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.