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NHL REACTS TO JUDGE'S RULING ON BIDS

Friday, 08.07.2009 / 6:14 PM / News
Arizona Coyotes
Editor’s Note: NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly spoke with Dave Vest of phoenixcoyotes.com over the telephone Friday afternoon regarding the bankruptcy court ruling handed down Wednesday that opened the door for non-relocation and relocation bids for the Coyotes at next month's auction.

• Click here to listen to the interview and/or read the transcript below:

Dave Vest: “Two days ago Bill, Judge Baum of the U.S Bankruptcy Court here in Phoenix ruled that the auction for the Coyotes would be open to all qualified bidders and not just “local” bidders. Just 48 hours later, I’m curious what the league’s reaction to that ruling is.”

Bill Daly
Bill Daly: “Well, (it’s) not exactly our preferred response from the judge, but I guess it also wasn’t totally unexpected with us having to go past the original auction date of August 5th. I think the judge wanted to make sure that everybody had a chance to make a bid on the team, and I do think it was his way of signaling to everyone involved in the case that it’s time to start making their deals and getting their bids in order.”

Vest: “Bill, as it stands now the team will be auctioned for sale on September the 10th. If you do a quick glance at the calendar it reveals that that is just five days before the team is scheduled to play its first preseason game. So, given the timeframe of the process is it safe for Coyotes fans to assume that the Coyotes will indeed be based in Glendale for the entire 2009-2010 season regardless of what happens on the tenth (of September)?”

Daly: “Yeah, I believe it is safe for that. As a practical matter, and you know we’ve made this position known to the judge repeatedly throughout this process, as a practical matter it is now impossible to accommodate a relocation of this franchise for the ‘09-10 season. The schedule has been released. Teams have made their travel arrangements (and) their logistical hotel arrangements, and the like. And with alignments and everything that would be involved, it’s just not possible to relocate the franchise. But you know our objective here is much broader than the 09-10 season. We want to make sure that we come up with a solution that will keep the Coyotes in Phoenix forever.”

Vest: “That leads me to my next question Bill. How confident at this point is the league that there will be at least one “local” bid in the game on September 10?"

Daly: “Well…I’m certainly very, very hopeful and I think everybody is working around the clock very hard to get pieces in place, and that’s what needs to be done. And I think, as I alluded to at the top, I think that’s one of the court’s motivations in making some of the rulings he’s made - to motivate and incentivize all the parties to come to resolution and I think, you know, in just the two days I think we’ve started to see some of that happening. And again, we’re just a cheerleader at this point hoping that people can put pieces in place and making connections where necessary, but we’re very, very hopeful that things will crystallize in the very near future.”

Vest: “Finally, what message does the league have for the Coyotes fans who may be starting to lose faith in this process or, more importantly, the team’s long-term future here?”

Daly: “The message really for the Coyotes fans, (and) they’ve been tremendous throughout this entire process, (is) we thank them on behalf of the Coyotes, the team management -and I know the current team management really very much appreciates the support they Coyotes fans have given us. But even broader than that, the 29 other clubs and the league office really appreciates where Coyotes fans have been. We receive numerous letters of support virtually every day because people love this franchise and want to support this franchise. People are hanging in there, people have hung in there through what has already been a very long summer. I would just encourage people to continue to hang in there.”



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