Battle Between Bettman and Balsillie Heating to a Boil

Martin AverySenior Writer IMay 14, 2009

3 Feb 2001:  Commissioner Gary Bettman answers questions from the media during a press conference before the NHL All-Star Game at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.   DIGITAL IMAGE Mandatory Credit: Brian Bahr/ALLSPORT

The latest motions by the NHL mark the fiercest attack yet on Jerry Moyes and Jim Balsillie.

The league says that Moyes cut a secret deal with Balsillie that flies in the face of the NHL's rules.

The NHL called the deal between Balsillie and Phoenix Coyotes' majority owner Moyes “a sham,” it has been reported by many sources.

Balsillie responded by insisting that his attempt to buy and move the Phoenix Coyotes is about the "passion Canadians feel for the game of hockey," according to the Globe and Mail.

The NHL claimed Moyes and Balsillie “are attempting to use the court to eviscerate the NHL's fundamental right to decide who will be members of the venture and where franchises will be located,” the Globe reported.

Meanwhile, the Phoenix Coyotes are trying to find out if the NHL’s deal to sell the team to the Chicago White Sox's owner Jerry Reinsdorf is a legitimate offer or just the league crying wolf, according to Eric Morath of The Wall Street Journal.

In Toronto, a member of Provincial Parliament from Hamilton got consent from all the members of the Ontario legislature to wear a t-shirt promoting the idea of moving the Phoenix Coyotes to Ontario.

A tiger image on the back of his jersey symbolizes the long ago Hamilton Tigers, while a coyote image stands for the team Miller hopes will move to Hamilton from Phoenix.