Jim Balsillie, Southern Ontario Rejected: Pheonix and MLSE Rejoice

Sheldon MohammedContributor IJune 15, 2009

PITTSBURGH - OCTOBER 05:  Jim Balsillie Chairman and Co-CEO of Research In Motion and new owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins poses with his Blackberry in a press conference announcing the purchase of the team alongside Mario Lemieux after the first period at Mellon Arena on October 5, 2006 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

According to The Globe and Mail, Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie has been denied in his bid to buy the Phoenix Coyotes, with an Arizona bankruptcy court judge opting not to approve a motion to sell the team and allow it to move to southern Ontario.

Judge Redfield T. Baum’s decision was filed Monday night.

“Simply put, the court does not think there is sufficient time (14 days) for all of these issues to be fairly presented to the court given that deadline,” Baum wrote. “In making that statement, the court recognizes the diligent efforts and hard work by all parties and their attorneys, including all attorneys’ professionalism under trying circumstances, in presenting their respective positions to the court regarding the motion. Thus the motion is denied, without prejudice.”

Wow, This is a shocker, the mighty Southern Ontario market was shot down in a bid to keep the Coyotes franchise in Phoenix. Keep in mind that four years ago the now world champion, Pittsburgh Penguins were in the same predicament. I think Bettman and Baum are following a hunch.