NHL loses $145 million bankruptcy decision

Phoenix Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes leaves U.S. Bankruptcy Court after a hearing on the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team in Phoenix on Tuesday, June 9, 2009. (Aaron J. Latham/AP)

The NHL was on the wrong side of a $145 million dollar lawsuit Wednesday after a decision in bankruptcy court by Judge Redfield T. Baum.

The league had sued former Arizona Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes for $145 million in damages after he took the team into bankruptcy back in 2009.

David Shoalts on Twitter

David Shoalts on Twitter

David Shoalts on Twitter

The league’s lawsuit all stemmed from Moyes’ decision back in May 2009 to put the Coyotes into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. As part of the filing, Moyes had agreed to sell the club to then-CEO of Research in Motion Jim Balsillie.

As a result the NHL stripped Moyes of all his ownership authority and submitted a bid to buy the team out of bankruptcy for $140 million, which the league subsequently won in Nov. 2009.

The league then filed the bankruptcy lawsuit in 2010 for $145.9 million in damages, including $6.5 million on behalf of Wayne Gretzky, who was still owed unpaid salary from Moyes. In October 2013 the majority of the lawsuit was thrown out by Judge Baum.

On Wednesday, the judge ruled that the remaining $11.6 million worth of claims the NHL has already paid to the team’s creditors did not need to be repaid to the league by Moyes.

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