Bill Daly is Probably Wrong – Just Like Bettman Was

Jonathan Willis
May 09 2009 11:31AM

coppscoliseum

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly continued the NHL’s PR war against Jim Balsillie and Jerry Moyes on Friday, claiming that there were “at least three” serious suitors for the Phoenix Coyotes before Moyes pulled the rug out of everyone’s feet and moved the Coyotes into bankruptcy.

Here are the money quotes, courtesy of TSN:

”There have been at least three expressions of interest with serious money behind them to operate this team in Glendale. The most recent expression and the one that's farthest along would have involved all of the creditors being paid all their money back and having stable ownership and a fully funded franchise going forward."

"The only person who generates additional cash out of the Balsillie bid for relocation to Hamilton would be Jerry Moyes. None of the creditors would get any additional money from that bid."

I’ve got a few points to make about these quotes:

1) When Bill Daly says that the only person who will make any extra money out of this bid would be Jerry Moyes. I’m quite sure he’s wrong there; it won’t just be Jerry Moyes, it will be everyone with an ownership stake, including Wayne Gretzky. 2) Since Daly admits that Moyes is going to make more money out of a Balsillie bid, obviously none of the other three “expressions of interest” were willing to pony up as much money, and that’s a key consideration. 3) Why shouldn’t Moyes make some of his money back? Since investing his personal fortune in the club, he’s lost a ton of cash. Back in 2003 the number was pegged at $100 million by ESPN, and Moyes now puts the figure at “over $300 million”; whatever the actual number is, Moyes clearly isn’t making any money on this transaction. 4) It’s a lot easier for Bill Daly to talk about “expressions of interest with serious money behind them” than it is for a potential owner to put up more than $200 million dollars to buy the team. Balsillie’s put the money up, which is more than the NHL can say about any of these other bidders, who by their own admission aren’t offering as much money. 5) Those “three expressions of interest” wouldn’t be from these three people, would they? The reason I ask is because if the NHL approaches someone, they take a look at the books and say no, I don’t think it’s fair to call it an “expression of interest”.

Of course, all of those points are even assuming that we’re willing to give the NHL the benefit of the doubt and take them at their word; something which I personally see no compelling reason to do. In fact, I distrust virtually everything the NHL says on this front, based on what they’ve said in the past. Consider for example what Gary Bettman said back in February:

"There's been a tremendous amount of speculation and commentary about the state of the Coyotes. I think most of it has been terribly unfair to the Coyotes organization, to the players, and, most important, to the fans. There are some issues we're working on in terms of getting a new capital infusion for the club, which will probably take the form of some new partners for (majority investor) Jerry Moyes, or even a possible sale of the franchise. But these reports of the franchise's demise are just ridiculous."

"I think the thing people shouldn't lose sight of is that Jerry Moyes has been committed to Glendale, he's been committed to the Coyotes. We're not just talking about energy and passion, we're talking about a huge financial commitment. He's somebody who believes, as do I, that the future of the Coyotes is in Glendale."

We're working on bringing this to a conclusion by season's end. Business is being conducted as usual, and all the rumors about things that are going wrong are simply without merit.

(bolding mine)

There’s absolutely no reason to trust the NHL on this one and there are a lot of very good reasons not to.

And It’s All About Hamilton

Of course, it may not just be Balsillie who has his eyes on Hamilton. A report in the Hamilton Spectator suggests that Vancouver-based Tom Gaglardi (who has previously tried to purchase the Vancouver Canucks) is interested in purchasing the Atlanta Thrashers and moving them to Hamilton.

A quote from the article:

Gaglardi's group is Steeltown's second NHL suitor. There are now rumours of as many as five groups looking at Hamilton and Copps Coliseum for an NHL team.

It almost sounds like Balsillie’s started an avalanche here, and that may end up hurting him, because I’m fairly sure that Gary Bettman would welcome Satan (and we’re not talking Miroslav) as an investor before he would welcome Balsillie. It’s a disappointing tack for Gary Bettman to take, and it wouldn’t surprise me if it eventually ends him as NHL commissioner. After all, right now he’s fighting to keep a money-losing franchise in Phoenix by finding a new owner who will pay less money than Balsillie for the team. This directly hurts NHL owners, who a) pay financial assistance to money-losing clubs and b) almost certainly wouldn’t mind seeing franchise values inflated by bids like Balsillie’s.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 Travis Dakin
May 10 2009, 07:52PM
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kingsblade wrote:

I hate to tell you this but “Travis Dakin” is every bit as anonymous to me as “Kingsblade” is to you, and I’m pretty sure you must feel fairly anonymous because I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be so quick to insult people you don’t know to heir face and tell them to lighten up.

My name is Travis Daniel Dakin. I live in Fort McMurray. Anybody who has been around this site for a while knows this. In fact a few people on here have me on facebook and also on twitter where you can put a face to the name "Travis Dakin." Now sugartits, when someone gives you the gears about something you say, it is not necessarily an insult. In big boy land we can usually rip on someone and it's a good laugh all around. You sir, need to calm the hell down. You weren't arguing or squabbling or quarreling or disputing or even disagreeing or were you? You're just trying to show everyone that you g-g-g-ot a s-s-sma-a-rt brain. It's cool bro, like I said I was impressed.Travis Dakin wrote:

#25 Travis Dakin May 9 2009, 6:24 pm. @ kingsblade: @ Bad Seed: Thanks for flaunting the mighty brain power boys. I called a couple girls and they were impressed that you knew “stuff.” It was a simple musing…. It’s funny that the NHL is so adamant about playing by their rules when they don’t play by the rules so tightly themselves. But feel free to debunk that opinion.

Where was this insult?

