Report: Maple Leafs, NHL at odds over territorial rights

TSN.ca Staff
8/31/2009 3:15:42 AM
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The National Hockey League and the Toronto Maple Leafs appear to have a difference of opinion when it comes the club's veto power that would prevent another team from moving into its territory.

According to the Globe and Mail, Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie, who is looking to move the Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton, filed a letter in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Friday that shows that the Leafs do not agree with the NHL's position, which is that a veto does not exist.

"The Toronto Maple Leafs do not agree that a relocation of another club into their home territory would be subject to a majority vote (of the league board)," the letter dated November 29, 2006 to league commissioner Gary Bettman said. "They continue to believe that a unanimous vote would be required before a team could relocate into their home territory."

The Balsillie group will return to court on Wednesday where they will have a hearing to determine if their bid of $212.5 million (US) will be allowed in light of Balsillie being denied as a potential owner in a unanimous vote earlier this summer.

Balsillie is expected to argue that the NHL's primary reason for denying his bid is largely based on the Leafs' insistence that they can veto the move to Hamilton.  Balsillie's group has also previously stated that the NHL wanted to keep the veto a secret because it might be illegal.

Gary Bettman (Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)


(Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)
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