This is a very curious move. If Basille succeeds, he could end up being Bettman's Mark Cuban.
A few hours after Moyes announced Tuesday that the team had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection -- a move that could allow the cash-strapped franchise to be sold and moved to Ontario -- the NHL said it would represent the team in bankruptcy court.
"We have just become aware of today's bankruptcy court filing purportedly made on behalf of the Phoenix Coyotes," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. "We are investigating the circumstances surrounding the petition, including the propriety of its filing.
"We have removed Jerry Moyes from all positions of authority to act for or on behalf of the club. The league will appear and proceed before the bankruptcy court in the best interests of all of the club's constituencies, including its fans in Arizona and the league's 29 other member clubs."
Earlier, BlackBerry boss Jim Balsillie announced a plan to buy the Coyotes and move them to Ontario.
The co-CEO of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion said that his $212.5 million offer is conditional on the Coyotes relocating to Canada, where they existed as the Winnipeg Jets before moving to Phoenix for the 1996-97 season.
"The decision by the ownership of the Phoenix Coyotes to initiate bankruptcy proceedings without consultation or approval of the National Hockey League is an unfortunate turn of events for the NHL, the State of Arizona and the Coyotes' loyal fans," the city of Glendale said in a statement. "Even as the propriety of this unprecedented action is being thoroughly investigated by the NHL, city officials are working diligently to ensure that the public's interest is fully protected throughout this process.
"The current team ownership asked that I table an offer to purchase the Coyotes and significant discussions resulted in an offer that is in the best interests of the franchise, the NHL, and the great hockey fans of Canada and Southern Ontario," Balsillie said in a statement.
"I am excited to move closer to bringing an NHL franchise to what I believe is one of the best unserved hockey markets in the world -- Southern Ontario. A market with devoted hockey fans, a rich hockey history, a growing and diversified economy and a population of more than seven million people," he said.
He's not even hiding the fact he wants to move the team to Ontario on this one...such a slap in the face to Bettman. Very curious why they insist on having money losing teams remain in money losing markets...when Bettman was so hot and heavy to move franchises in the 90's.