National Hockey League Fans'

National Hockey League Fans'

May 18, 2009 12:00 ET

Fans Voice Views on Coyotes Sale

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 18, 2009) - The National Hockey League Fans' Association (NHLFA) announced today the results of an online poll conducted May 15-17 related to Research in Motion (RIM) co-CEO Jim Balsillie's attempted ownership takeover of the Phoenix Coyotes hockey club. NHLFA's 30,000+ members from across North America responded to the poll.

When asked, Which group do you believe will emerge victorious in the legal battle surrounding the Phoenix Coyotes?, 43% of Canadians and 53% of Americans feel the NHL will emerge the victors. However, 33% of Canadians feel Mr. Balsillie will win this battle and less than 18% of Americans anticipate a Balsillie victory.

Fans were asked, Do you think it is in the best interest of the NHL and its fans to have the Phoenix franchise relocate to Southern Ontario? Eighty-three per cent of Canadians and 52% of Americans answered, "Yes" to this question.

Responses on both sides of the border were very similar when fans were asked, Do you think the Coyotes have played their last game in Phoenix? Twenty-nine per cent of Canadians and 25% of Americans answered, "Yes". Approximately half of both groups responded "No" to this question.

Regarding the impact of divisional and/or conference realignment, only 15% of Canadian fans expressed concern while 45% of American fans were uneasy about the effect of a new Canadian team in southern Ontario.

There was agreement on how to resolve this conflict. The question was posed, Do you think the NHL and the Balsillie/Moyes group should work out a mutually beneficial solution and avoid court battles? Eighty-one per cent of Canadians and 77% of Americans answered yes to this question.

Fans were asked, Do you think this conflict has a negative impact on the NHL's image?
Sixty-nine per cent of Canadians and 54% of Americans answered, "Yes."

Seventy-five per cent of Canadians and 66% of Americans believe that if Jim Balsillie fails in his attempt to purchase the Phoenix club, it does not represent his final opportunity to purchase an NHL team.

Fans also weighed in on the impact of BlackBerry sales by Jim Balsillie's company, RIM, due to his actions. Ten per cent of Canadians and 2% of Americans stated they were more likely to purchase a Blackberry product. On the flip side, 2% of Canadians and 12% of Americans said they were less likely to purchase a BlackBerry. Eighty-four per cent of Canadians and 80% of Americans indicated that the conflict would not affect their purchasing decisions.

The NHLFA was launched in 1998, to give NHL fans a way to express their views on the game and to influence it for the better. There is no charge for membership and to date more than 30,000 fans have registered via the Association's Web site, Though not affiliated with the National Hockey League, the NHLFA communicates closely with the League on behalf of hockey fans.

Contact Information

  • National Hockey League Fans' Association
    Jim Boone