Jim Balsillie Gets Back-up With Coyotes' Bankruptcy on Hold

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Jim Balsillie Gets Back-up With Coyotes' Bankruptcy on Hold
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Bankruptcy court gave the NHL and Jerry Moyes of the Phoenix Coyotes two weeks to figure out who's in charge of the team.

The NHL will argue its case in court on May 15, according to the Calgary Herald. Moyes will make his case May 17, and both will face the judge on May 19.

Meanwhile, a letter from Moyes appeared in The Arizona Republic saying, essentially, "I still own the team." And Jim Balsillie got back-up in the form of major corporate sponsors for the Coyotes if they move to Canada.

The NHL claims Moyes has been removed from any positions of authority with the team. On the front page of the sports section of The Globe and Mail this morning, there was a long list of claims made by the NHL called "A Season Of Contradictions".

Balsillie, the co-CEO of Blackberry maker Research In Motion, says Labatt Breweries and Home Hardware are the first "anchor corporate partners" to support his bid or to put pressure on the Phoenix Coyotes to move to Ontario.

Basillie’s also launched a "Make It Seven" website, aimed at bringing a seventh professional hockey team to Canada and sent an e-mail to his 120,000 registered fans, saying, "I am more optimistic than ever that we are one step closer to bringing another NHL team to Southern Ontario and to Canada."

A "Save the Coyotes Rally" will be held Saturday at the Native New Yorker restaurant in Glendale, the suburb of Phoenix where the Coyotes’ arena is located. The City of Glendale has filed a legal objection to the proposed sale of the Coyotes.

Basillie’s website also features Make it Seven clothing for sale, with net proceeds donated to minor hockey programs.

“Labatt has a long history of supporting grassroots hockey in Canada,” Charlie Angelakos, vice-president of corporate affairs for Labatt Breweries of Canada, said in a statement issued by the Balsillie group.

“Like many Canadians, we love NHL hockey and we want more of it here. Let's get behind Make it Seven and let's make it happen.”

“A new franchise will be a source of pride for all Canadians and we are excited by the possibility of creating more opportunities for Canada's best players to play on their home ice, in front of hometown fans,” added Paul Straus, vice-president and CEO of Home Hardware Store.

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