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Phoenix Coyotes head coach Wayne Gretzky talks to his players. (ANDY CLARK)
Phoenix Coyotes head coach Wayne Gretzky talks to his players. (ANDY CLARK)

Judge to make one ruling on Coyotes Add to ...

Judge Redfield T. Baum will not be holding a separate hearing to determine how much of a relocation fee Jim Balsillie must pay to the NHL to move the Phoenix Coyotes.

In a one-sentence notice issued Thursday, Judge Baum said he will make one ruling on all of the issues heard Tuesday.

"The court advised those present that he will not be setting a separate hearing on relocation and fee issue. It will be dealt with in the court's ruling from the [June 9]hearing," Judge Baum said.

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Judge Baum had indicated that he might hold a separate hearing on the relocation fee issue in order for both sides to come to agreement on the amount. Then Balsillie could decide if he was prepared to pay the amount. If not, the judge said there would be no point ruling on the other legal issues.

Thursday's announcement indicates that Judge Baum will decide all of the issues. The judge had also said he could permit the Coyotes to move, on the condition that the relocation fee had been determined.

The judge expressed reluctance Tuesday on holding a lengthy hearing on the relocation fee. Both sides indicated that if they could not agree on a figure they would have to call several witnesses to back up their positions. The judge noted that could take a couple of days. He pointed out that time is running out, given that the club's owners are pushing for an auction to be held on June 22.

The judge's decision will give the NHL time to calculate the fee, estimated at more than $100-million, and the league has said that calculation could take a while.

 

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