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Add another city to the Coyotes relocation rumormill — Portland, Oregon

Feb 1, 2013, 5:34 PM EDT

Rose Garden

Might the man who nearly bought the Dallas Stars have his eyes on the Phoenix Coyotes?

And might that same man have a notion to move the Coyotes to Portland, Oregon?

To answer the first question, we refer you to a report from FOX Sports Arizona that says Calgary oilman Bill Gallacher could be part of a group that’s looking to buy the Coyotes from the NHL on a “fast track” after prospective purchaser Greg Jamison failed to close the deal by yesterday’s deadline.

It’s fairly clear Gallacher is interested in owning an NHL franchise. In addition to making a run at the Stars (they were ultimately bought by Tom Gaglardi), he was also rumored to be interested in buying the Devils before owner Jeff Vanderbeek got his financial house in order.

To answer the second question, well, we have no idea. But we sure can speculate. Gallacher, you see, is the current owner of the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks. And unlike Seattle — frequently mentioned as a potential relocation/expansion market — Portland already has an NHL-caliber arena in the Rose Garden.

The Portland metro area, with an approximate population of 2.2 million, isn’t as big as Seattle’s (est. 3.5 million); however, it’s larger than current NHL markets like Columbus and Raleigh.

With no NFL or MLB team, Portland also wouldn’t have the same competition for the sports dollar that the NHL would face in Seattle.

Again, this all speculation. Even if Gallacher were to buy the Coyotes, it doesn’t mean he’d move it to Portland, where he already has a successful junior franchise.

He might move it to Las Vegas though!

  1. tyler4richardson - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    Yes!!!!!! Great city for the NHL to explore. Trailblazers are a top 10 team in NBA attendance every year and the Winter Hawks WHL team have had a strong following for a long time.

  2. davebabychreturns - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    I look forward to the cross-country Portland/Brooklyn rivalry.

    There will be a bidding war for Andrew Ference, Sean Avery can come out of retirement and we’ll see which team is brave enough to introduce the first plaid jersey in NHL history..

  3. DTF31 - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    A few years ago when he was asked about owning an NHL team IN Portland he wasn’t so hot on it. Said something to the effect of “Why would I compete with myself and raise my costs over ten fold?”

    Maybe he’s changed his mind though.

  4. loinstache - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Their jerseys will be of the finest organic cotton from a supplier you’ve probably never heard of before.

  5. ynothockey - Feb 1, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    Every year same crap!!! Add and spread rumors about the Coyotes leaving AZ. Don’t know why so many people have a problem with trying to grow the sport of hockey? Yes we all know how great Canadian market teams do. There are probably over 2 million people who live in Phoenix area now who are from traditional US and Canada hockey markets. The sport is growing here in our youth and adult leagues. So I am a Coyotes season ticket holder who hopes we get a new owner who sees the potential for hockey to continue to grow and prove it was worth keeping the team here. Then maybe you all can find something else or someone else to constantly complain about.

    • valoisvipers - Feb 1, 2013 at 6:42 PM

      Nice to hear a season ticket holder complain about all the crap the Yotes have to endure and still field a decent team.

    • davebabychreturns - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:01 PM

      ynothockey, I don’t think anyone dislikes or resents hockey fans in Arizona, hell personally I wish there were more of you.

      That being said the league having to take the franchise over and run it for what, three or four years now? Is pretty embarrassing. It’s a sideshow and it’s bad for both the league and the Coyotes franchise – even if it borrows some time for the locals who do enjoy going to games.

      A solution hasn’t been found for years now and there is probably a good reason why stable local ownership can’t be found – hell Jamieson went all over the planet looking for them and couldn’t find $170m worth of funds to keep the team in Glendale.

      I’m sorry to say but that franchise needs to go where there are more people like yourself.

    • slickdemetrius - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:14 PM

      Two points:1. Arizona has had since the mid 90’s to grow the sport in the state. Perhaps your youth are playing and the rec leagues are full, but that has little effect on the Coyotes bankroll

      2. How about growing the sport by starting off with an AHL team, see how that works out, than move up if successful.

      2.5 Move the team to Quebec, Portland/Seattle (who have strong histories with the NHL in it’s early years) and screw trying to “grow the sport”. With that logic, the NFL should be expanding into Moose Jaw.

    • ray2013 - Feb 2, 2013 at 12:21 AM

      How many news stories did we have to endure re: the return of the Winnipeg Jets? I lost count of the number of times we heard people say how losing the Jets was like losing part of the soul of Winnipeg, like losing a family member….you get the picture.

      So if I knew that there was a solid chance that the Coyotes would be leaving Phoenix sooner or later, why would I buy in? Seems like all of these news stories will have the effect of driving away everyone but the most loyal and committed fans and you’re not going to make money driving people away thereby creating a self-fulfilling prophesy. And it’s a shame, because there seem to be some pretty solid hockey fans there.

  6. greej1938l - Feb 1, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    How bout wisconsin..has 2nd most hockey played in the state next to Minnesota.

  7. sportsfan69 - Feb 1, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    Relocate Phoenix and Florida franchises to Seattle and Portland. That would even out the Eastern and Western Conferences, along with allowing for future expansion to 32 teams to the east with a second Toronto and Quebec. The rivalry between Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland would be outstanding. It would relieve the traveling some of issues in the Western Conference. I’m just saying…..

    • jcmeyer10 - Feb 1, 2013 at 9:06 PM

      This might be a bad analogy but it’s working out great for that rivalry in the MLS. I reckon they wouldn’t mind another extension of that.

      • charliereno - Feb 1, 2013 at 9:41 PM

        I’m right with you on this one. Seattle fans are bonkers for every one of their teams. And if anyone has ever watched a Timbers game, those people are friggin’ R A B I D . This would be awesome.

  8. sportsfan69 - Feb 1, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    Las Vegas team would be a dump move for the league.

  9. thehighcountrybear - Feb 1, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Oregon…? Great place to move the Ducks…

    • goalieguy37 - Feb 2, 2013 at 4:23 AM

      (we have enough f—cking ducks allready, f— that noise)

  10. Jeff - Feb 1, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    the NHL would be better if just contracted teams. I doubt the league nor the players would go for it though

    • jcmeyer10 - Feb 2, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      I was with you until I read sportsfan69’s plan.

  11. canuck54143 - Feb 1, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    Having a team in Vegas might be a great move. It would sell out every night in just Hotel comps. If its about making money this is the best move.

  12. pswingset - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    Moving a team to Vegas would only further the perception that the NHL is run as a fifth-rate league with a step child complex. Money first, money second, ratings third, fans wherever.

  13. dallasstars9 - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    Bring back the Rosebuds!

  14. steelers88 - Feb 2, 2013 at 6:57 AM

    How about Hershey PA! They have a great fanbase.

    • Jackson Scofield - Feb 2, 2013 at 10:33 AM

      Way too small

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