With the Phoenix Coyotes just one win away from securing a berth to the first Western Conference Finals appearance in franchise history, it seems the biggest news of the day will actually come before the team takes the ice tonight against the Nashville Predators. According to multiple reports, the NHL and Gary Bettman are set to announce a deal to sell the hockey franchise to Greg Jamison, former CEO of the San Jose Sharks.
Per Mike Sunnucks of the Phoenix Business Journal:
Bettman is slated to hold a press conference before the Phoenix Coyotes-Nashville Predators playoff game. He is expected to announce the Coyotes are no longer on the market and the league is finalizing a sale with Jamison.
The NHL has owned the team since 2009. Jamison is the former CEO of the San Jose Sharks and is a minority owner of that franchise.
The long ordeal of the Phoenix Coyotes sale is far from over, however. There's still the approval of the Glendale City Council to deal with and there are mixed reports over whether a proposed deal will show up on the agenda for Tuesday's council meeting. If we've learned anything over the past three years, it's that those that are in charge of running Glendale are far from logical when it comes to decisions regarding the local NHL team.
From Pierre Lebrun, there's also the little issue of the Goldwater Institute's involvement in the sale. The watchdog group has already effectively blocked one sale agreement and could do the same thing if they find an issue with the financial details of this deal as well. The City of Glendale will have to vote on what sort of payments to give to a new owner to offset short-term losses; the city will also pay a new ownership group to run Jobing.com Arena.
As Dallas Stars fans, we dislike the Coyotes as a long-time division rival. At the same time, I'm all in favor of keeping hockey in the sunbelt. Let's hope the Coyotes can enjoy a franchise renaissance...and rise from the ashes.
Like a Phoenix.