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The Erie Otters have filed for bankruptcy as the team continues to fight an attempt by the NHL's Edmonton Oilers to force a sale of the junior league hockey team.


Erie Hockey Club Ltd., the owner of the Otters, announced today that it has filed a voluntary Chapter 11 petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Erie.


The owner of the Otters, Sherry Bassin, said in a statement that the filing will not disrupt operations as the team continues its run in the Ontario Hockey League playoffs.


Bassin also said the Otters remain for sale, and that the team will continue to seek buyers and pay all the team's creditors through bankruptcy. The Otters have retained a broker, Game Plan Special Services LLC, of Florida, to market the team.


"This will have absolutely no effect on Otters playoff games, on our staff, on our players, or any of our hockey or business operations," Bassin said. "The Erie Otters Hockey Club has a strong and fundamentally sound underlying business. The team, the Ontario Hockey League and our corporate partners will be fully protected during this process."


"Today's filing provides us with the opportunity to continue to execute our business plan on a stronger footing, maintain normal operations of the hockey club as it fights toward an OHL championship, and smoothly continue the ongoing sale process. All of our efforts are focused on concluding this process in an efficient and successful manner."


The bankruptcy stays any action by the Oilers to force a sale of the team to recover what the Oilers claim were $4.6 million in loans that team made to the Otters in exchange for a deal to buy the Otters from Bassin. The deal collapsed, leading the Oilers to sue in federal court.


A judge in U.S. District Court in Erie dismissed that suit in December, but the Otters today said the Oilers, through a subsidiary, the Ontario Major Junior Hockey Corp., or OMJHC, announced it planned to conduct a "private sale" of the assets of Erie Hockey Club today under the Uniform Commercial Code of Pennsylvania.


"Erie Hockey Club strongly disputes the legality of this threatened action," the Otters said in the statement. "However, despite repeated requests that the OMJHC refrain from pursuing this course of action, and permit Game Plan to finish the sale process in the ordinary course of business, OMJHC has refused to cancel this purported private sale.


"The filing of the Chapter 11 petition automatically stays any actions of OMJHC against the assets of Erie Hockey Club. It is Erie Hockey Club's intention to conclude the sale process in Chapter 11, which will allow the sale to proceed in an orderly manner and without interference by OMJHC."


The move comes on the eve of Game 1 of the Otters’ second-round OHL playoff series against the London Knights. The teams meet Thursday at 7 p.m. at Erie Insurance Arena.

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TSn is money right now

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@wiski @Burtonboy I was just talking with my buddy at work about that... as the 'C' of this team should he not make an effort to be at practices/games?Is there some rule that if they are injured they must stay home? I mean you'd think he's be at the games in the press box or coming out to practices to show support for his team...

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@MaxwellHowe I thought it was reported yesterday that Olli won't be playing tonight. 

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why would/is Rielly sitting tonight? Is he hurt?

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@MaxwellHowe you understand the west coast is 3 hours behind, right? 

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@Doorman I'm in your fantasy league, wouldn't mind joining a keeper league as well :) kevin_arnold3@yahoo.ca

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@Doorman I would be a complete noob as well but I think this could be fun, so i'll join. email = klarnold.3@gmail.com

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Does anyone know when NHL Gamecenter 'resets' for this season? I just ordered my subscription (never had it before) and everything I see when I fire it up on the PS4 is from last season.

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@TheCanucksnaphook nice! I'm actually glad you posted that, reminded me to check out the standings today cause my buddy Cam Burke had a good round yesterday. He's -7 now, T15. 

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@Burtonboy wow.. can we expect the same for Bernier next year?

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