Bankruptcy hearing for Coyotes gets underway, judge says no decision Tuesday

A bankruptcy hearing that could determine the fate of the Phoenix Coyotes is underway.

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PHOENIX — A bankruptcy hearing that could determine the fate of the Phoenix Coyotes is underway.

But there won’t be a decision Tuesday, according to Judge Redfield T. Baum.

“To save the suspense I’m not going to rule from the bench today,” Baum told the court.

Baum is presiding over a crammed courtroom and will ultimately determine if Coyotes majority owner Jerry Moyes has the right to put the NHL team into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The league has argued in court documents that Moyes gave up control of the team in a proxy agreement he signed in November after getting a cash advance from the NHL to help keep the Coyotes afloat.

Moyes says he never gave up control of the team and argues that he has a right to place it into bankruptcy, opening the door for Jim Balsillie’s US$212.5-million bid.

Balsillie is seeking to buy the franchise and move it to Hamilton — something the NHL contends he has no right to do without the consent of the league’s board of governors.

Moyes has plunged more than $300 million into the Coyotes and stands to lose the majority of that investment even if Balsillie is allowed to purchase the team.

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