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Phoenix to Winnipeg won’t go away!

Posted By Shane Hoopfer On Mar 29 2010 @ 9:39 pm In Around The Rinks | 4 Comments

This is from The Canadian Press. Apparently I’m not the only nut job who wonders if this is happening!…

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The NHL is denying a report that it has a deal in place to move the Phoenix Coyotes to Winnipeg if a lease agreement at the team’s suburban arena isn’t reached in the near future.

The report, published in Monday’s online edition of the Phoenix Business Journal, said a deal with Jerry Reinsdorf to buy the Coyotes and keep them in Glendale could hinge on a clause that would allow the owner of the Chicago Bulls and White Sox to move the team if its bottom line doesn’t improve.

The report went on to say that the NHL is in negotiations with Toronto billionaire David Thomson and Winnipeg-based True North Sports and Entertainment on a backup plan which could see the Coyotes move back to Manitoba’s capital.

“At this point in time the National Hockey League has no ‘deal’ in place to move the Coyotes’ franchise to Winnipeg — or to any other city for that matter — in the event a transaction cannot be timely consummated in Glendale,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement Monday night.

“Our focus continues to be on completing a transaction with local ownership that is committed to operating the team in Glendale.”

Daly added that the league, which bought the Coyotes out of bankruptcy in the summer, is confident a new deal on a lease can be reached.

“We will not focus on completing arrangements for one or more alternative option(s) until such time as it may become necessary,” the statement read.

Daly said the league has had discussions with Thompson and True North Sports about future ownership of a franchise, including the potential return of a team to Winnipeg. The Jets left for Phoenix after the 1995-96 season.

“(A return to Winnipeg) remains an intriguing possibility and one we would consider given appropriate circumstances, but there is nothing new to report on that front at this time,” said Daly.

The NHL is also in negotiations with Ice Edge Holdings, which has said it will keep the team in Arizona.

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