Monday, March 28, 2011

Do you want to help save the Phoenix Coyotes?

Since this has been a very hot off ice topic lately (even though it's been a story for nearly two years), I would pass along important contact information for those who want to make their voices heard on the potential sale of the Phoenix Coyotes.

Monique Reaux of Coyotes Hip Check and Heather McWhorter of The Yotes Diva each list for you on their blogs where you can contact Arizona politicians, Phoenix television and radio stations, newspapers plus board members of The Goldwater Institute.

From Heather's list:


The Honorable Janice K. Brewer
Governor of Arizona
1700 West Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007
(602) 542-4331 (Governor's office number)
(602) 542-1381 (fax)

Tom Horne
State Attorney General of Arizona
2824 East Mission Lane
Phoenix, AZ 85028
(623) 850-3165
Tom Horne's Facebook page
Tom Horne's Twitter feed

United States Senator John McCain
John McCain's Facebook page
John McCain's Twitter feed
Washington office:
241 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-2235 (main phone number)
(202) 228-2862 (fax)

Phoenix office:
5353 North 16th Street
Suite 105
Phoenix, AZ 85016
(602) 952-2410 (main phone number)
(602) 952-8702 (fax)

United States Senator Jon Kyl
Washington office:
730 Hart Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-4521 (main phone number)
(202) 224-2207 (fax)

Phoenix office:
2200 East Camelback
Suite 120
Phoenix, AZ 85016-3455
(602) 840-1891 (main phone number)
(602) 957-6838 (fax)

Arizona Congressional District #4 (includes Glendale)
Congressman Ed Pastor
Washington office:
2465 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-4065

Phoenix office:
411 North Central Avenue
Suite 150
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 256-0551


FOX Sports Arizona

4343 East Camelback Road
Suite 130
Phoenix, AZ 85018
Phone: (602) 977-7700
Fax: (602) 224-2214

4016 North Black Canyon Highway
Phoenix, AZ 85017
(602) 264-1000

511 West Adams Street
Phoenix, AZ 85003
(602) 257-1234
KSAZ-TV Twitter list
Jude LaCava (sports anchor)

KPNX-TV and The Arizona Republic
200 East Van Buren Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 444-1212
Brahm Resnik (news anchor/reporter)
Arizona Republic letters to the editor

515 North 44th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85008
(602) 273-1500

East Valley Tribune
1620 West Fountainhead Parkway
Suite 219
Tempe, AZ 85282


KTAR-AM (Sports 620 KTAR)
7740 North 16th Street
Suite 200
Phoenix, AZ 85020
(602) 274-6200 (main phone number)
(602) 230-0620 (sports talk show call-ins)
Doug & Wolf
Sports Interactive
Gambo & Ash

4686 East Van Buren Street
Suite 300
Phoenix, AZ 85008
(602) 260-9191 (talk show call-ins)
Bickley & MJ
XTRA 910's Facebook page
Bickley & MJ's Facebook page
XTRA 910's main Twitter feed
Dan Bickley's Twitter feed
Mike Jurecki's Twitter feed
Mike Bauer's Twitter feed

KXXT-AM (Breakthrough Sports Radio)
Tolleson, AZ
(602) 296-3632
Breakthrough Sports Facebook page
Dave Isaac's Twitter feed
Greg Isaac's Twitter feed

KDUS-AM (The Fan AM 1060) and KUPD-FM
1900 West Carmen Street
Tempe, AZ 85283
(480) 838-0400 (KDUS-AM main phone number)
(602) 260-1060 (KDUS-AM call-in line)
(602) 260-9800 (Holmberg's Morning Sickness on KUPD-FM)
KUPD-FM Twitter feed
Kevin McCabe and Friends on KDUS-AM
Roc and Manuch's Calling All Sports on KDUS-AM
Roc and Manuch's Facebook page
Roc and Manuch's Twitter feed

1167 West Javelina Avenue
Mesa, AZ 85210
(480) 897-9300 (main phone number)
(602) 260-9393 (request line)
Brian "Sludge" Haddad's Facebook page
Brian "Sludge" Haddad's Twitter feed


Matthew Hulsizer
Co-Founder/Chief Executive Officer
PEAK6 Investments, L.P.
141 West Jackson Boulevard
Suite 500
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 362-2401 (main company phone number)


Heather and Monique also suggest contacting the National Hockey League world headquarters in New York City, even commissioner Gary Bettman himself among those you feel are most important for you to express your thoughts on keeping the Coyotes in Arizona.

