NEW YORK — Potential owner Jim Balsillie has filed an application for the relocation of the Phoenix Coyotes, a move expected to happen later this week.
Balsillie's spokesman told The Canadian Press late Monday night that Balsillie filed the application with the league office. It includes details why he believes the NHL should consider his proposal to purchase the team for $212.5 million and bring it to Hamilton, Ontario.
"We put together all of the elements of the design, the market and updating the facility and stuff like that," Balsillie said. "It's an important and comprehensive document. ...
"Really this is all about for me just complying with the league rules and regulations."
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly declined to comment when contacted by e-mail.
Balsillie is seeking to purchase the Coyotes out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy and move the team to Copps Coliseum as soon as next season. A key part of his plan is a $150 million renovation to the 24-year-old building that Balsillie believes will make it arguably the "most advanced and modern and complete facility in the NHL."
The league contends its bylaws allow it to make final decisions on relocation and that Coyotes majority owner Jerry Moyes has no right to sell the team conditional on a move to southern Ontario because he has no control over that territory.
Balsillie's relocation application is one of several documents that will be submitted this week.
Lawyers for the NHL and Moyes have been given a Friday deadline by bankruptcy judge Redfield T. Baum to present written arguments whether the team can be moved as part of a sale in his court.
Baum will preside over a June 9 hearing where the parties will state their respective cases and has said he intends to make a prompt ruling on the relocation issue. His decision will dictate whether Balsillie can become an NHL owner after years of trying.
The Canadian billionaire is looking forward to seeing what happens.
"This is about facts and rules and law," Balsillie said. "He's fundamentally respecting the fact that creditors matter. We expect that he'll also respect the fact that we're not looking to upend anything in the NHL. We're fully committed to being a good owner and a respective member of the board of governors. ...
"We're excited that the judge is obviously — as he should — taking the creditors' interests very seriously. He sees us as a very strong and bona fide offer."