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Daly denies Quebecor’s negotiating for Coyotes

May 22, 2013, 10:17 AM EDT

Shane Doan Getty Images

The ongoing saga to find an owner for the Phoenix Coyotes took another turn when columnist Réjean Tremblay told 98.5 Sports that Quebecor Inc. has begun negotiations to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes.

Quebecor is one of Canada’s largest communications companies, owning a number of newspapers, magazines, broadcast and Internet properties. Recently, Quebecor has moved into the sporting realm by acquiring the naming rights and a management contract for the new Quebec City arena.

(Of note, Tremblay’s paper — Le Journal de Montreal — is owned by the Sun Media division of Quebecor Media.)

Such a move would add fuel to the speculation that the Coyotes might be relocated to Quebec City — if such talks are taking place. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly was quick to deny that they’re negotiating with Quebecor, according to RDS’ Renaud Lavoie.

This comes after reports that California businessman Darin Pastor attempted to buy the team but was turned down by the NHL. Back in March there were reports that an investment banker from Alberta was working on a proposal to present to the NHL.

Ice Edge Holdings and Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer might also be in the picture.

Update: Quebecor has also shot down the rumors, saying any talk of them purchasing the Coyotes is “completely false.”

Related:

Doan says he doesn’t regret sticking with Coyotes

Report suggests Glendale getting raw deal with Coyotes

  1. tmoore4075 - May 22, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Didn’t the NHL deny the Winnipeg/Thrashers reports at first too? It’s what their response has to be. You don’t say yes until it’s done and if it falls through, you say nothing/deny.

    IF true, it’s not surprising. Thrashers sale took place on May 31 of 2011. We have to be getting close to the clock striking midnight on the Coyotes. Pastor is just another in the long line of guys who couldn’t close the deal. You’ve got money and fans in Quebec. Hard to turn that down when you are facing the end of the tunnel.

  2. dropthepuckeh - May 22, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Quebec City deserves a team and any team south of the Mason/Dixon Line should be fair game. Go where the fans are and stop subsidizing markets that cannot sustain the sport. This is not the NFL. Hockey fans are like people who like licorice. Not everyone likes licorice but those that do, love licorice. Stop watering down the sport.

  3. pastabelly - May 22, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    This is why the NHL divisional reallignment was shortsighted. They should have kept a space open in what they refer to as the “Central Conference” (Boston has always been in the Central part of the country) for Quebec to renew rivalries with Montreal, Boston, and Buffalo. Of course, Bettman already bent over for Detroit. Now what?

    Get this done and get Quebec in the East, where they belong.

    • tmoore4075 - May 22, 2013 at 11:17 AM

      What they should have done was kept it the way they had planned before. Two divisions/conference of 8 in the West and two div/conf of 7 in the East. That way you move the Coyotes East to Quebec and then have an 8/7 split in each conference.

      If the PA doesn’t shoot down the proposal from a year and a half ago then this wouldn’t be an issue. The only way I see Detroit or Columbus moving back West is if they go with a straight divisional playoff format. This cross-divisional thing is probably what made Detroit push for the East. They were ok with the first proposal. They didn’t want to be jumping timezones. The original idea, they would only go as far as one timezone over. Had they stayed in the West, under this proposal they could still be going to the west coast in the first two rounds.

      If this goes through, it’ll be interesting to see what happens when they talk realignment again this fall/winter.

      • pastabelly - May 22, 2013 at 11:33 AM

        Just to be on the same page, Detroit cares about time zones and not travel. Time zones are about money and selling cable rights with all 7 pm and 7:30 pm games puts more money in Detroit’s pockets. It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to send Detroit, Columbus, and Toronto ALL packing to the West and bringing Quebec to the east (and stop calling the “East” the Central Division).

      • tmoore4075 - May 22, 2013 at 11:44 AM

        Oh I agree. But the players do care about the travel. They’ve said as much.

