As he left the courthouse yesterday, Richard Rodier told reporters "We're back in!" Back into what exactly? Back in the garage to get your car? Back in the Phoenix heat? I'm really unclear as to what exactly you're thinking there when the NHL pretty much got everything they wanted. Separate parts for a local sale followed by a sale including those that want to move the team only if necessary. That's being back in? It's really like being in the back seat for now. Let me give you the run down of what happened in court so we can all get a hold of what's going on.
The sides took care of a few minor things regarding a bank account that needed to be set up for the parking money owed to the city, and some other small paperwork things. Then we started to get into the stuff that actually matters to everyone. One of the big things to come out of the hearing today was that we heard from the attorneys for "Glendale Hockey LLC" or the group headed by Jerry Reinsdorf. They basically said that they needed a little bit more information from the team, but that they would be ready to submit an offer by Friday. More surprising was when the Glendale attorney came up to the mic shortly there after, he said the City of Glendale strongly supports the Reinsdorfgroup buying the team and cited his relationship with the city etc. as benefits. It was really surprising to hear that from any of the attorneys really. I expect a favorable shine on the PSE people from any Moyes attorney, but for someone on the league side of things to come out for a bidder already seems strange, but good.
The real work today was to try and figure out what needed to be done with the NHL's proposed schedule for the sale of the team. Initially the date was set for September 10th to be the local sale date and the sale for the team and being able to move would happen "at a later date". The two sides spent most of the afternoon going back and forth over the Moyes/Balsillie position that the two sales should basically happen at the same time with an auction for all bidders at once. After head pounding arguments from the PSE attorney (that seemed to go on forever and had a good chunk of the courtroom squirming from general annoyance) the judge called a recess to think about a couple of things regarding the schedule. When we came back he told everyone we were going to do it pretty much the NHL's way, but on a much faster timeframe. If someone wants to buy the team and keep it local, that auction will now happen on August 5th, and if that doesn't get any suitable buyers then a second auction with the ability to relocate the team will happen on September 10th. There are various deadlines along the way for officially filing bids and finalizing offers and such, but August 5th is basically the big day.
One other thing that I want to point out is that the NHL/City pointed out that some of the statements the Moyes/Balsillie side had been making simply weren't true. All over the place we've seen people saying the City would have to make "Major concessions". They refuted that today saying that there were aspects of the agreement that needed work, but that for the City the changes would be practically revenue-neutral or not giving or taking away much of anything. That's an important point because it means the Reinsdorf deal is that much easier to get through without making issues for Glendale. Another supposed part of the deal would have the group take on the debt from the NHL and the Dell group instead of paying the immediately off. That leaves a lot more room for the creditors to move in and get money out of. I'm not sure I like it in terms of how it will effect the team finances, but it does make the offer more appealing to the creditors other than Jerry Moyes.
The only real positive for the Moyes/Balsillie side here was that they actually got an auction for the team to be moved just in case the sale to a local bidder doesn't work. That only comes into play if no buyer can be found here and with the offers that were once thought to be make believe in the eyes of some becoming more of a reality I still really don't get how exactly Balsillie is "Back in".