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Report: Millions at stake for Gretzky if Balsillie bid fails

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TSN.ca Staff
6/1/2009 10:44:04 AM
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It appears Wayne Gretzky has a vested, financial interest in Jim Balsillie's bid to acquire the Phoenix Coyotes and move the team to Hamilton, Ontario.

According to the Toronto Star, court documents show that Gretzky could lose up to $9.3 million US should Balsillie's bid fail in the bankruptcy case.

The report indicates Gretzky would receive as much as $22.5 million of the $212.5 million bid, including $8 million in deferred payments and $14.5 million to resign as the head coach of the team.

Despite this apparent windfall, Gretzky has thrown his support behind a bid from Jerry Reinsdorf, the current chairman of the NBA's Chicago Bulls and MLB's Chicago White Sox.

Gretzky has deferred salary in order to help the team through its financial hardships but, the Toronto Star report indicates his claim to be "unsecured" and "nonpriority" in court documents, meaning the Hall of Famer would be one of the last creditors to receive money from the sale of the team.

Balsillie is expected to apply to the NHL for relocation today, a legal move that could lead to an anti-trust lawsuit should the NHL reject the application.

Wayne Gretzky (Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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