The NHL did a very nice job of keeping everything tight lipped while the Coyotes were still in the playoffs. Now that Phoenix is out I suspect the speculation will start up again. Here is what I believe is happening.
First we know that the Ice Edge Group is out. They could not come to a lease agreement with the city of Glendale. It was also widely questioned on where the money would actually come from. I suspect the banks were hesitant to dole out the type of money it would have taken to make their bid work. I also suspect that Glendale wanted no part of the Yotes playing 5 games in Saskatoon.
We also know that Jerry Reinsdorf (who I must remind everyone is NOT a hockey fan) has reached a lease agreement with the city of Glendale. No one knows the details of the agreement, however I would assume it is safe to assume that there is some cost certainty in the agreement for Reinsdorf, along with an ‘out’ so that he can move the team after three to five years if certain numbers are not reached.
We also know that Reinsdorf has not as of yet bought the Coyotes. And to me this is the thing that is making me ask questions. The Coyotes need ownership in place ASAP so they can sign their pending free agents. The stumbling block here is the price tag I have heard for the Coyotes is around $170M US. Which is about what the NHL has sunk into the Coyotes. This is going to be a very hard sell to Reinsdorf as the Lightning just sold for around $100M US, and are arguably in a much better state than Phoenix.
So now I believe we are down to two possibilities. Number one and the most likely scenario, is that Reinsdorf buys the team for closer to $100M and the NHL takes a bath on it for the good of hockey in the Southern states. Number two is that Reinsdorf won’t pay enough to the NHL, and the league turns around and sells the team to the David Thompson group in Winnipeg (that is the gentleman who owns the MTS center in Winnipeg) and says that they exhausted all options in the desert.
I suspect this will all be settled in the next month so that the team can be ready to play in 2010/11 wherever they end up.
Wouldn’t it be ironic if the Detroit Red Wings hand another team (and the same franchise) it’s final blow before it moves? As they did with Winnipeg.
Have a good one!
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About the Author
Written by Shane Hoopfer
Die hard Flames fan since 1980, and a closet baseball junkie. Also a big Dolphins, and Stampeders fan!