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Phoenix bankruptcy/ownership Part XVII: Wake Me Up When September Ends

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09-08-2009, 09:40 AM
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Fugu
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Phoenix bankruptcy/ownership Part XVII: Wake Me Up When September Ends

Another day, another thread........

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
wake me up when September ends
- Green Day


Link to last thread: http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=677215

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09-08-2009, 09:41 AM
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ewwwwww green day

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09-08-2009, 09:43 AM
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ewwwwww green day
I second that.

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09-08-2009, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Jaym3000 View Post
It will be very interesting to see what Ice Edge is proposing. I just can't see how the team can be viable with the lease in its current form and I also think that to make true financial sense JR was not that far offside with the concessions required.
I think the kicker with JR was the 5 year commitment. The question here is how can they do something (make money) where nobody else feels that they could? Surely there has to be an out clause somewhere just in case.

While we don't really know what IceEdge and the City have negotiated yet, I think the original offer to Moyes/Reinsdorf/Bettman for 14 million in additional revenues was likely very doable. I would find it difficult to believe Reinsdorf believed he would get the true up clauses that made him whole in case the team lost enough money, and especially when coupled with a 5 year out clause.

I could see some sort of an escape or penalty clause if attendance was below a defined threshold a la Nashville.

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09-08-2009, 09:48 AM
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You keep saying this yet you haven't offered up what the appropriate methodology should be, nor has anyone offered up the contents of the NHL's experts' methodology. You just seem to like their number better. Furthermore, you completely have ignored that the two experts came up with numbers that are almost $100 MM apart! What methodology delivers that big of a difference?
There are a variety of methods that could be employed. I have some indications of elements of those in previous posts.

I cannot comment on the specifics of the NHL experts methodology because I have not seen their report (I looked again today and didn't see it). I can comment specifically on Zimbalist and already have because I've been through his report.

Zimbalist and Balsillie's other economist in 2005 (report updated for the court case) go to great lengths touting the importance of hockey fan population in the Hamilton market. But when Zimbalist comes to crunching the numbers, he doesn't reconcile to his own premise of how important that is and doesn't reflect it in his valuation.

I have specifically cited Zimbalist's use of a $72 mil revenue figure in his formulas as very flawed as it's significantly less revenue than any CDN franchise while located in the 3rd greatest market size in Canada.

Teams Forbes$ 2008 Metro Population
Toronto 160 5.1 mil
Montreal 139 3.6 mil
Hamilton 72 3.1-3.5 mil (depends on who you ask)
Vancouver 107 2.1 mil
Ottawa 96 1.1 mil
Calgary 97 1.1 mil
Edmonton 85 1.0 m

This helps to simply demonstrate the flaws in valuation:
Teams Forbes$ Metro Population (roughly in NHL Radius)
Toronto 448 5.1 mil
Montreal 334 3.6 mil (Habs received much more this summer)
Hamilton 176? 3.1-3.5 mil (depends on who you ask)
Vancouver 236 2.1 mil
Ottawa 207 1.1 mil
Calgary 203 1.1 mil
Edmonton 175 1.0 mil


As such, Zimbalist's numbers are not credible. To suggest that the Hamilton franchise is only worth $12 mil more than the worst franchise in the league is disingenuous. Zimbalist's numbers are so incredible on the most basic logic, I don't think he's worth wasting our time on. If you don't want to accept my opinion, that's fine. Each to their own. One could bicker about startup costs, etc but I don't think it comes close to overcome the disparity.

What I do know from the NHL estimates for relocation fees is that their results are much closer to the "reality" that would be obtained by using fairer revenue numbers in Zimbalist's formulas. Therefore, I'm comfortable saying that the NHL numbers are more realistic than Zimbalist because he's coming in absurdly low. Until I can review what the NHL consultants specifically did, I can't get into which set of numbers are better $101 mil or $195 mil. Obviously, when there are two numbers representing such a wide range, both those numbers can't be "right".

