Coyotes Close To Deal To Keep Them In Phoenix

| December 13, 2010 | 1 Comment

This article from Terry Frei of the Denver Post doesn’t look like good news for Winnipeg Jets fans. But, the fat lady hasn’t quite finished the song yet!

On Tuesday in Arizona, the Glendale City Council will vote on a proposed 30-year lease for the Phoenix Coyotes at the city-owned Arena. If approved, the sale of the franchise from the NHL to Matthew Hulsizer, a Chicago- based investments firm co-founder and CEO, likely would go through, and the team would remain in the Phoenix area for the foreseeable future.

And, yes, that would be a good thing.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, whose job it is to take the hits for the owners, and also to posture, recently reiterated the league position that the Canadian markets clamoring for a franchise shouldn’t expect it to happen through relocation.

“You know, too much is made about franchise issues at a particular point in time,” Bettman told reporters at the board of governors meetings in Florida last week. “Our goal is to keep all our franchises where they are. That’s always been our goal and that’s what we try to do.”

In other words, folks in Quebec City, Hamilton and Winnipeg shouldn’t be counting on getting the Panthers, Thrashers, Islanders, Coyotes or any other team. In fact, no NHL team has moved since the mid-’90s wave of the Quebec Nordiques to Colorado, Winnipeg Jets to Phoenix and the Hartford Whalers to Carolina.

Read more: TerryFrei: Don’t howl about Coyotes’ sale – The Denver Post

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  1. While a lot of attention has been focused on Phoenix moving, the Thrashers and the Islanders are also strong candidates to be moving within the next 5 years. As part of the recent rally in Quebec for the Nordiques in October, Bettman said that in order for that city to obtain a franchise, either through relocation or expansion, that the state-of-the-art facility had to be built.

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