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Coyotes’ ownership situation still “a work in progress”

Mar 14, 2012, 10:20 PM EDT

Gary Bettman Getty Images

At some point the Phoenix Coyotes’ ownership situation will stop being, as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman calls it, “a work in progress,” but that day has not come yet. Bettman met with members of the media on Wednesday and the subject of the Coyotes naturally came up.

“There’s still a number of groups that are engaged in the process, and we’re still in close contact with the city,” Bettman said. “At some point, we may have to [turn the page]. I’m hoping not to get to that point, and I’m not setting a deadline for it.”

No, we didn’t just copy and paste that from a Bettman statement taken months ago, but for the sake of comparison, here is what he said back in January:

“Nothing imminent, 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,” Bettman said. He also added, “Our goal is to bring it to a conclusion in Phoenix. If, in fact, we don’t have an alternative, we’ll deal with it. But we’re not at that point.”

To be fair, we don’t expect Bettman to reveal any information that might hurt the Coyotes’ chances of finding an owner. For example, if Bettman were to name a date that the Coyotes need an owner by, that could just complicate the process.

Maybe there is progress being made. Every now and the Coyotes have gotten a ray of hope, but they have often proven to be optimistic with the benefit of hindsight. For now, if there’s progress being made, it’s largely happening behind closed doors.

  1. Buffalo Grumblings - Mar 14, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    Bettman had a chance to do the right thing and send them back to Winnipeg where the Jets belong.
    But no he screws Atlanta by lettting THEM go to Winnipeg and keeps trying to make hockey work in the desert. I don’t get it.

  2. blomfeld - Mar 14, 2012 at 11:04 PM


    another excellent article which combines a wonderful blend of humor, wit, satire and fact … the desert dogs are doomed, as it’s now no longer a question of “if” but “when” ? … I personally came to this realization two winters ago on my golf vacation in Tucson, when I asked my “local” playing partners if they were Coyotes fans, to which I received silence and a sympathetic smile … the bottom line is that the Bettman experiment has failed and the sooner this patient is put out his misery, the better …

    ps: don’t worry about the fine Phoenix folk … they’ve got Peyton Manning on their minds right now, not the bankrupt Coyotes … as for those wealthy, parasitic, Canadian “snow-birders” who infest that area during the winter ? … well I say “to heck” with them ! … if they’re down there in the desert trying to avoid our Canadian winter here, then why the hell are they even watching ice hockey ? … I say “buzz off” you wealthy gizzards !

  3. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 15, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    Bettman just keeps refusing to admit what a mistake this experiment was. I don’t know why any person who can afford to buy a hockey team would do so only if they keep it in a market where they won’t make a profit. That just makes zero sense from a business standpoint.

  4. rainyday56 - Mar 15, 2012 at 3:29 AM

    Hello, the city pays the league $25M per year to cover ” losses”. If I was Bettman I too would be giving the old hairy arse to any question about the ‘ yote’s situation at least until the council smartens up and turns off the tap. Ka-ching!

  5. govtminion - Mar 15, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    I’m still curious what the difference is… Bettman has spent years now putting his face and words into the Phoenix mess and swearing to his commitment to making hockey work there. And yet he hardly spoke at all when the Thrashers reached the breaking point. So what is it about Phoenix that has him so involved that Atlanta didn’t have?

    That’s not to say I think hockey should or should not exist in either city- I just want to know what the big difference is.

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