There's also the argument that the free market determines value. Imagine for a moment that an expansion franchise in Southern Ontario came up for bids with the NHL's blessing (no bankruptcy or other strings attached). Convince us that the best the NHL could get would be $176 mil (or whatever Zimbalist's final number is) when less than 50 miles away is a $448 mil franchise that would probably sell for considerably more like Montreal did this summer. Would a $315 mil bid for such a franchise shock me? Honestly, my answer would have to be that it would not. I would be shocked if they got less than $280 mil.

I've got to get some work done and I'll try to revisit the goodwill aspects you raised in your post later.

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09-08-2009, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by leek
Ice Edge has offered $150 million so far and if PSE doesn't create enough F.U.D. to chill their deal with the City, the difference would then be $42.5 million, but Ice Edge would leave the City whole and PSE would leave the City with $250 million in bond liabilities less $40 million. The City then gets stuck with at least a $210 million bag, but wait there's more Ron Popeil!!!
Ice Edge is intent on renegotiating the lease terms, and has been all along. Regardless of any "chilling" being done, Ice Edge has never had any intention of "leaving the City whole". That's the entire point of the lease renegotiations that were being pursued by Reinsdorf, are being pursued by Ice Edge, and will be pursued by the NHL (with the bonus of having the option of leaving the city with the entire 250M$ bag) should they win - to lower the amount that will be re-payed to the city under the lease. This needs to be factored into your math somehow - every bid leaves the City with less, the exact amount less just remains to determined. No bid currently on the table promises to "leave the City whole".

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09-08-2009, 09:56 AM
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While we don't really know what IceEdge and the City have negotiated yet, I think the original offer to Moyes/Reinsdorf/Bettman for 14 million in additional revenues was likely very doable. I would find it difficult to believe Reinsdorf believed he would get the true up clauses that made him whole in case the team lost enough money, and especially when coupled with a 5 year out clause.

I could see some sort of an escape or penalty clause if attendance was below a defined threshold a la Nashville.
To me at least there has to be an escape clause to prevent being crippled by the lease. I heard them on the radio one time saying that they had a hard time coming up with 150M and that they would not compete with JB. I have no idea, if this is the case, how they intend on funding the operating losses. The first year will be huge losses and even after that if they can get it to 10M in losses that is a lot of money for a group near the ceiling of their borrowing capacity.



With all of the valuation issue (I won't repost), why won't the NHL just concede - make a deal with JB and then offer expansion into Metro Toronto. Im sure they will still get at least 300M for another team in Toronto even with a team in Hamilton. Would this not screw over JB if they truly feel S. Ontario can't handle a team in Hamilton. I think they know that a team in Hamilton has no bearing whatsoever on another team in Toronto - that expansion territory would still be available for a pretty penny.

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09-08-2009, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Jaym3000 View Post
With all of the valuation issue (I won't repost), why won't the NHL just concede - make a deal with JB and then offer expansion into Metro Toronto. Im sure they will still get at least 300M for another team in Toronto even with a team in Hamilton. Would this not screw over JB if they truly feel S. Ontario can't handle a team in Hamilton. I think they know that a team in Hamilton has no bearing whatsoever on another team in Toronto - that expansion territory would still be available for a pretty penny.
They probably would if they didn't hate Ballsillie so much.
I also don't think they want other people thinking they can just pluck up bankrupt teams and move them willy-nilly without the NHL's approval.

But I have a feeling if this was Jerry Bruckheimer or Disney trying to move the Yotes they'd already be in their new city.

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09-08-2009, 10:03 AM
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They probably would if they didn't hate Ballsillie so much.
I also don't think they want other people thinking they can just pluck up bankrupt teams and move them willy-nilly without the NHL's approval.

But I have a feeling if this was Jerry Bruckheimer or Disney trying to move the Yotes they'd already be in their new city.
I agree - all the more reason to cut a deal (no precedent) and tighten up their Constitution and By Laws so it never happens again. That is unless there is something larger looming if they settle.

