NHL bids low for Coyotes

The NHL is offering about US$140 million to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes in U.S. Bankruptcy Court and would avoid a sticky issue still facing the case by accepting the existing lease to play in Glendale.

The NHL is offering about US$140 million to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes in U.S. Bankruptcy Court and would avoid a sticky issue still facing the case by accepting the existing lease to play in Glendale. The league announced on Tuesday that it was submitting a bid but did not reveal the size of the offer until Wednesday. The other bidder that would keep the team in Arizona, Ice Edge Holdings, did not include a figure in its bid, but its Canadian CEO Anthony LeBlanc said the partnership will offer up to $150 million. However, the Ice Edge bid is contingent on reaching a new lease agreement with Glendale, something LeBlanc said must happen by the end of next week to keep the offer viable. Neither offer would assume the $8-million-per-year coaching contract of Wayne Gretzky, nor provide any money to Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes. The two bids plus the $212.5-million offer of Canadian billionaire James Balsillie, which is contingent on immediately moving the franchise to Hamilton, were filed Wednesday after being submitted by a court-imposed deadline on Tuesday for review by the debtors in possession, a group headed by Moyes.

The league says that if its bid is successful, it intends to sell the team to a third party.

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