National Hockey League
1251 Avenue of the Americas
47th Floor
New York, NY 10020
NHL's official Facebook page
NHL's official Twitter feed


The Barry Goldwater Institute for Public Policy
500 East Coronado Road
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 462-5000

Darcy Olsen
President and Chief Executive Officer

Clint Bolick
Director, Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation

Carrie Ann Sitren
Staff Attorney

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Goldwater Institute announces lawsuit against Glendale; Matthew Hulsizer vows to press forward

If they haven't been already, the battle lines have now been drawn. It is safe to say, even inked.

The Goldwater Institute announced last night in a press release their plans to sue the city of Glendale, Arizona on the legality of the sale agreement between the National Hockey League, Phoenix Coyotes prospective owner Matthew Hulsizer and the municipality. The most important part of their statement read:

Under the pending deal, Glendale plans to borrow $100 million to help Mr. Hulsizer purchase the team. The bonds ostensibly will be repaid from parking revenues, but the city has pledged sales and excise taxes as well. According to Moody's Investor Service, the city's existing debt level already is three times higher than the typical city of its size. Additionally, the city will pay Mr. Hulsizer $97 million to manage the arena over the next five-and-a-half years.

The Goldwater Institute has determined the agreement violates two prohibitions of the Arizona Constitution, which requires that no Arizona government "shall ever give or loan its credit in aid of, or make any donation or grant, by subsidy or otherwise, to any individual, association, or corporation..." The Goldwater Institute prevailed in a similar case against corporate subsidies last year in the Arizona Supreme Court.

The first part of the clause is violated by Glendale's decision to provide its credit to make a payment to Mr. Hulsizer, who will use the proceeds to purchase the team. The city's credit rating was lowered by Moody's due to its debt overload, thereby increasing the cost of city borrowing. The second prohibition is violated because under the Arizona Supreme Court's decision in Turken v. Gordon (the CityNorth case), Mr. Hulsizer is not providing roughly proportionate value for the payments he will receive from the city.

In summary, The Goldwater Institute is arguing three things against this sales agreement.

*They believe taxpayer money will be used to raise $100 million toward the purchase of bonds to finance the sale to Hulsizer, therefore making this a gift.

*They believe Glendale already owns the parking rights for Arena and therefore cannot sell it to themselves.

*They contest there will be additional taxes for Glendale residents to pay to fund the Coyotes sale agreement.


Goldwater Institute president and CEO Darcy Olsen spoke with Brahm Resnik two days ago on KPNX-TV's "Sunday Square Off" to once again present her case against the city of Glendale.

video courtesy: KPNX-TV

Brahm started off the interview by asking Olsen if she was an obstructionist, as accused by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman eight days ago.

"I love hockey. Phoenix is full of hockey fans. We'd love to keep the Coyotes here, but it just can't be done on the backs of taxpayers," Olsen first said. "The Arizona Constitution has a ban on giving public money to private interests. And in this case, the taxpayers of Glendale would be essentially buying the Coyotes for a rich Chicago tycoon. We contend that's unconstitutional."

Since Olsen didn't answer the question, Resnik asked it again.

She replied, "If the law is in the way, I guess so."

After that, Resnik had mentioned how Bettman isn't convinced her organization would sue Glendale. Olsen repeated her statement that only within the last week had the municipality submitted 750+ more documents on the sale agreement. I have also heard her say the cliché mentioned on a number of other interviews she's done over the past two weeks, "If it looks like a duck, it walks like a duck. Does it talk like a duck?" If yes, then she said her organization would prevent Glendale from breaking the law.

Resnik next brought up the Goldwater Institute's ability to fund lawsuits. Olsen claims that a Glendale City Council member revealed they didn't even vote on going ahead with their lawsuit against her organization, one that was reportedly to be filed last week, but hasn't happened. She also accused Glendale of their lawsuit threat as a bullying tactic.

