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Coyotes sale potentially in big trouble

May 6, 2010, 11:51 PM EST

1-reinsdorf.jpg

The NHL playoffs were moving along a little too smoothly to not have a bombshell be dropped right in the middle of everything. The sale of the Phoenix Coyotes has hit yet another snag and this time it’s a big one.

Sources tell TSN the city of Glendale has asked Ice Edge Holdings to return to the bargaining table as a back up plan to buy the Coyotes, in the event the deal with Reinsdorf falls through.

Sources say Glendale reached out to Ice Edge late last week amid growing concern Reinsdorf’s accepted bid to purchase the Coyotes from the National Hockey League is at risk of falling apart.

To make things even more of a mess, ESPN’s Scott Burnside, tosses in this nuclear bomb of a revelation should Ice Edge not make a deal with the City of Glendale.

The situation in Glendale remains fluid; if the city does not agree to the league’s conditions, it is possible the NHL will instead move quickly to finalize a purchase agreement with Canadian billionaire David Thomson and move the team to Winnipeg. Sources tell ESPN.com there is a purchase agreement ready if the Glendale situation disintegrates.

If the team moves to Winnipeg, the Ice Edge group would then move the existing AHL team, the Manitoba Moose, to Thunder Bay, Ontario.

To call this a “big deal” would be to downplay the situation wildly. What’s most baffling about this is that it wasn’t even a full day since we got word of what the different conditions that Jerry Reinsdorf was going to have in order to buy the team, and it’s a sweetheart deal to an exponential degree.

In a preliminary agreement known as a memorandum of understanding (MOU), the Glendale City Council has agreed to pay $65 million in public funds over three years to the NHL, the current owner of the Coyotes, as part of Reinsdorf’s purchase. The NHL took over the team after Jerry Moyes, the previous owner, threw the franchise into bankruptcy court in a failed effort to sell the club and move it to Hamilton, Ontario.

The $65 million to be paid by Glendale is nearly 40 percent of the total Reinsdorf will have to pay to the NHL to acquire the Coyotes. But although Glendale is paying 40 percent, Reinsdorf and his group will own 100 percent of the team.

Essentially, the City of Glendale was selling the team to Reinsdorf for 40% off the manufacturer retail price. Not to mention they were giving him a five year window to turn a profit before allowing him to sell the team and leave town and he’s still walking away from the deal. Obviously this story is all built off of sources and inside reports, but both ESPN and TSN have discovered there’s some smoke coming from this entire mess, whether there is actually fire to go with the smoke remains to be seen. 

A lot of folks often wondered what would happen if movies turned out differently and should this whole thing breakdown the way it’s being painted by Scott Burnside, the comparisons of the Coyotes to the Cleveland Indians in the movie “Major League” take on a whole new light. In this case, only this time they lose in the playoffs and get moved away.

  1. soho - May 7, 2010 at 12:47 AM

    Another tease for loyal Jets fans. We feel badly for the sports fans of Hamilton who must be gnashing their teeth as they read this, but its our team and we want it back. Make it 7! I was in a sports cap store today in Buffalo and there were 8 syles of caps for the Winnipeg Jets and not one for the Coyotes. They’re done in Arizona. Bring them home!

  2. Bob S. - May 7, 2010 at 7:20 AM

    Wakey wakey!
    Bettman is a crook! He has got away with this crap, including accepting Reinsdorf’s lower bid chasing Balsillie away because he is of Lebanese extraction(you better believe it) from both Nashville and Phoenix who offered more than anyone.
    Maybe you actually know little about an obvious scam artist first class. Comes from same NYC as Madoff! Brother out of his same mother or 1/2 brother is Jeffrey Pollock the commisioner of the world series of poker. at hotel in vegas owned by maloof an owner in nba when bettman worked there. ever hear of pete rose? ruled off in baseball for alledgedly betting on baseball – ban in effect still today. but bettman allowed tocchet to coach a nhl team after pleading guilty to taking and carrying bets for a bookmaker less than a year after he did it. but when he took that leave of absense from gretzkys phoenix he appeared on the world series of poker of bettmans half brother. same world series of poker bettman wants hockey players to work with. poker is gambling. gretzky his wife(yeah right) supposedly bet $10,000 on super bowl coin tosses – so just what does HE bet when he has inside information or can do something about the outcome. you know it is tough to win, but if you want to lose and you have control its very easy to lose on purpose.
    did the insane 3rd point (in some games) appear because bettman wanted exciting shootouts for the fans? OR REALLY because he wanted there to be a winner and a loser as hockey was a bad betting sport in vegas with all those tie games? use your head! he was the ONLY big league pro commissioner in usa even in favor of proline/lotto betting on his sport and now wants a team in VEGAS as well.
    and the way he has brought in names like del baggio, the islanders owner who then was found out, the anaheim owner who just beat a rap on a technicality, etc., wants a team in vegas, and his obvious love of having a superstars like crosby’s team go as far as possible for his little nbc deal as in his midget sized body’s mind he thinks millions of americans who couldn’t care less about hockey especially in the summer and never watch it ever would suddenly watch it because crosby is supposed to play? and how he underhandedly dealt with balsillie and nashville and phoenix and quebec and winnipeg and how even i heard the dwarf last year on a san jose playoff telecast say “we will be strict and call all penalties in these playoffs”para. BUT as they say a good liar first must have a good memory and forgets and says the other day “we never tell the refs what to do.”

  3. Dan M. - May 7, 2010 at 7:38 AM

    I don’t get why Bettman is rejecting Jim Balsille. Does he have a personal vendetta against him? I feel for the fans in Hamilton as they ar getting hosed by this crook we call a commisioner. If it is a racial issue as Bob, then I will really be sick. I know he wants to keep a team in Phoenix, but you need to cut your losses. I did read an ESPN the Magazine article about how they players think there should be another team in Canada. It’s just awful if you ask me.

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