        The fans (myself) hate it for the times. It sucks to stay up until 1am for a game ending in regulation while Toronto can have an OT game end before 11pm.

        The franchise wants it for the times cause of the money and viewership like you said. No way Toronto moves back to the West. I just don’t see it. I wouldn’t be against it because it sort of levels the playing field with more teams close to Detroit. Plus three Original 6 teams in one conference makes sense. But again with the possible cross-divisional playoffs they will be doing next year, Detroit won’t want to go back West. They don’t want those late starts. Like I said, I think a straight divisional playoff format would appease the Wings enough to go back to the West. Latest start time of 8:30 isn’t terrible.

    • clefty1 - May 22, 2013 at 11:30 AM

      More like Detroit bent over for the NHL and helping carry the western conference for a couple of decades now. Detroit is in the eastern time zone.in case you forgot and they make ridiculous amounts of trips west during the regular season and especially during the playoffs. Maybe you would like to deal with 10 30 playoff starts as well like Wings fans have delt with for a couple of decades now..

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - May 22, 2013 at 2:01 PM

        Oh waaaah Detroit fans. I don’t wanna hear you complain about travel. How about Winnipeg playing division games in Tampa Bay, Carolina, Sunrise, and Washington. How about the team that travels even further than Winnipeg does: Minnesota. They log the most miles of any NHL team

  4. tmoore4075 - May 22, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    Winnipeg did it for 2 years, Detroit has done it for 30. Winnipeg was out of necessity the first year, and the PA trying to act tough the 2nd. I’m guessing Jets fans are ok with it for 2 years since it meant getting a team back.

    Wild have a lot of travel not gonna argue that. But again 12 years compared to 30. Playing a total of 3 playoff series in the Pacific Timezone (two timezones away) total in their history. While Detroit has played 5 series in the Pacific Timezone (three timezones away) in the last 4 years alone.

    The Wild (and the Jets the last two years) have some bad travel, but it doesn’t lessen the crappiness of the Wings schedule the last 30 years, especially the last 20 or so since more teams popped up in the South and Southwest. Both teams need, and are going to, have it addressed next season thankfully.

  5. desertfan - May 22, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    Not going to Quebec- too many language issues and separatists!

    Hard to get to and not great advertising-tv market.

    Been there??

    Most people dont speak English at all.

    Seattle is next.

    • tmoore4075 - May 22, 2013 at 3:31 PM

      Not happening to Seattle. They need a new arena and won’t be getting one without an NBA team going there first. The group that was interested in the Sacramento King said they were only interested in the NHL if they had an NBA team as well.

      Quebec’s economy is much better than when they left in 95. More corporate money than before plus TV market has grown. The Canadian TV deal expires soon I believe so I can’t imagine the bidding war if you could get an 8th team there. Mix all that with a wealthy ownership group, a new arena that is being built and the 50-50 revenue split it’s going to be a gold mine if they indeed ever get a team back. All they have to do is look at Winnipeg.

      Saying all of that I’m not sure if they are moving or not. To me, with the NBA deal falling through in Seattle, Quebec is the only location possible with an arena and an ownership group. Seattle would have been the place because it would have been seamless on a bunch of levels, but not now.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - May 22, 2013 at 4:48 PM

      You are aware that Quebecor just started a French language all sports tv station right? This station can also bid against RDS and Radio Canada for the French national broadcasting rights, which actually pumps up that market. Oh yeah and the Canadian tv deals will be a lot more lucrative than the NBC deal (which has, I believe, 9 more years to go before expiration), losing Phoenix (and the 0 share they get) will mean little in the grand scheme of things when it comes to tv.

  6. bobo8192 - May 23, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    Good after this expand to Seattle & Hartford. 24/8 is a perfect split. Bring back the Norris Division with Det., Tor., Chi., Wpg., Min., StL., Dal and Colorado; Seattle takes Coyotes spot out West and put the Whalers, Bruins, Nordiques together in the East.

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