Sunday, May 8, 2011
Winnipeg may have to wait another year for the return of the Jets
The Phoenix Coyotes situation just continues to get more and more complicated. It had appeared as if it was the end of the road for the Coyotes in Glendale. The Goldwater Institute has threatened a court challenge if Glendale tries to raise money through a bond issue to fund Matthew Hulsizer's purchase of the Coyotes. Hulsizer has refused to put in more of his own money for the purchase which to me suggests he lacks a strong commitment to buying the team. Meanwhile, the NHL refuses to drop the purchase price for the Coyotes because the other owners do not intend on losing any of their own money on the transaction. Call it a stalemate.
With time ticking away as the NHL begins to prepare a schedule it seemed like a move to Winnipeg was a sure thing. The City of Glendale has apparently decided to reset the clock, have the Coyotes remain in the desert for another season and see if they can make a deal with Hulsizer (or someone else) to keep the team local.
To keep the team in Glendale for another season, the city is looking to kick in another $25 million to cover operating expenses which would allow the NHL to continue the search for an owner willing to keep the team in Glendale. Now you would think that after searching for 2 years it would be apparent that no such person exists under these circumstances. It appears the NHL is buying into this plan.
This would allow for a few possible scenarios including further negotiations with the Goldwater Institute. Hulsizer seems to be on board as long as the plan doesn't have him sweetening the pot.
So what about Winnipeg? Well the Atlanta Thrashers have been on the market for several years but they too cannot find someone to keep the team local. So a franchise move may be possible.