Friday, May 11, 2012

A Final Close To The Phoenix Coyotes Drama?

Last year I wrote up a post about the Phoenix Coyotes where I contemplated the future of the team. At the time the NHL was working on a deal with Matthew Hulsizer which appeared to be in jeopardy due to the interference of a local watchdog group (the Goldwater Institute) who felt that his offer was relying too heavily on a payment to Hulsizer from the City of Glendale. That deal eventually fell thru when the City of Glendale failed to sell enough bonds to cover the required $100 million payout to Hulsizer. This led to Hulsizer withdrawing his offer by the summer and the NHL was left holding the team looking for either a new deal with a potential buyer or the possibility of a move to Winnipeg, which has since picked up the ex-Atlanta Thrashers and renamed the Winnipeg Jets.

Fast forward to this spring and the NHL has announced that a tentative deal has been worked out between the NHL and former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison. Now it is a waiting game while the City of Glendale works out a deal regarding the lease of Arena (where the Coyotes play). The Goldwater Institute is still watching the situation to ensure that Glendale will not be required to put up any money as part of the purchase.

The Glendale City Council is set to have a private meeting next week but as of this morning they have not added anything regarding the Coyotes to their public agenda. The City is also dealing with a potential lawsuit from the Cardinals regarding parking spots but that is another story.

If things fall thru once again expect to see the NHL step up the talk of relocation. While Winnipeg has been satisfied another city has suddenly become a possibility, Quebec City. Quebec lost the Nordiques to Colorado back in 1995 and has been hoping to replace the team. A couple of months ago the City of Quebec announced that they will begin construction of an 18,000-seat arena in hope of eventually landing an NHL team. Construction will begin in September 2012 and is expected to be completed in 2015 and will cost $400 million. Hamilton is still considered for a possible relocation too but because of the close proximity to Buffalo and Toronto the NHL will have to take that in to consideration. Additional relocations include a second team in Toronto (they even have a name already- Toronto Legacy), Seattle and Las Vegas.

So as the Coyotes get ready to play the LA Kings in the Western Conference Finals, the closest the team (NHL Jets/Coyotes) has ever gotten to the Stanley Cup Finals, the soap opera seems to finally be coming to a close.

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