The next item was the Goldwater Institute's annual revenue records. Olsen admits that bump ups on their savings come from huge endowment gifts by donors. She says that the number of people who contribute money to their organization grew from 50 in 2003 to currently about 2,000 nationwide. Disputed is any claim they've received donations from Canadian interests in the last 6 to 12 months.

"I'm not aware of a penny coming from Canada," Olsen said. "No, not a single penny that I know of. Now we have a lot of people like you that are Canadian-Americans who live here that support The Goldwater Institute because they like our fight for limited government and free enterprise."

Surely, that put Resnik on the spot right there, didn't it? Let's move on to the next question he asked. He read a reader comment from the Arizona Republic which said Olsen has a winning argument, but isn't winnable in court. Her response was her telling Resnik that if the other side to a case like this one approached her organization about negotiating a re-worked sale agreement, the laws under the Arizona Constitution is not negotiable. Olsen says it's not about the amount of money involved, it's about principle.

"It looks to be a case of taxpayers buying this team for a Chicago tycoon," she added.

Okay, so Olsen won't change her mind in suing even if the sale agreement is re-negotiated. But if the new deal doesn't cost any new sales taxes, it sounds like she would be on a witch hunt against the city of Glendale and nothing more.

In finishing up her reply to this particular issue, Olsen said that Glendale taxpayers have seen their city's budget debt three times the average size for its population while ignoring the needs of its citizens by attempting to buy the Coyotes.

Resnik then made a point to ask if opposing the sale and letting the Coyotes move out of town would send Glendale into a financial crisis much worse than where they currently stand. Olsen argued a point many outside media outlets including those in Canada have repeated numerous times is that the Coyotes have never turned a profit in their 15 years in Arizona. She believes that just getting a new owner would not be enough to turn the financial fortunes of the hockey franchise around.

Here are two questions I could easily ask in response.

In order to be a successful professional hockey franchise, do the Coyotes have to turn a profit? If the team generates enough revenue for the city of Glendale to match or exceed what has been done so far, isn't that reason enough to keep the Coyotes where they are?

In response to Resnik's question about replacing the revenue lost by any departure of the Coyotes, Olsen repeated her claim she made on March 9th to Toronto's CJCL-AM (Sportsnet Radio FAN 590) Prime Time Sports show host Bob McGown that other sports arenas without main tenants can still make money. She also pointed out that Tohono O'odham Nation's proposal for a gaming casino within city limits would help reduce Glendale's fiscal deficit. However, for someone that is supposed to be adequately educated about the state tax code, Olsen should know that Native American tribes on their reservations are tax exempt. Tohono O'odham Nation has its reservation occupy 4,460 square miles of land in southwestern Arizona. So, if they were to get their casino plan approved, they would have to annex land within Glendale's borders.

Therefore, Tohono O'odham Nation would not contribute to Glendale's coffers on money made on their casino, yet the city would have to take taxpayer money out of their budget to pay for basic infrastructure services such as water and sewer lines. Glendale has fought the tribe on the casino proposal for about as long as this Coyotes ownership saga.


Meanwhile, Glendale mayor Elaine Scruggs hosted a town hall meeting last night at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Glendale. When the topic of the stalled Coyotes sale agreement was brought up for discussion, nearly all were in favor of the deal moving forward.

"We trust the mayor, the council and city staff in every other aspect of the operation of Glendale, and we should trust them here," Glendale resident Gail Meyers told Jeff Dempsey of The Daily News-Sun. "It would be a giant step backward for Glendale if this deal doesn't go through."

In reaction to finding out that The Goldwater Institute plans to sue her city, Scruggs said, "The market valuation is done and the bonds are out on the market," she said. "You all know the ups and downs, turns and twists we've been through and the council feels we have a good agreement."

Obviously if the bonds don't sell, mayor?

"The team will leave for Canada," she said. "We can argue forever, but it is what it is. This is how things are done in the bond market."

Notice how Scruggs sounded certain the team would "leave for Canada" if the deal doesn't happen? Does she know something we don't know? Is she sure it is indeed Canada where the Coyotes would go if they can't stay in Arizona?