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09-08-2009, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by taunting canadian View Post
Ice Edge is intent on renegotiating the lease terms, and has been all along. Regardless of any "chilling" being done, Ice Edge has never had any intention of "leaving the City whole". That's the entire point of the lease renegotiations that were being pursued by Reinsdorf, are being pursued by Ice Edge, and will be pursued by the NHL (with the bonus of having the option of leaving the city with the entire 250M$ bag) should they win - to lower the amount that will be re-payed to the city under the lease. This needs to be factored into your math somehow - every bid leaves the City with less, the exact amount less just remains to determined. No bid currently on the table promises to "leave the City whole".
Actually, I'm pretty sure that's inaccurate. Every report I've seen says the City will not forgo any revenue, in fact they have been quoted saying they can't forgo any revenue. What they HAVE offered was to help with additional sources of revenue such as a special tax district. While there is no public record with details of a deal with Ice Edge, statements by Glendale's Beazley lead one to believe the City will remain whole.

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09-08-2009, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Jaym3000 View Post
To me at least there has to be an escape clause to prevent being crippled by the lease. I heard them on the radio one time saying that they had a hard time coming up with 150M and that they would not compete with JB. I have no idea, if this is the case, how they intend on funding the operating losses. The first year will be huge losses and even after that if they can get it to 10M in losses that is a lot of money for a group near the ceiling of their borrowing capacity.
More owners with not so deep pockets? Great.
More owners with not so deep pockets in a non-traditional market? Pricless.

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09-08-2009, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by GSC2k2
You know what the funny thing is that none of us have really discussed? It is this:
You know what the REAL funny thing is? That there's a REASON why none of us have really discussed it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSC2k2
A while ago, when the Leafs were a decent/good team and a perennial playoff contender, there was never really much of even a peep about the "unserved" markets of SO. Now that the Leafs have been in a tailspin for years, suddenly there is all this frustration over a supposedly "unserved market". The real truth, which no one wants to admit around here, is that if the Leafs were Gilmour-era good, we would be discussing none of this. Southern Ontario is not tired of having just one hockey team, they simply are tired of a lousy hockey team and want to double the chance of a good team here. It is intellectual dishonesty of the highest order, but we all just ignore it.
Wrong. The attempt to get a team for Hamilton started BEFORE the Gilmour era. Your lack of research is intellectual dishonesty of the highest order. And you can't ignore something that isn't there...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSC2k2
What a silly statement. Per the "expert" testimony of Jb's own economist, 69% of Hamiltonians are not interested in hockey. It may surprise you, but lots of people could not care less about sports in general, much less hockey. As such, no one here speaks for them. The fact that either of us care about this one way or another puts both of us in the minority.
It was pretty obvious from prior posts, especially considering that this is a hockey forum, that the "Hamiltonians" that were being spoken for were, in fact, Hamilton hockey fans. But I guess the obvious obviously escaped you...

Mod: deleted


Last edited by Fugu: 09-08-2009 at 10:15 AM. Reason: move along, it's not quantifiable
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09-08-2009, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Frank Mackey View Post
They probably would if they didn't hate Ballsillie so much.
I also don't think they want other people thinking they can just pluck up bankrupt teams and move them willy-nilly without the NHL's approval.

But I have a feeling if this was Jerry Bruckheimer or Disney trying to move the Yotes they'd already be in their new city.
I don't know how Bruckheimer would interact with the BoG, but I think if he followed the process he would probably receive approval. For that matter, if Balsillie had followed the process the first time, he would own the Stanley Cup champs and they would be in Pittsburgh.

On the other hand, if Bruckheimer or Disney intended to move the team for 2009-10, or even in the short term (under 5-7 years) IMHO no way they get approved.

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09-08-2009, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by The Invisible Poster View Post
More owners with not so deep pockets? Great.
More owners with not so deep pockets in a non-traditional market? Pricless.
Well this makes sense in Bettmans bizarro world - give the team to owners who are undercapitalized and have them run a team where the fans don't care vs give the team to a passionate fan of the game with tons of money who wants to put the team where the fans will appreciate them - makes sense to me.

