CHICAGO, July 29 (UPI) -- The NHL has blocked an attempt to move the Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton, Ontario, instead approving a sale to a U.S. group, the league announced Wednesday.
Commissioner Gary Bettman said the league's board of governors had turned down a bid from billionaire Jim Balsillie to buy the team. Balsillie had said he wanted to end the franchise's 13-year stay in Phoenix and return it to Canada.
Instead, the board approved the sale of the financially troubled Coyotes to a group headed by Jerry Reinsdorf, who owns the Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox.
Current Phoenix owner Jerry Moyes filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in May.
The Coyotes moved from Winnipeg in 1996 and have consistently lost money. They have made the playoffs just five times since the move and have never made it past the opening round. Since last making the playoffs in the 2002-03 season, the Coyotes have had just one winning season.