Jeff Dempsey did mention in his article that Scruggs might explore the possibility of having Arena host a minor league team should the Coyotes move out of Arizona. But the Glendale mayor may have to keep in mind that the latest reincarnation of the Phoenix Roadrunners as an ECHL team had to cease operations at the US Airways Center two years ago. If that minor league team could not successfully operate in downtown Phoenix for a sustained period of time, skeptics may question the viability of one in Glendale.


During yesterday's 5:00 PM Mountain Time newscast, KSAZ-TV sports anchor Jude LaCava offered some interesting information on how Hulsizer has reacted to the news of The Goldwater Institute lawsuit and what his next step will be.

video courtesy: KSAZ-TV

Can the Coyotes overcome this latest development?

"They plan to weather this," LaCava told news anchor John Hook. "I was on the phone with Matthew Hulsizer and I can tell you he is going to continue to march forward. This franchise has had a 15-year history here going back to downtown Phoenix. But I think right now the question is, what is the legality of their suit and will we finally see a close of this sale."

LaCava then talked about other challenges The Goldwater Institute has made to other major projects in the Phoenix area such as a spring training stadium for the Chicago Cubs in eastern suburb of Mesa, Arizona. His point was this organization is generally against the funding of sports facilities using any amount of taxpayer money whatsoever. In regards to this case, LaCava wonders where the donations to The Goldwater Institute are coming from.

But what if the sale is blocked and the Coyotes leave?

"Your development (Westgate City Center) takes a major hit for many years to come. I think the implications to this are huge," LaCava explained. "Let me say this to fans out there and even if you're not a hardcore fan. Is there a bigger development project when it comes to sports in the entire state than the West Valley? We've had national championships and we've had the Super Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium."

LaCava also told Hook, "This is a key part of this hub ( Arena) that I think mayor Scruggs says we have to figure out how to make it work. And I think right now Matthew Hulsizer is simply saying, give me a chance to flip this thing. He expressed a real confidence to me in saying I can better manage that arena, I can better manage this hockey team that's getting better and make it more relevant."

Both LaCava and Hook agree this lawsuit symbolizes a drawing in the sand by the Goldwater Institute's conservative point of view, no more public money.

"I think the bottom line that people need to know is Matthew Hulsizer is plotting on. He hopes to complete this bond sale I'm told within the next two to three days. Let's see if that happens," LaCava concluded.

According to LaCava, Olsen turned out an interview at that Phoenix television station. No word as to why she did so.

So in summarizing the last few days, The Goldwater Institute will not back down from their stance on this sale agreement and sue the city of Glendale as it moves forward. There is public support from across the Phoenix metropolitan area and the state of Arizona. That includes those most affected, the Glendale taxpayers. Hulsizer isn't afraid of the pending lawsuit and instead will continue to do his best to buy the Phoenix Coyotes.

Whether or not the bonds sell and the franchise sale is completed, that remains to be seen. The end game to this entire ownership saga may not be done until after the season. For Coyotes fans and the players, hopefully it won't effect on-ice performance in the event the team qualifies for the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My latest thoughts on Phoenix vs. Winnipeg hockey flame war

Normally I don't do opinion pieces here, but I feel I had to make an exception. However, what I wrote below will NOT change how I post about both sides of THIS issue. That is I will continue to do so from an unbiased perspective. Let me get started.

Since the "No, this situation is nothing like Winnipeg, Quebec or Hartford" article was posted on the Five For Howling blog last night, I have seen the predictable. That would be an internet flame war between fans of two separate countries and two separate cities. There are plenty more that have been very understanding and respectful, therefore the troublemakers have been fewer in number than many realize.

My hometown team is the New York Rangers. They are my first love and remain as such. I fell in love with hockey during the second half of my high school years even though the first game I ever watched on television was when I was just 9 years old. By the time I went to college, hockey overtook all other sports and has been far and away #1 ever since.