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09-08-2009, 10:22 AM
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An opinion piece by an editor from the Full Comment section of The National Post:

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/b...ufus-test.aspx

Quote:
Balsillie puts Bettman to the doofus test
Jim Balsillie's scheme to subvert the integrity of the NHL plumbed new depths on Labour Day when he deliberately and without provocation improved his offer to buy the Phoenix Coyotes.
Posted: September 08, 2009, 9:30 AM by NP Editor
Full Comment, Kelly McParland

Balsillie brazenly sweetened his offer by adding provisions that would compensate the city of Glendale US$40-$50 million for the loss of the team as tenants at Jobing.com arena. The arena lease has been one of the main sticking points in efforts to purchase the team, and was a key reason Jerry Reinsdorf withdrew his much-weaker bid for the team. The new Balsillie bid would also set aside some money to offset creditors' costs if the NHL appeals whatever ruling Bankruptcy Judge Redfield T. Baum eventually delivers.

Balsillie's offer now has these unfair advantages over the NHL bid for the team:

...

 
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09-08-2009, 10:24 AM
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Hey Leek...
Why do you call Balsille upping the ante and giving the COG a BS offer?
What do you consider the NHL offer that has an out clause after 1 year?

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09-08-2009, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by lillypad33 View Post
Hey Leek...
Why do you call Balsille upping the ante and giving the COG a BS offer?
What do you consider the NHL offer that has an out clause after 1 year?
A sweetheart of a deal!

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09-08-2009, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by lillypad33 View Post
Hey Leek...
Why do you call Balsille upping the ante and giving the COG a BS offer?
What do you consider the NHL offer that has an out clause after 1 year?
An attempt to distract everyone from the real question at hand. The real issue is: Does the NHL have the right to deny PSE's application to become an NHL franchise owner and partner in the Joint Venture?

In Fishman v. Estate of Wirtz 807 F.2d 520, 543-45 (7th Cir.,1986), the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that it was not an antitrust violation for the league to vote "no" to a prospective owner of the Chicago Bulls, holding:

"The NBA does effectively have the power to pick its members since it can reject everyone selected by the incumbent until the right new owner comes along....It is clear that the second step-the act of voting the rejection-cannot by itself give rise to an antitrust violation.....While it is true that the antitrust laws apply to a professional athletic league, and that joint action by members of a league can have antitrust implications this is not such a case. Here the plaintiffs wanted to join with those unwilling to accept them, not to compete with them, but to be partners in the operation of a sports league for plaintiffs' profit."

The situation in the Fishman v. Wirtz case did not involve a move to a new city but two competing bidders for the Bulls to remain and play in Chicago Stadium - then the only acceptable arena in Chicago. The winning bidder made a deal with the arena for exclusive rights and may even have had the lower bid dollar wise. The winning bidder, however, lobbied the other NBA team to vote 'yes' for him and 'no' for the other party (Fishman). Essentially a boycott of the Fishman group occured where the winning bidders, contacted each team and "invited" them to boycott the Fishman group and refuse to vote 'yes' on the franchise transfer to them despite them having entered into a contract to purchase with the existing owner. So the situation was somewhat similar to here where the BOG rejected making Balsilie their "partner" by voting no to his ownership application.

The losing bidder (Fishman) was sucessful on some claims related to the activity shutting him out of the ability to lease the Chicago Stadium. On the issue pertinent to the Coyotes/Balsilie case, however, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held there was nothing wrong with, or in violation of the antitrust laws, for the NBA BOG's to vote 'no' to an owner they simply did not like or were "invited to boycott". Case seems to support a 'no' vote on Balsilie by the NHL BOG's without violating any antitrust laws.

Court followed Levin v. NBA decided a few years earlier where the federal district court in New York reached the same result with regard to a 'no' vote to a prospective owner of the Boston Celtics, who then claimed that the NBA's conduct rejecting his application violated the antitrust laws.

