The ownership group of the Phoenix Coyotes said it filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday afternoon.
The filing, a news release noted, included the proposed sale of the team to an organization believed to set up by RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie, who has been trying to bring teams -- including the Nashville Predators and Pittsburgh Penguins -- to Canada for more than 2 1/2 years.
In the release, managing partner Jerry Moyes noted a proposed price of $212.5 million and said the sale would ideally be consummated by June 30. That price would also include paying $30 million to the NHL, which had infused money into the team.
But those in the league office, who have been insisting the team would likely stay in Phoenix, didn't seem to be aware of the supposed plan and even questioned the veracity of the filing.
"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 released on NHL.com.
"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."
The news was interestingly absent from PhoenixCoyotes.com.
Moyes noted in the release that the current proposal was the highest price he felt he could get for the team and that any other offer would have to top the current proposed price by $5 million and be completely funded.
The Coyotes missed paying eight months of rent on their arena before the league stepped in and paid the owed amount. Before the season, Moyes said that he lost more than $200 million on operating the franchise since 2001. Moyes and a partner paid $120 for the team eight years ago.
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