By Ira Podell, AP Hockey Writer

DETROIT — NHL commissioner Gary Bettman insists he is merely trying to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix, not block Jim Balsillie from buying the team and setting up shop in Ontario.

Bettman sat in a hotel ballroom in the heart of Hockeytown on Saturday and spent much of his time answering questions about the struggling desert-based Coyotes franchise that landed in bankruptcy court against his will.

Just hours before the Detroit Red Wings began defense of their Stanley Cup title in the finals opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Bettman spoke of his desire to find a new owner for the Coyotes.