Hope for the Coyotes??
This weekend at the NHL All-Star game in Ottawa, commissioner Gary Bettman gave his annual state of the league address with the media. In his address he mentioned that there is a 3rd bidder that is now involved in buying and keeping the Coyotes in Phoenix. The 3rd bidder’s name is undisclosed, but rumored to be a serious buyer. The other people involved are Jerry Reinsdorf who is the owner of the Chicago White Sox. Reinsdorf has a home in the valley and the White Sox spring training facility is right across the street from Jobing.com arena. The other potential buyer is former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jaimson. THe NHL did not set a deadline for a deal to be reached, but Bettman did indicate that time is starting to run out. He has called multiple cities that are interested in a team to be ready when or if he opens the sale of the Coyotes to people who want to relocate them.
My opinion is that the Coyotes can survive one more year without an owner. The reason….the NHL may be heading towards another lockout during the next season. That means that the NHL would not want to move a team during a strike-shortened year giving the Coyotes more time for a buyer. The NHL also already moved the Atlanta Thrashers back to Canada last season. Moving another team would be more embarrassing to Bettman who brought all of these teams to the southern states. If the city of Glendale is willing to pay another 25 million to run the team I think the Coyotes can last another season.
People who say that the Coyotes or hockey can’t work in Arizona are wrong. When the Coyotes had stars like Keith Tkachuck and Jeremy Roenick and making playoff appearances every season they were selling out nightly and the hottest ticket in town. The city of Phoenix is a frontrunners city. Now that the Phoenix Suns are awful watch how bad their attendance starts to plummet. If you win people will come and the Coyotes have been winning with the threat of relocation and with the competitive disadvantage of not being able to spend as much money on players as the rest of the NHL. As soon as the Coyotes can get an owner and the threat of leaving is over, fans will come back. Don Maloney, who is one of the better GMS in the sport, and Dave Tippet, one of the best coaches in hockey, will finally be able to get the players they want and the Coyotes can finally be the winners that they have the potential to be. Until then the Coyotes will continue to scratch and claw their way to victories, which quite frankly is more exciting than anything that the Phoenix Suns have been giving us to watch.