Here, the NHL would appear to have grounds for rejected balsilie even if 'just cause" were required. His actions to date show that completely unwilling to consent to the terms of the NHL's Constitution, Bylaws and rules. Those bylaws provide that a team owner only owns the right to operate a team in a given territory and they they must follow certain procedures should they wish to apply for relocation and pay relocation fees etc.. Balsilie, through his conduct, has thumbed his middle finger to those rules. I think that under the Fishman v. Wirtz case a 'no' vote would be justified by any team without violating any antitrust laws.

In Fishman, the court made clear that personal dislike of a prospective owner (or preference of another bidder) leading to a 'no' vote by the BOG did not equate to anti-competitive conduct that would establish a Sherman Act anti-trust violation.

Then there is precedence against requiring movement or expansion Mid-South Grizzlies v. NFL 550 F. Supp. 558 (E.D. PA 1982). In this the Memphis Southmen of the WFL renamed themselves the Mid-South Grizzlies and sought to have their team taken in to the NFL as an expansion franchise. When the NFL refused, Mid-South Grizzlies sued in federal court. The Memphis owners lost on the same principles as Levin; the decision to expand as well as the decision as to who receives a franchise is that of the existing NFL owners alone.The court ruled the NFL could not be compelled to expand to Memphis.

Then there are several additional precedents cited by the League in Court filings. PSE did not file any precedent to support taking the right of approval away from JVs or partnerships. in fact when directly asked in open court by Judge Baum to cite ANY precedent, PSE attorney Mr. Kessler admitted there was none.

That means unless this Judge wants to create new precedent that will surely be appealed, and likely overturned, I believe it doesn't matter if PSE offers $100 Billion for the Coyotes and $200 million to Glendale he is likely to lose.

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09-08-2009, 11:09 AM
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Is there a percedent in which a bankruptcy court accepted less money for the creditors based on "law" that is made up between 30 members?

If the highest bid doesn't win, and creditors could have gotten money but didn't, then perhaps there will be an appeal by the creditors?

The only BS bid I see is the one from the NHL.... you know, the one that states that they would like to keep the team in Glendale while putting in an out clause for moving after 1 year.

The people in Glendale are getting screwed by a bunch of BS here, but it certainly isn't by Balsille.

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09-08-2009, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lillypad33 View Post
Is there a percedent in which a bankruptcy court accepted less money for the creditors based on "law" that is made up between 30 members?

If the highest bid doesn't win, and creditors could have gotten money but didn't, then perhaps there will be an appeal by the creditors?

The only BS bid I see is the one from the NHL.... you know, the one that states that they would like to keep the team in Glendale while putting in an out clause for moving after 1 year.

The people in Glendale are getting screwed by a bunch of BS here, but it certainly isn't by Balsille.
Lilly,
This is the NHL
This is American Law
This is the HFBoards.

Logic does not apply.

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09-08-2009, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lillypad33 View Post
Is there a percedent in which a bankruptcy court accepted less money for the creditors based on "law" that is made up between 30 members?

If the highest bid doesn't win, and creditors could have gotten money but didn't, then perhaps there will be an appeal by the creditors?

The only BS bid I see is the one from the NHL.... you know, the one that states that they would like to keep the team in Glendale while putting in an out clause for moving after 1 year.

The people in Glendale are getting screwed by a bunch of BS here, but it certainly isn't by Balsille.
I can cite more precedent that states a business, partnership or joint venture isn't required to accept a partner at any price against it's will. The law is not made by the 30 partners that are the BoG.

If you think if you have any legal precedent that shows a Court will require a JV to accept a partner against it's wishes, please post it. While you're at it, please post any precedent that shows a League can be compelled by another party to place a team in a market against it's will.

Rodier will likely pay you handsomely if you can. His teams from three separate law firms can't come up with any.

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09-08-2009, 11:26 AM
  #22
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Originally Posted by leek View Post
I can cite more precedent that states a business, partnership or joint venture isn't required to accept a partner at any price against it's will. The law is not made by the 30 partners that are the BoG.

