NHL Prevails in Blocking Sale of Phoenix Coyotes

The National Hockey League, represented by Skadden, received a favorable ruling on September 30, 2009 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona. The court rejected the proposed sale of the Phoenix Coyotes to James Balsillie, through his acquisition entity, PSE Sports & Entertainment. The court threw out the bid with prejudice because it did not properly account for the NHL rules and procedures that give the league the power to determine who owns its clubs and where the teams will be located and could not adequately protect these NHL interests as required by Section 363(e) of the Bankruptcy Code. Although a proposed sale to the NHL was also rejected, the court stated that the bid "could be easily cured by the NHL" and has allowed the league to amend its bid.