Back then, the National Hockey League did not readily make available to American viewers games played in Canada, including those memorable ones when Wayne Gretzky played in Edmonton. If you were lucky to have cable television, you'd get to see an occasional game. Otherwise you resorted to game highlights on ESPN. But I did appreciate how much hockey is a religious part of the Canadian way of life. I get it, hockey reigns supreme there. But what some up there don't understand is, just because it is not regarded the same way or at the same level in the United States, it doesn't mean there are not plenty of those who love the NHL at least as much.

That said, I now bring up the debate between the old city and the current one. I remember seeing Winnipeg Jets games on television, especially when the Rangers played them at Winnipeg Arena. They were special to watch, about as much as when they played the other Canadian teams. There is something about seeing those particular games where you appreciate it more than others, perhaps because they are played in another country and see how they celebrate the game. Just look at the TV ads alone and it gives you that impression...

I recall very clearly when the Jets were on the brink of leaving Winnipeg. I hated it. I was going to miss their White Outs, that unique goal horn (which is still played at MTS Centre) and the painting of Queen Elizabeth II hanging from its rafters. During the final game, I knew I'd miss seeing the Jets because of their fan support as well.

However, when I heard the Jets were moving to Phoenix, I was absolutely overjoyed that is where the team was headed. My personal connection to that city is one of the driving reasons why I love the Phoenix Coyotes. I nearly moved to Arizona when I was just 7, but my family's business decided to stay in the New York City area. I love hockey, the NHL and seeing it come to Phoenix was a dream come true. Yes, I wish it wasn't the Jets, but I could not be picky back then. It was a team that called Phoenix home. The Coyotes continued the White Out tradition and it was done out of respect to the Jets years. Some diehard Jets fans will dispute that claim.

So from the beginning dating back to July 1, 1996, I have also been a Phoenix Coyotes fan. I've gone through the ups and downs with the team. When they were doing well, big crowds at US Airways Center in downtown Phoenix. When the Coyotes' fortunes went south, so did the attendance. Obviously due to business reasons, the Coyotes couldn't continue to play downtown and eventually went to nearby Glendale. I was again happy the Coyotes could open a new chapter in club history with a re-branding and new arena. But the wins didn't follow. I grew frustrated like every other Coyotes fan there. Jets fans obviously began to give Arizonans the "I told ya so" where they think people don't support the Coyotes or hockey doesn't work there.

It is bad business decisions, a very poorly run franchise in especially recent years by Jerry Moyes, the lack of marketing and especially poor on-ice performance is what has pushed the Coyotes to where they are today... on the brink of either being saved or complete collapse where they have to move again. Since Moyes made his disgraceful move to put the team into Chapter 11 bankruptcy AND the Jim Ballisie debacle, Jets fans as well as Canadian fans in general PLUS their print and broadcast media have done their part to campaign for the Coyotes to move back north, that including Winnipeg. So we are where we are.

Even before the Coyotes were facing the threat of relocation, I have supported Winnipeg in seeing the NHL return there. I have followed the Return of the Jets Campaign run by Darren Ford. While Phoenix fans don't think kindly of him, I do appreciate his efforts and hope his dream becomes a reality. But there is one thing I don't want. NOT AT THE COYOTES EXPENSE. My next dream would be one day we see both Phoenix and Winnipeg with teams and even develop a healthy rivalry, similar to the one between the Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild... the "old team vs. new team" thing. I feel like lately I have had to be a peacemaker between those that salivate at a Jets return and those vehemently wanting the Coyotes to stay in Phoenix. Without any shred of doubt, I support the Coyotes staying FIRST and won't ever change.

So for a final note, I say to the Canadian media, its talking heads, SOME Canadian fans and the minority of Winnipeg hockey fans need to back the hell off. You are ruining the reputation of the good people from there. Stop with the onslaught of slander toward Phoenix, Glendale and the state of Arizona. Your support of The Goldwater Institute exists for only one reason, for them to kill the Coyotes sale to Matthew Hulsizer and in turn move the team back to Winnipeg. We see this with the "Support the Goldwater Institute, bring home the Jets!" Facebook group. That MINORITY gives Winnipeg, the province of Manitoba and the rest of Canada a bad name. We appreciate your love for the NHL and wanting it to return to your city. BUT don't troll the Phoenix Coyotes' Facebook page, the Arizona Republic web site and any other internet site that covers THIS hockey team. It makes Arizona-based hockey fans and others like me who live elsewhere even more determined to see this team stay AND not see you get what you want. Stay patient and leave Phoenix fans alone. That includes you Gary Lawless, David Shoalts, Damien Cox, Howard Bloom and a number of others from a media standpoint. The fans? You too. You want the NHL to come back? Stay patient and stop the maddening venom you spew at Phoenix. It makes you deserve a team that much less. Save yourselves from a worsening reputation and back off if you know what's best for ALL of us fans. That way, there is no bloodbath in the years to come with or without NHL teams in BOTH cities.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Gary Bettman updates media on stalled Coyotes sale