If you think if you have any legal precedent that shows a Court will require a JV to accept a partner against it's wishes, please post it. While you're at it, please post any precedent that shows a League can be compelled by another party to place a team in a market against it's will.

Rodier will likely pay you handsomely if you can. His teams from three separate law firms can't come up with any.
It is worth noting that JB's counsel openly admitted this in court.

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09-08-2009, 11:37 AM
  #23
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Originally Posted by leek View Post
I don't know how Bruckheimer would interact with the BoG, but I think if he followed the process he would probably receive approval. For that matter, if Balsillie had followed the process the first time, he would own the Stanley Cup champs and they would be in Pittsburgh.

On the other hand, if Bruckheimer or Disney intended to move the team for 2009-10, or even in the short term (under 5-7 years) IMHO no way they get approved.
I don't know. The NHL couldn't bend over fast enough for Disney, placing the Ducks right next door to the Kings.

I know that McNall didn't have an issue with it and certainly that helped.
But it seems if you're buddies with the right guy, or have a massive amount of exposure at your disposal, the NHL will bypass any of their laws to fit you in.

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09-08-2009, 11:38 AM
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To further explain the real issue at hand:

In Arnstein v. American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, D.C.S.D.N.Y. 1939, 29 F. Supp. 388, the plaintiff, a composer, alleged a conspiracy on the part of the society to prevent his membership, even though he was well qualified for membership. The court said at page 393, of 29 F. Supp.:

"One of plaintiff's main contentions against ASCAP
was that he had applied for membership, was fully
qualified and that they unjustifiedly refused to
admit him to membership. The following quotation from
the plaintiff's brief fairly sets forth his claim in
this respect: `That although he has been a composer
of music for the last forty years, and his music has
been performed for profit in thousands of public
places where the ASCAP is the sole collector of
royalties, by barring plaintiff from membership the
ASCAP was able to keep all the royalties so
collected, without any responsibility to plaintiff.
The argument that they have such right to exclude
plaintiff is erroneous.'

"[Defendants] say that he is not qualified as a
composer; that he has not composed any works that
have any value to ASCAP; that he does not own the
performing rights in most of the works that he wrote
and that they were justified in rejecting him from
membership.

"It is not necessary for me to go into this,
because I find that ASCAP is a private association;
that its rules and bylaws define the manner and means
upon which it admits composers to membership; that no
one has an absolute right to be a member; that it has
the sole power to say who shall belong and who shall
not. That refusal to admit plaintiff to membership is
not an invasion of his rights and gives him no right
of action against ASCAP thereby.
"

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09-08-2009, 11:40 AM
  #25
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
An opinion piece by an editor from the Full Comment section of The National Post:

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/b...ufus-test.aspx



From the article:

Quote:
Both bids would allow the team to move. The main difference is that Balsillie wants to move it to Hamilton, where it would be wildly popular and probably generate big profits, while NHL commissioner Gary Bettman would like to continue his practice of selecting U.S. cities with no interest whatever in hockey, like maybe Biloxi, Miss., or Lubbock Texas (where it could potentially partner with the Buddy Holly Memorial Centre for a sure-fire double bill).

Balsillie's strategy is transparent. He intends to make an offer so enticing that only a true doofus could refuse it. Clearly this is another example of Balsillie's lack of integrity and unsuitability as an owner of the NHL, which prefers crooks, charlatans and windbags, who have limited understanding of the game and can thus be counted on to treat Bettman like he knows what he's doing.
You know, just because it's an opinion piece doesn't mean that is has to fall back on the same tired old canards. I went from tentatively supporting a team in Hamilton to now being almost deadset against it, and it's because of the way that Canadian fans disparage Commissioner Bettman. Errr, wait, let me snazz that up a bit for some of you... "BUTTMAN" (see, it's funny because BETT is close to BUTT!!!!).

Then of course the same old tactic of labeling every NHL owner a crook and a charlatan. Charming.

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