You have to pity the NHL. There were two game threes last night and this morning the big story has got to be the Phoenix Coyotes filing for bankruptcy. Jim “BlackBerry” Balsillie has an offer to buy the team on the table, provided the team moves to Ontario.
The NHL is questioning the legality of the move. People in Arizona are wondering why NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has continuously insisted the Coyotes are financially solvent.
You have to wonder if Charles Wang, regretful owner of the Islanders, is on the phone to Balsillie, warning him about his impending purchase.
The NHL seems pretty opposed to the deal and has plenty of tools to prevent it from going through. The nuclear option is revoking the franchise.
Bettman needs to get his owners under control. This is the playoffs. This is the NHL’s golden time of year. And instead of talking about quick whistles and stellar goaltending, people are talking about the financial solvency of some franchises and of the league as a whole. The league was shocked by the Coyotes’ move, but they really shouldn’t have been. Look for the league to spin this as a good thing since it didn’t happen during the Stanley Cup finals.