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#52 kingsblade
May 10 2009, 11:05PM
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@ Travis Dakin: Wrong quote. Try this one.

Travis Dakin wrote:

Reason being is you’re one of those people that come on here and argue with absolutely anything even if it is not something that needs to be argued. And I do know “stuff”, but I don’t need to have the safety net of an anonymous name and ample time to think of fancy ways to over articulate my responses before I press send or enter. Lighten up I was teasing you

You don't consider your little comments about safety nets and over articulating insulting? I agree they aren't especially grievous it is still insulting and becomes more irritating when you follow it with "just teasing."

It'd not like I'm offended or upset or anything. I just found your response a bit infantile and abrasive. As I said, I wasn't arguing, because there was no other side to my argument. I was explaining the facts of the situation. There is no argument.

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#53 Travis Dakin
May 11 2009, 12:38AM
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@ kingsblade: So you're not upset or offended that I was teasing, just irritated because I had the nerve to tell you that I was teasing? Right. Jeanshorts made a comment about how it's funny the NHL is using "he doesn't play by the rules" as a reason for denying Balsillie all the while that they have their own set of rules in which they govern their league which, if applied to real world business practices would almost certainly violate some jurisdiction or ethical or financial or even contractual laws. jeanshorts wrote:

I also find it hilarious that the NHL keeps condemning Balsille for not adhering to the NHL’s rules when it come to franchises and business, when in reality those same rules are in violation of a lot of real world laws in terms of business owning and operating.

You could have said, "Well they are actually exempt from many rules as a business as a whole but Yeah that is funny. No instead you treat us to this...

kingsblade wrote:

As a pro sports league the NHL has specific exemptions from a number of laws that regulate other businesses, and specifically, they have many anti-trust exemptions. They are granted because otherwise there would be no realistic way to run a league with privately owned teams. Every pro league has similar exemptions. The league would hold up fine in court over the types of thing you have mentioned. Your Starbucks example doesn’t work either, because even with them you cannot put one up kitty corner from another without permission from head office. It would only be allowed in a location where the market could support both locations. Starbucks is one of the strongest companies in the world at market research and determining where new locations can thrive. That’s the main reason why many real estate investors follow the Starbucks rule before investing. (You look for new Starbucks locations to help determine areas on the rise in terms of property value - thus piggybacking on their research)

Thanks for that. How about this... It's funny how the NHL is denying Balsillie because he isn't playing by the rules. Well actually he is playing by the rules of the business world, not the NHL's.

Now feel free to go off on a two page rant detailing why this is not true. It's ok now because I asked for it.

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#54 Travis Dakin
May 11 2009, 12:45AM
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@ kingsblade: I teased you because of your needlessly verbose response. I found it funny. Are you ok with that?

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#55 Charlie
May 11 2009, 12:55AM
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Wow. We really need the Oilers back, and soon.

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#56 The Towel Boy
May 11 2009, 07:32AM
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@ Charlie:

This is the more exciting to watch than anything the Oilers did this year. :O

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#57 charlie
May 11 2009, 09:42AM
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@ Towel Boy:

Well played, sir.

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#58 kingsblade
May 11 2009, 09:52AM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

Travis Dakin wrote:
@ kingsblade: So you’re not upset or offended that I was teasing, just irritated because I had the nerve to tell you that I was teasing? Right.
No, I was irritated because you decided to preface your statement that you were teasing with insults.
Jeanshorts made a comment about how it’s funny the NHL is using “he doesn’t play by the rules” as a reason for denying Balsillie all the while that they have their own set of rules in which they govern their league which, if applied to real world business practices would almost certainly violate some jurisdiction or ethical or financial or even contractual laws. jeanshorts wrote: I also find it hilarious that the NHL keeps condemning Balsille for not adhering to the NHL’s rules when it come to franchises and business, when in reality those same rules are in violation of a lot of real world laws in terms of business owning and operating. You could have said, “Well they are actually exempt from many rules as a business as a whole but Yeah that is funny. No instead you treat us to this…
The quote of his you just pasted was not what I was responding too. Someone else responded and he argued this... jeanshorts wrote:
All I’m saying is that the rules the NHL uses to enforce a lot of their business practices don’t hold up in the real world, and if it was ever taken to court I’m not sure the NHL would come out on top
This is what I was responding too. He had received a short answer and didn't like it so I gave him a complete one.
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#59 kingsblade
May 11 2009, 09:53AM
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that didn't format like I'd hoped obviously.

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#60 Travis Dakin
May 11 2009, 10:47AM
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I like that way better. It stands out more. Like that one time Baggedmilk made the words go right off the page. Blew my mind.

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#61 Archaeologuy
May 11 2009, 10:50AM
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I think if you yell loud enough it can go off the page. I'm gonna try.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhggggggggggggggggggggggggggg

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#62 The Towel Boy
May 11 2009, 11:10AM
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@ Archaeologuy:

There's H's on the ads. THERE'S H'S ON THE ADS!!!

*head explodes - picture popping a balloon filled with chili*

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#63 topshelf
May 11 2009, 11:50AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

I think if you yell loud enough it can go off the page. I’m gonna try. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhggggggggggggggggggggggggggg

Must be a slow day around here.....

*crickets*

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#64 kingsblade
May 11 2009, 02:29PM
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Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhggggggggggggggggggggggggggg

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#65 kingsblade
May 11 2009, 02:29PM
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hah, for some reason I though it would be more complicated than that.

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#66 Archaeologuy
May 11 2009, 04:32PM
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kingsblade wrote:

hah, for some reason I though it would be more complicated than that.

Nope. The rage and passion of ON knows no bounds, including the boundaries of the message boards.

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#67 Travis Dakin
May 11 2009, 06:12PM
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You guys just basically told me Santa doesn't exist.

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