Gretzky, Glendale work to resolve tax issue
Wayne Gretzky and the City of Glendale, Ariz., are working to determine which aspects of his tax returns should be released in court, a lawyer told CBC's Tom Harrington at the Phoenix Coyotes' bankruptcy hearing on Monday.
Gretzky, a minority owner and head coach of the Coyotes, registered with the Phoenix court to take part in the proceedings in a bid to protect the $9.3 million US he claims to be owed by the team.
Gretzky's lawyers were also trying to block a motion issued by the City of Glendale, located just west of Phoenix, to open his tax record to public scrutiny.
While the two parties work toward a resolution, Gretzky's records will not be made public unless they are part of further court proceedings.
Were that the case, they would likely be heavily redacted to avoid disclosure of the most sensitive aspects of his personal record.
No early discovery
Also Monday, Judge Redfield T. Baum rejected a request filed by Coyotes majority owner Jerry Moyes for a deposition from Jerry Reinsdorf before July 24 — the deadline to submit bids to buy the team.
Baum said subjecting potential bidders to legal discovery before they have submitted a formal bid would discourage them, not encourage them to take part in the process.
Baum ruled that if Reinsdorf makes a formal offer, he and his partnership group should be prepared to have at least two representatives give depositions at a later date.
Reinsdorf has told the NHL he will offer $148 million US to purchase the Coyotes out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy and keep the team in Glendale.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly consented to give depositions to Moyes's lawyers in New York on July 22 and 23, respectively.
League attorney Alan Mada said the duo agreed to earlier questioning, "in the spirit of cooperation."
Moyes has claimed to have lost more than $200 million US in equity and more than $100 million US in debt since buying the Coyotes with developer Steve Ellman for $90 million US in 2001.
According to the Forbes Magazine, the Coyotes are worth an estimated $142 million US — the lowest-valued team in the NHL.
With files from The Canadian Press