Phoenix Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes has challenged Jerry Reinsdorf's NHL-approved bid to buy the financially troubled team.
In a motion filed in Arizona bankruptcy court on Thursday, Moyes' lawyer says Reinsdorf's bid "cannot be approved as a matter of law" and that "there are no qualified bidders" based on terms set by the court.
The motion says that Moyes' objection will be detailed in court documents on Friday, the deadline for filing objections.
The motion came a day after the NHL's board of governors unanimously approved Reinsdorf's $148-million US bid to buy the Coyotes and unanimously rejected Jim Balsillie's $212.5-million offer, which is contingent on the Waterloo, Ont., billionaire being allowed to move the team to Hamilton.
The NHL has tried to block Balsillie from buying the Coyotes out of bankruptcy and moving them to Hamilton, arguing before the bankruptcy court that only a professional sports league can determine the location of its franchises and that owners must be approved by the league's board of governors.
The group headed by Reinsdorf, who owns the Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox, wants to keep the team in Arizona, where it has lost tens of millions of dollars in recent seasons.
Moyes, who took the Coyotes into Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 5, says he is owed $300 million. Under the Balsillie deal, Moyes would receive about $100 million. Under the Reinsdorf proposal, Moyes would get little if anything because of the contention that the $300 million is lost equity and not a debt.
Later Thursday, lawyers for the city of Glendale, where the Coyotes play their home games, and the NHL asked the court to postpone next Wednesday's auction for bidders seeking to keep the team in Arizona.
Saying that Reinsdorf and another group — Ice Edge Holdings — needed more time, Glendale and the NHL asked for the sale to be delayed until September.
The Ice Edge group's application was deemed "incomplete" by the NHL board of governors on Wednesday, but the league said in its filing Thursday that it understood the consortium would make a bid on Friday.
Glendale said that it is "very close to a definitive agreement with each of the Reinsdorf group and Ice Edge that would allow the team, under new ownership, to continue to play at the Jobing.com Arena in Glendale for the foreseeable future with strong economic essentials and support from all necessary constituencies."