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Report: NHL set to begin “Plan B” for Coyotes next week

Mar 22, 2012, 11:59 AM EDT

Dallas Stars v Phoenix Coyotes Getty Images

Lost in yesterday’s flurry of elbow-related news were a couple of tweets from TSN’s Darren Dreger regarding the future of the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale.

Dreger reports the NHL will be looking at Plan B if no progress is made to sell the league-owned franchise to local interests. He adds that two to three groups are still “in (the) mix” to keep the Coyotes playing at Arena.

As for what Plan B might entail, Dreger says Quebec City, Las Vegas, Seattle and Kansas City are relocation options.

Suffice to say time is running out before a decision has to be made, one way or the other. When the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg last year, the formal announcement was made May 31. Considering a deal with that many moving parts isn’t consummated overnight, well, you do the math.

There’s also reason to believe this deal could be more complicated. With the Thrashers, it was a fait accompli that Winnipeg would get them if they didn’t stay in Atlanta. With the Coyotes, a beauty contest (in the business sense, nothing to do with bikinis) might be required.

Related: Quebecor really wants an NHL team for Quebec City

  1. itspartofthegame - Mar 22, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Another difference is that the Thrashers were owned by a private ownership group with no real interest in the NHL other than the Thrashers being part of the deal to purchase the Hawks and the operating rights to Phillips Arena. I hope for the sake of the Coyotes’ fans that someone with real local interest steps up to purchase, otherwise it’s only going to delay an eventual relocation.

  2. davebabychreturns - Mar 22, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Seattle seems like an interesting compromise in the struggle between what hockey folks want (northern city with plenty of minor and pro hockey background) and what the league seems to want (a presence in a key American television market).

    People can rag on Phoenix/Glendale as a miserable failure in this whole saga but at this point I just want it over – whether that be due to a local ownership group stepping up or due to the team finally moving on and finding a permanent home (as much as that would suck for Arizona hockey fans).

    It’s tough on the organization being in limbo like this and I’m sure the league has priorities it would rather be addressing than propping up teams for the next forever..

  3. tmoore4075 - Mar 22, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    I really don’t know what to think. I think it’s about 50-50 that they move. It’ll be down to Quebec City and Seattle. Kansas City has the arena but not local ownership group anymore. I think it goes to Quebec. While I like the idea of Seattle there is not guarantee fans will come out. Plus if the NBA goes back there the NHL team won’t get the attention. Quebec has the fan base, an arena on the way and local ownership group. If the Yotes move that’s where they are going in my opinion.

    I really want this to be over with. This has dragged on too long. Would be a little sad if they did move because the NHL has fought this hard to keep the team there and they end up moving anyways?

    • stoneegratz - Mar 22, 2012 at 12:37 PM

      They’ve fought this hard cause Gary ultimately can’t admit he was wrong. Jets to Phoenix…bust, Atlanta, Columbus….bust. Nashville was close to being bust status but has built a solid team and draws a crowd. He went 3/7 in recent expansions/relocations. Those teams being Colorado, Minnesota, and Carolina. Not sold on Nashville, once they go back to the basement all support will be lost once again. Gary more then likely will put this team in Seattle or KC. KC sounds more attractive because the rink is built and Gary doesn’t have to keep the yotes in Phoenix for another pitfull season.

      • tmoore4075 - Mar 22, 2012 at 1:41 PM

        Nashville is fine and I think will be. Will they ever be an Original 6 team in terms of populatrity and success? No but who cares? OKC will never be LA in the NBA either.

        The Jackets problem has been bad management. I thought they could work but when you always stink it’s hard to draw people in.

        If they move I think it’ll be QC for my reasons above. KC has no ownership group. Seattle has no arena and not sure about the fan base. QC has or will have everything. Even Bettman said if they have to relocate they want to go back to where they have already been.

        I feel sorry for the fans of the Coyotes if they do move. (You can make all the jokes you want) but even if I was the only fan I know I’d be sad.

  4. stoneegratz - Mar 22, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    Las Vegas, what a joke.

    • wingsdjy - Mar 22, 2012 at 12:44 PM

      Agreed. Vegas doesn’t make any sense for a permanent pro sports team. The problem with it is that the bulk of your ticket sales would be game-by-game, not season bundles (because it’s a tourist town). And if you rely on game-by-game, then you live and die by how good the team is currently. Combine that with the fact that people traditionally go to Vegas for gambling, not sports, and you’ve got a potentially lethal combination.

  5. duckandabluesailor - Mar 22, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    Damn team should already be in year two as the new Kitchener-Waterloo franchise.

  6. tihomirg24 - Mar 22, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    It IS sad, there are plenty of hockey fans here in the Phoenix area but, as it’s been mentioned before, the on-ice performance of the team (after the first couple of years and prior to the recent resurgence) and the idiotic location of the arena is what’s causing the problems.

    I see cars here all the time across the Phoenix metro area with Coyotes flags or stickers, and the last couple of winning seasons have definitely generated interest but most people aren’t willing to drive 2 hours west in traffic after spending all day at work, then driving another hour back 41 times a season.

    • tmoore4075 - Mar 23, 2012 at 8:53 AM

      Agree with all of this. A lot of bad decisions at the ownership level. When they moved they started going down hill so that hurt even more. Then when they got good people thought they were leaving. Way too many mistakes throughout the history.

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