NHL Want Reinsdorf To Buy Coyotes

NHL commissioner wants the Sox, Bulls owner to take on the embattle Phoenix franchise.

The Phoenix Coyotes filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, paving the way for the team to be sold, and quite possibly, moved. An entrepeneur and hockey fan from southern Ontario, Jim Balsillie, has a deal in place to buy the team, but it is subject to NHL approval. Who does the NHL want to take on the team?

Jerry Reinsdorf.

Yes, the chairman of both the Bulls and White Sox is the owner of choice for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

According to three people involved with the dispute, the NHL's Mr. Bettman is nearing a deal with Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of the National Basketball Association's Chicago Bulls and Major League Baseball's Chicago White Sox, who hold spring training in Glendale. Mr. Bettman said he believed Mr. Balsillie's offer would have difficulty gaining approval from the NHL's Board of Governors. William Walker, a spokesman for Mr. Balsillie, said, "We think our economic argument with our fan base here makes our offer very strong."

Can you blame Bettman? Reinsdorf has seven championships in the past two decades, six with the Bulls and one with the Sox. He also has something that hockey so desperately desires -- full stadiums. Though not as prolific in attendance as their North Side neighbors, the Sox still drew more than 2.5 million fans last season. The Bulls have been nothing short of a miracle, filling the United Center even through their most dismal years.

But how much is too much? Owning teams in three different leagues, with one in another part of the country, is a bit much for anyone. Is that the best thing for a Coyotes franchise that is currently in serious debt, and doesn't have much of a fanbase?

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