A homesick Brent Sutter resigned yesterday as coach of the New Jersey Devils after two seasons, citing family reasons.
Sutter, who lives in Red Deer, Alberta, said the Devils' crushing loss to Carolina in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series had nothing to do with his decision.
New Jersey, which won its seventh Atlantic Division title in 12 years this spring, ended its season by giving up two goals in the final 80 seconds to lose, 4-3, in late April.
Sutter spent six weeks mulling whether to return for the final year of his contract but decided to stay home to run an oil business and a junior hockey team, and to spend with his family.
A judge in Phoenix is zeroing in on a relocation fee the NHL could charge a Canadian billionaire for moving the Coyotes to southern Ontario.
Judge Redfield Baum noted during a hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court that if the fee is significant, Jim Balsillie could decide it is too high and withdraw his bid to buy the team. That would resolve the case for now, and the NHL then could sell the team to a new owner who would keep it in Arizona.
The judge indicated that the NHL owns the Hamilton, Ontario, territory that would be the Coyotes' new home. The league would have the right to impose a relocation fee on Balsillie.