This story seems to prove two different things. First that the fight over the Coyotes is so ugly, so personal that the NHL is willing to go to any lengths to keep Jim Balsillie out of their league. Second the NHL is willing to charge Balsillie a relocation fee that is greater than the leagues own bid for the Phoenix hockey team. That seems to show that without a doubt Gary Bettman is the worst sports commissioner.
If Balsillie is able to convince a Federal Bankruptcy Judge to approve his purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes the league will charge him a relocation fee between 101-195 million dollars. What that means is Balsillie, whose bid for the team is 212 million dollars would essentially be paying for his team twice.
Since the league only bid some 140 million dollars for the Coyotes, the relocation fee is more that the league is willing to pony up to keep the team is the desert. This doesn’t seem to make any sense beyond the league attempting to kill of the Balsillie bid once and for all.
Don’t worry this gets much more distasteful, there is a report floating around out there done by an American economist, an expert in this field, who has stated that a fair relocation fee for the Coyotes would be between 11.2 and 12.9 million dollars. That means the NHL is simply being vindictive and unreasonable with the Balsillie bid. Let’s be really honest hockey in Phoenix simply hasn’t worked, and the leagues low ball bid for the team seems to prove that.