In what likely was to simply cool off all the relocation talk coming from north of the border, National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman flew to Phoenix and scheduled a press conference. He addressed the media prior to tonight's Phoenix Coyotes home game against the Vancouver Canucks at Arena in Glendale, Arizona. It would be to provide an update on the stalled sale of the Coyotes to prospective owner Matthew Hulsizer.

video courtesy: Phoenix Coyotes

"There is a deal structure for Matthew Hulsizer to buy the Coyotes from the league. There are arrangements in place approved by the city of Glendale that would enable the Coyotes to live happily ever after in Arena," Bettman said in his opening statement. "And that would ensure that the arena doesn't go dark and it would protect the future of people who have businesses and jobs at (Westgate City Center)."

After thanking the city of Glendale, Hulsizer and the Coyotes organization for their dedication and patience through this difficult time, he then did the same for the fans in which he said:

"I finally want to thank the Coyotes fans for their tenaciousness and their support. And I know there are a lot more of them than this club gets credit for."

The commissioner then identified what has been holding up the sale transaction to this point.

*The bonds haven't yet been put up for sale for investors despite an A1 rating.

*The Goldwater Institute has "placed a cloud" on the bond cost and the legality of the franchise sale agreement.

Bettman ended his opening remarks by saying:

"We're not yet done. We haven't given up and we're not giving up. For anyone suggesting that we're not still committed to Glendale, you have not been following what we have done for the past two years. And our commitment remains as strong as ever. But time is running out and we're getting close to the end."

However, he then added there isn't a firm deadline.

"I will not today say when the end is. And I will not today set a deadline. But at some point, we may have no choice but to begin pursuing our other alternatives. Most simply stated, this situation must be resolved."

Bettman then opened the news conference up for questions for reporters to ask. Among those that he answered were the following:

*He was told within the last 72 hours that there have been numerous meetings between the parties involved over the last few months and thousands of documents submitted to answer the Goldwater Institute's questions about the sale agreement.

*He sent a message to the Goldwater Institute they should step down because it appears to be more of a leverage play on their part to hold up the transaction from being completed.

*The pursuit of the bonds being sold is ongoing. It is getting more expensive the longer Goldwater Institute drags out the process. Bettman believes it will cost taxpayers more money if these bonds are issued at a higher price than it should be without the delay.

*The NHL isn't in the position to tweak the sale agreement and stated that particular matter is between the city of Glendale and Hulsizer. It has been understood there has no focus on changing the terms of the deal.

*He claims Goldwater Institute will only meet with them if it is by a public news conference. They won't do it that way. Negotiations should not be done by media events.

*No specific deadline will be announced because it would give the Goldwater Institute the opportunity to just "wait out the clock" and kill the sale agreement. Bettman questioned if they have a bonafide case for a lawsuit against the city of Glendale.

*The commissioner is confident based on what information was provided, the documentation of what entity owns the land (parking rights) around Arena is clear. He believes that Goldwater Institute's dispute of the land ownership is just a smokescreen.

*There are other options besides the rumored frontrunner of Winnipeg as a relocation option. Bettman would not name them, especially because his top priority is Glendale, Arizona.

*The the Goldwater Institute's sending of letters to the bond agencies is under question for an unknown motivation. One possible reason is to scare off investors to finance the sale.

*According to Bettman, it is Glendale's decision if they decide to sue the Goldwater Institute, not the NHL.

*The bonds would all be sold together to fund the sale agreement, not in pieces.

