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Make it Seven campaign update: Gary Bettman’s BlackBerry

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Aislin Editorial Cartoon in the Gazette.

Balsillie hasn’t been having much success these days in the courtroom but the man has perseverance and money, so don’t underestimate his ability to get whatever he wants.

Next week, there will be a court hearing as to the fate of the Phoenix Coyotes and whether or not they’ll be moving to Hamilton to become Canada’s seventh hockey team.

Most recently, team owner Jerry Moyes and Jim Balsillie have had their lawyers request that the courts turn over documents relating to the sale of the team, as well as they have asked for consent in the examination of commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly. This isn’t going to make Bettman very happy, which is why the above editorial cartoon sums things up nicely.

If the request goes through, Bettman is going to have a lot of tough questions to answer. The NHL has rejected Balsillie as a potential owner but they’ve yet to provide an adequate explanation as to why. The examination will also try and expose the reasoning behind the NHL’s argument that it isn’t possible to move the Coyotes in time for the start of the 2009-2010 season coming in October.

So it’s still anyone’s game at this point. Join the Make it Seven campaign today.

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RIM offers the chance to instantly win a BlackBerry and more

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RIM has launched a new campaign on their WinWithBlackBerry site. The contest offers the chance to instantly win prizes such as one of 10 BlackBerry devices, accessories and discounts.

It seems Jim Balsillie had a hand in this contest because you can also win a ton of hockey prizes. You can win hockey jerseys, game tickets and an all expenses paid trip for 4 to a “North American Hockey League finals game” and $2,000 spending cash.

The contest works on points, and the more you participate in the contest, the more points you get.

Check out WinWithBlackBerry for registration and more contest details.

[Hat tip]

Jim Balsillie and the makeitseven campaign update

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[ED NOTE: If you've registered at makeitseven.ca, you have already seen the message from Jim Balsillie. I thought I'd repost the letter for those who haven't seen it and to encourage more registrations.]

A message from Jim Balsillie:

Yesterday, Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes filed documents in court confirming his receipt of our offer to purchase the team for US$212.5 million, that the offer expires June 30, 2009 and that it is conditional upon moving the team to southern Ontario. We learned that the court has moved up its date to hear arguments on the question of relocation to June 9th and Judge Baum has said he will rule on this issue shortly after. If he rules the team can be relocated, the Judge has also indicated he will move the date of the auction we have asked for up to June 22nd.

We have maintained from the beginning that we need to be in control of the team by then to know if we can move it this year, or if we have to keep it in Glendale for another year and then move it to its new home, Copps Coliseum, where we have secured the rights to a long-term lease.

We are moving ahead. In the days ahead, I will have more exciting details to share with you about bringing this team to Canada.

In the meantime, we need our voices to be heard. Currently, we have over 130,000 people signed up www.makeitseven.ca and we need to reach out to hockey lovers throughout Canada and the world to expand our movement. If each of you were able to get one friend to sign up, we could mobilize over a quarter of a million people in an online movement.

Jim Balsillie talks about his love for hockey and Canada (transcribed)

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Jim Balsillie spoke with the editorial board at the Toronto Star yesterday and he expressed some frustration regarding the purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes. He talked about this love for the game and his passion for Canada. A real patriot, Jim said he had to take a “side door” approach to try and secure the Coyotes and give Canada a 7th hockey team.

I recorded the conversation with my BlackBerry 8900 using MyCaption so you could read the transcripts. There is also an audio clip for you to listen to

Jim Balsillie Toronto Star Audio
Click through to read the transcribed conversation using MyCaption

Glendale, Arizona tries to block Jim Balsillie Coyotes purchase

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Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO of RIM is making an aggressive move to get a 32-year lease for Copps Coliseum, buy the Phoenix Coyotes and move them to Hamilton, but the city of Arizona is trying to block his slapshot.

The city of Glendale, Ariz., laid out its legal objections to the proposed sale of the Coyotes, saying a bankruptcy court judge shouldn’t consider the sale of the team “based on the false premise that (the winning bidders) are legally capable of relocating the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team.”

The Glendale believes that their bankruptcy doesn’t allow the Coyotes to break their “Non-Relocation Covenant” that prohibits them from relocating, and requires the team to play all of its home games at the arena for the full term of the 30-year lease.

“The city believes that it has the right under applicable law to prohibit any relocation of the Phoenix Coyotes,” say the city’s documents signed by lawyer Cathy Reece. “The city believes and therefore asserts that its right to enforce the Non-Relocation Covenant under applicable law shall survive these Chapter 11 cases, including any sale of the (team).”

Obviously Arizona is not keen on the idea of losing their hockey team which generates revenue for the city. Even though the team is bankrupt, if they relocate, the city loses any potential of saving the hockey team as a revenue stream.

Although Arizona is upset about the deal, Hamilton couldn’t be happier about a team relocation. The city is expecting a surge in local spending as well as visitors from the surrounding cities for big games and events. Balsillie signed a deal which was approved unanimously by the council, promising Balsillie a long-term lease if he secures the Phoenix Coyotes. The deal includes a $5 million injection of cash from Balsillie to help upgrade the 17,000-seat arena by 2010.

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Jim Balsillie finally makes bid to buy an NHL franchise

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I just watched Jim Balsillie speak at WES 2009 and it’s always great to hear the man speak. He’s a brilliant public speaker and the company is safe in his hands.

If you’re on the consumer side of things, the keynotes here at WES may not be your thing but you’ll surely love to hear that Jim Dog is finally getting into the hockey space. The man who helped bring us the best smartphone on Earth has made his intentions known that a $212.5 million (US) offer was on the table to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes. One condition of the purchase was that Balsillie would relocate the franchise to an unspecified region in Southern Ontario.

The NHL is obviously trying to put the kibosh on the move but Canadians are going to rally behind him surely. Not only is BlackBerry a huge source of patriotism for Canadians, but sorry Americans, we just love hockey more than you. You have baseball, basketball and football; we have hockey.
Continue to read about Jim Dog buying the Coyotes