claims the Phoenix Coyotes are worth $50 million in Glendale?

And, what was that about Tampa? It was recently sold for $100 million?

And, finally, are the Ice Edge boys expected to come up with $160 million to buy a franchise that is really worth nothing – negative in fact? That is, if it will continue to lose $20 million a year in the best case scenario, I think I see a line forming to the left of prospective buyers.

Reinsdorf had common sense months ago, and you can bet his eyes were not looking favorably on keeping the team in Glendale – he was going to ensure he got any losses recouped from the City of Glendale or the NHL, or Gazoo (the little green man from outer space in the Flintstones). No amount of “pot sweetening” was going to cut it so he cut out.

If there ever was an argument for prospective owners to take their dreams and run, Gary Bettman and the NHL have just proven that owners are surfs, and they will be taken advantage of until the well runneth dry.

Jerry Moyes was convinced to take on the behemoth lease in Glendale after the

Jerry Moyes: Time to put the hammer down?

NHL and the entourage of industry that tags along with them decided to make Glendale the mini-me Vegas. Like the empty beast in Dallas, Glendale’s business district and plans have been a bust. But that’s okay, we can blame the man who had nothing to do with urban planning  – only trucking.

In a classic case of not being able to accept responsibility, it would seem the powers at the NHL are continuing to suggest that it was a poorly run franchise that is to blame. How else could you explain the inclusion of incurred losses in their court filing?

When will the NHL accept responsibility for a decision gone terribly bad? If anything, they should be looking to give Moyes something from the relo fee, with tail firmly planted between the hindquarters. But no.

The Coyotes are doing well this season on the ice, but there just is no getting around the fact that the team itself is “on ice” – as good as dead in the desert.

Where are the urban planners now?

The NHL’s only recourse is to do what they do best as lawyers. They have found a way to use the court system as if it were an insurance policy – pay pennies on the dollar to get the big payoff.

So, let’s get this straight.

The Coyotes are worth nothing but valued at a generous $50 million. They want to sell the team to Ice Edge for $160 million, sue Jerry Moyes for:

……. at least $61 million US, including money the NHL spent on legal fees in association with the bankruptcy case, another $20 million it expects to lose this season while operating the Coyotes, and $8 million that the league says is owed to former team coach Wayne Gretzky.

In short, the NHL has nerve. But they also have shown proof-positive that if you want to be an owner in this man’s NHL you are really asking for enslavement. Is it worth it big fella?

Now, there is expectation that Jerry Moyes will use this as an opportunity to counter-sue. At first, it would appear he was willing to walk away, but now he should do what he knows is best.

And it’s not like we have not been helping him out over the last several months. This site has a summary of points that may help Moyes’ case.

After all, in recap, the story goes something like this….

Jerry Moyes was sold a bill of goods, and in naivety took on a failing franchise destined to fail. He was surrounded by the financiers that helped build Westgate Arena, and were “experts” in lease negotiations and sports management. Did they help Mr. Moyes? Please.

Then of course we have the same band of opportunists taking further advantage of him – by turning  the screws on any remaining chance Moyes got any return for the more than $300 million he flushed down the Coyotes toilet by giving him a bailout loan with choking terms. Thanks fellas! I think that is the point we all know Moyes was the victim of the squeeze play– a complete collusion to strip him of any remaining wealth. And we know we hit the nail on the head when the land developer closely linked to Reinsdorf the junior placed a visit to that article, and the NHL head office and the City of Glendale following in short order. For those that are hearing this for the first time – the jig was officially up.

All that collusion and manipulation was a clear attempt to squeeze Moyes dry, but  apparently  Moyes was expected to turn it all over with a smile.  That’s what the current lawsuit from the NHL suggests – how dare you Jerry!

But, low and behold, I don’t believe Moyes is out of this yet.

Yes, in a move that shows their lack of class, for pennies on the dollar, the NHL is using legal fees and lawyers as if they were insurance premiums and underwriters, looking to file claim on the dead franchise in Glendale. Innovative –  yes! Respectable? No.

I think it’s now time for  Mr. Moyes to flex his muscle, get a little aggressive, and prove the case that got this ball rolling in the first place.

Will Mr. Moyes have a case against the NHL and others we asked many months ago?

Well, what he needs to do is grab that sharp lawyer and build a counter case of being manipulated and controlled. He needs to compare his treatment to that of Hicks in Dallas, who when deciding to not pay debt  interest payments to  the MLB and the NHL, the MLB took quick action, with no favoritism. The NHL – not so much.

Actually, the NHL protected Hicks with a six month reprieve of sorts. Moyes? They reserved the six month idea for six months of takeover planning behind his back. So if Moyes needs to prove a case against the NHL for unfavorable treatment, he needs to look at all the evidence of how one owner can be favored and treated like royalty and another like a surf.

I hope Mr. Moyes puts the cherry on the pie to end this for himself and his family.

We may be getting to the answer to our question many months ago. Will Moyes be able to recoup some losses and prove a franchise is of any value to the owner?

And maybe the team can be reborn in Canada after all. And maybe we can put closure to the death of this franchise in the desert.

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4 responses to “Compassion zero: Using the court like an insurance plan

  1. We’ll take the team in Winnipeg!!!!

    • benefitsontario

      …and we would love to send it to you! In fact, I would make a point to come to Winnipeg for vacation. And, if lucky, I would be able to find a seat to a game, because I have a feeling the place is gonna be packed! And a rockin’!!

  2. And of course, the NHL’s “announced” sale to Vinik was what?. $150M?. $180M?. Rumours peg it closer to $80M with substantial real estate holdings included in the deal, negating further the actual “net worth” of that idiotic franchise in Florida. This well & truly takes the cake for Hypocrisy, Lawyers Gone Bad, Butter my Bread on Both Sides. The Disclosure in NHL vs. Moyes’ alone will send all kinds of Shrapnel into both parties already badly damaged reputations’. Apparently, Moyes’ was negotiating with the NHL up until last week as he had indeed broken a number of the leagues oh so precious covenants, a serious sticking point erupts; BINGO!. Gary Bettman in his megalomaniacal nonsensical agenda drops the writ. Just nuts.

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