*What ownership party is responsibility for operating losses for the 2010-2011 season depends on what particular point in time is identified.

*Bettman is standing firm on his belief that with the right owner under the terms of this sale agreement, the Coyotes as a business entity will succeed. He also believes an economic recovery in the Phoenix area will be a beneficial factor.

*The NHL is not in a position to speculate if the terms of the sale agreement were changed that it would accelerate it toward completion. The deal was struck. It is just the impediment on Goldwater Institute's part that has blocked it from being closed.

All and all, this was basically just as Bettman stated. It was give the public an update as to where the league stands while the completion of the sale agreement has been stalled. At the same time, it appeared that he also wanted to state clearly what is keeping it from being finalized.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Winnipeg television coverage of possible NHL return

With the future of the Phoenix Coyotes in doubt, many hockey fans in Winnipeg continue to believe more than ever that the National Hockey League may return to their city.

For now, those people can only hope. The local media has certainly stepped up its coverage in this developing story out of Glendale, Arizona. Will the Coyotes stay or will they have to move back to Canada? We may find out soon.

Let's take a look at what has been discussed by television news networks over the last week. First, we have The Sports Network's (TSN) coverage on their SportsCenter show last Wednesday. NHL insider Bob McKenzie talked about the what ifs that lie ahead and not to misread what is unfolding in both Phoenix and Atlanta concerning their teams.

video courtesy: The Sports Network (TSN)

Three days later, there is The Hotstove segment from Saturday night's Hockey Night in Canada broadcast when the Chicago Blackhawks visited the Toronto Maple Leafs. Pierre LeBrun addressed it at the very start to show host Ron MacLean.

video courtesy: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)

"It's never been closer to reality than it is right now, Ron." LeBrun said. "But it is not a done deal. Those poor folks in Winnipeg, they've been through this so many times. The next 7 to 10 days in Glendale, Arizona is the most critical since they've ever been in the desert."

Then last night on CBC Manitoba's 6:00 PM Central Time newscast, they had a report on the possibility of an NHL return.

"Don't get overexcited," Hockey Night in Canada's Elliotte Friedman cautioned. "A fool would underestimate (NHL commissioner) Gary Bettman at this point. He has shown several times he has been able to escape what looked to be terminal situations."

Darren Ford of The Return of the Jets Campaign added, "In what might be the perfect storm for us being that there is two franchises in trouble at the same time and only one place to put it. It's Winnipeg, Manitoba."

So while it has become urgent in Arizona to get a sale agreement done, Winnipeggers and Manitobans will have to remain patient if there is any chance whatsoever seeing the NHL return. If it is not their old team coming back, certainly other possibilities will exist. Stay tuned in the coming days, weeks and months.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Radio interviews on NHL future in Phoenix and Winnipeg

For those of you that are interested in hearing two people in charge of their respective campaigns to have a National Hockey League team in their city, you are in for a treat today.

The ongoing ownership saga in Arizona has had its wild twists and turns. During this week, it has been no different. The situation has been tenuous to say the least in Glendale, Arizona in regards to the future of the Phoenix Coyotes. A lengthy fight between Glendale city officials and the Phoenix-based taxpayer watchdog group The Goldwater Institute could derail hopes of selling necessary city bonds to complete the sale of the team to Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer.

As a result, speculation has run rampant higher than it ever has since United States Bankruptcy Court Judge Redfield T. Baum ruled in favor of the NHL taking over control of the Coyotes in 2009. Should the sale agreement collapse, the team may be forced to relocate in time for next season in which Winnipeg is a possible destination.

To hear what each representative of their campaigns have to say, tune in to the following radio shows in Phoenix and Winnipeg respectively:

Approximately 5:30 PM Eastern Time (3:30 PM in Phoenix)
KXXT-AM (Phoenix)
Breakthrough Sports with Dave and Greg Isaac
Heather McWhorter
President of the Coyotes Coalition

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM Eastern Time (4:00 to 6:00 PM in Winnipeg)
CFRW-AM (Winnipeg)
SportsRadio 1290's The Hustler and Lawless Show
Darren Ford
Founder of The Return of the Jets Campaign

Click on the hyperlinks for each site to listen to their interviews.