As messy as the sale of the Dallas Stars is becoming, it's nothing compared to the winding road that is the Phoenix Coyotes and their two year saga that might turn into three years if the City of Glendale votes tomorrow to extend ANOTHER $25 million to cover losses for another year...
Glendale has no finalized agreement despite months of talks with Hulsizer. The City Council is expected to promise Tuesday to dole out as much as $25 million to the National Hockey League to keep the team through the 2011-12 season.
Without that pledge, Glendale's team could find itself in another home. [Arizona Republic]
The measure is expected to succeed, meaning that even if the deal with Hulsizer doesn't pass or fail in the next month or so as everyone has been hotly anticipating, the Coyotes will probably stay in Phoenix next year (at the very least) and the Winnipeg fan boys will have to cut open their tauntaun's for warmth because the MTS Centre will stay dark without an NHL team. Or will it?
While the Coyotes will likely be snatched away from Winnipeg's grasp due to the City of Glendale throwing millions of dollars into a pit from which they'll never recover any of it, the Atlanta Thrashers now find themselves the focus of Manitoba's gaze as the NHL does not appear (yet) to be fighting nearly as hard to keep hockey in Georgia as they are in Arizona, for whatever reason. The Atlanta Journal Constitution...
However with the Coyotes staying in Arizona for at least another year, True North will likely turn its efforts, quickly, to the Thrashers, who have been for sale in earnest for several years. The Atlanta Spirit, owner of the Thrashers, Hawks and the operating rights to Philips Arena, have been looking for a buyer and/or investors and have said relocation is a possibility. Co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in February and again last week that there is a "sense of urgency" to find a solution to the financial losses suffered by the team. The Thrashers could fetch upwards of $170 million from True North with the NHL getting around $60 million as a relocation fee.
Adding insult to injury, the NHL, according to bizjournals.com, could use the relocation fee paid to move the Thrashers to actually help facilitate the sale of the Coyotes and keep them in Glendale. If you were a Thrasher fan in that case, a lifelong vendetta declared upon the NHL and Phoenix will be perfectly justified.
What is a Dallas Stars fans supposed to do with this information?
- Marvel at it in slack jawed awe and stupefaction. How can anyone throw that much money at something that just isn't profitable and has never shown signs it can be? And isn't Atlanta a bigger tv market than Phoenix? (Yes, it is)
- Be glad it's not us. It's not going to be us. It cannot be us. The Dallas Stars are not moving. Forget about it.
- Wonder if Ilya Bryzgalov will stay with them and sign a long term deal in the summer even in the face of such uncertainty, and then pray that he does not.
- Wonder how the NHL might realign if Atlanta, not Phoenix moves. Will a conference realignment take place? Could someone swap with them? Columbus, perhaps?