"Why yes Mr. Bal-sillie, we'd love for you to relocate the Phoenix Coy-o-tes. All we ask for in return is the tidy sum of ... ONE HUNDRED MILL-ION DOLLARS!!!"
Via Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star, who has been covering the bankruptcy court proceedings all day in lovely Phoenix, comes news that NHL could ask for a $100 million relocation fee if Jim Balsillie's bid for the Phoenix Coyotes moves forward legally:
Judge Redfield Baum said the league was within its rights to charge a "reasonable" fee and to take a "reasonable" length of time to consider Balsillie's applications to buy and move the team.
Balsillie's lawyer suggested the league was dragging its feet on the applications, hoping to freeze out Balsillie, who has threatened to pull his $212.5 million offer to buy the bankrupt team. Freeman also suggested Balsillie would walk if the $100 million fee was approved by the court. The fee is not set in stone, but may be subject to negotiations.
More about the relocation fee from the Globe & Mail. With a ruling expected later this week, attention may soon turn to the auction phase of this process. As the Vancouver Sun writes (and please do check out their cartoon of Ari Fleischer and Edward G. Robinson ... uh, Balsillie and Bettman fighting):
If you can afford a US$20-million deposit, and if you have proof you are filthy, stinking rich beyond the value of that deposit, you may be able to bid against Jim Balsillie for the Phoenix Coyotes.
The top sports headlines of the day
Meanwhile, the folks at Make It Seven passed along this grassroots musical anthem for their efforts to bring the Coyotes to Southern Ontario. We'd complain about it completely offending our American sensibilities if it weren't the catchiest damn thing we've heard since the Free Credit Report jingle. Hell, make it 17! (Beware a few NSFW images of a young fan, uh, telling critics they're No. 1.)