June 27, 2009

Bulls owner offers to buy Phoenix Coyotes

Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf heads a group offering $148 million to buy the Phoenix Coyotes, an NHL executive has confirmed.

The league said in a statement before the NHL draft that the offer was submitted in bankruptcy court documents in Phoenix Friday afternoon.

We're aware the offer has been made, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said. We're pleased there's an offer to own and operate the Coyotes in Phoenix.

The league said the offer by the Reinsdorf group calls for a new Jobing.com Arena lease with the city of Glendale and unspecified new agreements with other creditors -- including the NHL, which has been funding the cash-strapped franchise.

Bankruptcy Judge Redfield T. Baum had set a Friday deadline for potential buyers who would keep the team in Arizona to submit purchase applications to the league.

Team officials declared bankruptcy on May 5 and The Arizona Republic said its creditors claimed it had $127.8 million in debt.