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Could the Coyotes ownership saga finally be at an end?

Oct 15, 2010, 8:52 PM EDT

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It’s been a long time coming for the fans of the Phoenix Coyotes, but they may actually be close to having a deal worked out with an owner intent upon keeping the team in Glendale, Arizona. Chicago-based financier Matthew Hulsizer is apparently very close to locking down a deal with the City of Glendale and the NHL to purchase the Coyotes and according to the Winnipeg Free Press, the ball is now in the court of the NHL Board of Governors to finalize the process.

“The City of Glendale and the Hulsizer Group have reached an agreement in principle on the lease that would allow the Hulsizer Group to purchase the Coyotes from the NHL under the terms they requested,” said Glendale spokesperson Julie Frisoni. “The provisions of the deal are subject to formal approval by the NHL board of governors.”

The purchase price is said to be US $165-million with a Nov. 30 closing.

“It appears that significant progress is being made. We’re certainly hopeful that we are moving toward a conclusion that will assure the Coyotes’ long-term future in Glendale,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Free Press.

The sale price would give the NHL a net gain after the league bought the team for $140 million out of bankruptcy. While we’ve been through this whole dance before a couple of times concerning the Coyotes, this situation doesn’t appear to be mired in dealing with bureaucratic paperwork like Memorandums of Understanding. The Coyotes have had MOUs with Chicago sports owner Jerry Reinsdorf as well as Ice Edge Holdings. With Hulsizer in place and with money immediately ready to plunk down on the team, it appears that things a lot further along than they have been with either Reinsdorf or Ice Edge.

This entire mess began when former owner Jerry Moyes tried to go around the sale process with the NHL by selling the team to James Balsillie, wherein Balsillie would then move the team to Hamilton, Ontario to play at Copps Coliseum.  If things can get worked out with Hulsizer, the NHL, and the City of Glendale on working out a new lease at Jobing.com Arena, a lease that makes it very costly for anyone to move the team out of the area.

If things can’t get officially worked out and completed with Hulsizer, the future of the Coyotes in Glendale will go back up in the air and with the real threat of having a new owner that wishes to move the team out of Arizona (like True North from Winnipeg would like to do) coming in and taking over. As of now, should things with Hulsizer work out the NHL is hoping to have everything taken care of by the end of November. As always with the Coyotes ownership dealings, waiting for all the T’s to be crossed and the I’s to be dotted is the best way to handle any news here, but at the moment, it appears that Coyotes fans’ ongoing nightmare may be over.

  1. ikcotol - Oct 15, 2010 at 9:32 PM

    How does this make any sense? Matthew Hulsizer must be the biggest sucker alive.

    They don’t want hockey in Phoenix. Unless Mr. Sucker is going to make attending a hockey game free, you are not going to get people to that black hole of an entertainment complex. Like most American cities with money (at one time) or hoping for money, the City Council of Phoenix has failed their constituants and built something, somewhere that NO ONE WANTS TO GO TO.

    Did anyone watch the joke that was the council meeting in May? Some senile old city councilman changes his mind, because some 7 year old kid met him in the parking lot and asked him to save the Coyotes? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? How are your fricken’ roads? How’s the school system? WOW. US Government in all it’s glory.

    Let this team go out of Phoenix. The city and state do not deserve it, and the experiment is done. Admit you were wrong Mr. Bettman. Real fans are tired of being embarrassed by half-empty buildings and the ridiculous free ticket giveaways that are nothing but an embarrassment.

    This team should have moved last year.

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