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Loose Change: Baum's away

Bankruptcy judge Redfield T. Baum has some serious thinking to do. He’s trying to make a final decision on this whole Phoenix Coyotes we-have-no-money situation (It’s been in the news, not sure if you’ve heard).

Dude has two bids to consider: one from the NHL – who wants to retain the right to needlessly place teams in totally bad business environs – and one from noted BlackBerry chief Jim Balsillie, who wants to prove once and for all that people with fat wallets are not subject to trivial things like rule and order.

So how will Doctor Baum (he’s a doctor, right?) decide?

The determination will be the result of a complete look at the details within each bid. What exactly are these two powerful midgets businessmen offering, anyway?

First, the Balsillie offer:

$242.5 million

All creditors paid in full except Blockbuster (disputed rental)

Free voucher for all Glendale city residents to Hamilton Steel Plant Tour (Sunday blackouts)

Team visitation rights

Jerry Moyes celebration dinner at Wendy’s

Grief counselling/Coyotes suicide hotline

Glendale Arena converted to oversized beer fridge

And the NHL’s offer:

$140 million

Wayne Gretzky’s career coaching record reset to zero

Complimentary playoff spot

Free iPhones for everyone over 20; free iPods for anyone under

We Have An NHL Team? Glendale Seminar for first 300 fans (otherwise known as season ticket base).

Sincere promise to keep team in Arizona until Game No. 17

Party favours

City-wide celebration concert. Keynote speaker: The Roadrunner

Redfield T. now sits somewhere in a suburban Phoenix Motel 6 pondering this important issue and wondering why Showtime is being scrambled (the sign says it’s included with a two-night stay). Ultimately his decision will have great impact on the NHL and its future in non-traditional hockey markets.

If he decides in favour of Jim Balsillie, most of Canada will scream; Ontario will now have two, I mean three, professional hockey teams and there’ll finally be a decent reason to visit Hamilton.

If he rules in favour of the Bettman bid, he will make dozens of people happy (most of them being NHL employees), the Arizona media will be all over the happy news (Section 6, right behind the want ads) and the Coyotes can continue their fine tradition of winning hockey for the foreseeable future (Gary says, “Let’s get through training camp first and then we’ll re-assess.”)

The hockey world awaits.

P.S., and finally a bit of self-indulgence: If you have any interest in knowing what I’m doing away from this futile attempt to make people angry laugh, check this out.

This story is being filed from a remote campground near Osoyoos, B.C. No fooling (also no bathroom facilities).

The preceding was purely fictional and meant for entertainment purposes only. By entertainment, we mean we hope you laughed while reading it, framing it, or burning it. Any similarities between this and actual events is strictly coincidental and frankly, dumb luck. Remember to remind your lawyer about the made-up part, OK?

Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN's hockeysockpuppettheatre cartoon, brings you Loose Change every second Tuesday. Subscribe to The Hockey News today to have Charlie's cartoon delivered to you in each issue.

Want to talk to Charlie about love, life, or Loose Change? Email him at


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