September 23, 2009

Coyotes to stay put this season

The NHL learned Wednesday the Phoenix Coyotes would remain in place throughout the upcoming season, no matter who winds up owning the team, court records show.

The fate of the Coyotes rests with a bankruptcy judge, whose court will eventually decide which of two outstanding offers to buy the team will prevail.

Franchise owner Jerry Moyes filed for bankruptcy in May, leaving the future of the team in the court's hands.

Canadian businessman Jim Balsille has submitted a bid to purchase the team and has said he would move it to Hamilton, Ontario. Documents released at an emergency bankruptcy hearing Wednesday, however, indicated Balsille would wait until next season to move the team if his bid is eventually accepted.

The NHL has already rejected Balsille's bid, although Judge Redfield T. Baum will have the final say.

The league has also made its own bid to purchase the franchise, something it did after Chicago sports figure Jerry Reinsdorf stepped out of the bidding process.

Phoenix is scheduled to open the 2009-2010 season at Los Angeles Oct. 3.