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Glendale Mayor: Don’t blame us, blame the NHL

Jan 24, 2012, 2:40 PM EDT

Boston Bruins v Phoenix Coyotes Getty Images

Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs is sick and tired of being blamed for the Coyotes’ sluggish sale process. And that, for the record, is the exact same lead sentence we used in early December, which should tell you how the sale process has gone since then.

The NHL owns the Phoenix franchise and so far has been unable to find an owner to keep the team in Glendale, where the team plays in the city-owned Arena.

Scruggs reiterated her “it’s not up to us, it’s up to the league” stance today in The Arizona Republic, telling the newspaper, “We are not in control and quite honestly, I’m kind of tired of everybody pointing to us and making comments that the city of Glendale can’t get the job done. We have no control over it and I think probably the NHL is very happy that writers and reporters continue to point to the city of Glendale for not getting the job done because it takes the attention directly off them.”

City council will meet behind closed doors today for an update, though there might not be much of one.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman commented on the Coyotes situation last week.

“Nothing imminent,” Bettman said. “But it’s still being worked on. It’s still a work in progress and there’s no significant development that I’m in position to report.”

Meanwhile, the hockey team sits 12th in the Western Conference, four points back of eighth-place Colorado.

The last regular-season game at Arena is Apr. 3 versus Columbus.

Just to throw it out there.

  1. tmoore4075 - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    The asking price is too damn high party. She said the price was the problem in the AZ Central article. The NHL promised the owners they wouldn’t lose money and that’s why the price is what it is. Sorry for any of the fans out there of the Coyotes I really am. But I think it’s time to say Quebec you better get ready.

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 24, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Nobody in their right mind would buy a franchise that can do nothing but hemorrhage money where it is and agree not to move it. I wholeheartedly agree with Scruggs in blaming Bettman and his cronies.

  3. lsxphotog - Jan 24, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    To cut to the chase, Glendale doesn’t want a hockey team. I don’t think they ever did. They’re getting the criticism because they aren’t HELPING the process of getting a potential buyer in there to save a team that puts their city on the map and could potentially make them a lot of money. Another problem is this: Why would you buy a hockey team in an extremely small market when there are other, more profitable fits out there to bring the team into?

    Arizona will not have a team very soon. It’s sad because I think all teams and players have loved playing in the arena and they have a lot of loyal fans. I want to see the team stay where they are, but I think it’s clear at this point by the actions of the Mayor in this address, and the actions (or lack there of) taken by the league, that it’s just sitting there waiting to be scooped up and brought into southern Ontario or Quebec..possibly some other enormous, untapped market.

    • dougyfresh9981 - Jan 24, 2012 at 4:47 PM

      Since when is Southern Ontario, specifically Hamilton, an enormous market? And I can tell you about 21 teams that are in a smaller market than Phoenix.

    • dougyfresh9981 - Jan 24, 2012 at 4:47 PM

      Since when is Southern Ontario, specifically Hamilton, an enormous market? And I can tell you about 21 teams that are in a smaller market than Phoenix.

      • lsxphotog - Jan 24, 2012 at 5:38 PM

        Never been to Ontario, huh…IT’S AN ENORMOUS MARKET.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jan 24, 2012 at 6:23 PM

      I hate to break it to you: hockey is a nitch sport. Hockey doesn’t put Glendale on the map. The Cardinals who play the country’s most popular sport does. After all Glendale has hosted a Super Bowl.

  4. Rob - Jan 24, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    As long as the NHL continues to cling to this bizarre hope someone will both pay the asking price AND keep the team in Phoenix, it will remain unsold.

    How long until the other owners revolt and demand something is done? They can’t be impressed at seeing million after million thrown down a black hole in Arizona whilst other markets and other potential owners sit in the shadows.

    The speed with which the Thrashers moved North and became the Jets shows you that there are interested parties when it comes to buying NHL clubs, as long as they then have the power to make a business decision and move the team somewhere where they can turn a profit – or at the very least have a fighting chance of turning a profit!

    • tmoore4075 - Jan 24, 2012 at 3:34 PM

      The NHL has said they won’t own the team next year. Whether they cave remains to be seen but I can’t imagine the owners are thinking this is a great thing. It’s starting to look like they won’t be in the playoffs this year so we might find out in early April if they are headed east.

      • Rob - Jan 24, 2012 at 3:45 PM

        Complete wild card; but the NHL’s realignment plan did not really allow for Phoenix going East in my opinion – however, a move to Seattle would have fitted…. Just saying and there are several other issues in Seattle (like where would they play!!!) but it might not be that far fetched either

      • elvispocomo - Jan 24, 2012 at 4:41 PM

        @Rob It’s been discussed certainly, as they didn’t expect to keep two extra teams in the West just to make it harder for those teams. You can bet good money that at least one GM of a Western team brought it up as a concern and what provisions they’d make to resolve it and adapt for it, one of which being the very real possibility of Phoenix being sold and moving to the East.

  5. donttazemebro - Jan 24, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    It’s the NHLs fault too that they can NEVER get out of the first round?Fans support winners and the Coyotes have been anything but since being in Phoenix.That being said Bettmans insistence on keeping a team in a city that has never shown real interest in hockey is absurd.Let an owner who wants to move them to a city that will support them buy them and be done with it.Seattle ,Quebec City or Kansas City would be better fits.

    • dougyfresh9981 - Jan 24, 2012 at 4:52 PM

      The sad thing is, the Coyotes first round exits are better season results than most of the Canadian teams. Go to a Coyotes playoff game and I assure you’ll find a sold out arena of interested hockey fans. Hockey CAN work in the desert

      • habsman - Jan 24, 2012 at 6:21 PM

        Sure the arena is sold out in the playoffs.

        The problem is the tickets sell for the cost of stadium parking in Canadian cities.

  6. greatminnesotasportsmind - Jan 24, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    Of course the Coyotes are gone. But Bettman and Co. have to make sure nobody will buy the team and keep it there first. As Winnipeg and Minnesota have taught, if you leave a big back lash happens. They are just covering there behinds this time.

    Quebec Nordiques reborn! !

  7. Jeff - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Bad owners man, bad owners. That’s the reason why franchises can’t make it in a particular market.

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