Last night in a sold out barn, despite flu symptoms that had five or six players barfing on their way to the rink (including backup goalie Jason LaBarbera), the Phoenix Coyotes beat the Red Wings up and down the ice for a crucial win. The team is keeping their playoff hopes alive by winning games.
Coyotes Ownership News Moving Fast
During the game, Craig Morgan (@cmorgancbsfoxaz) tweeted:
Based on what I’m hearing (and I understand your skepticism), an announcement on #Coyotes ownership could come quickly.
— Craig Morgan (@cmorgancbsfoxaz) April 5, 2013
Morgan is a conscientious and reliable reporter, so if it comes from him you can rest assured it has been verified.
Craig also mentioned that the Gosbee group including former Ice Edge group that formerly partnered with Hulsizer and Jamison seems to have the upper hand in the now frenetic race for Coyotes ownership. George Gosbee was on the glass last night, but refused comment on the ownership situation. It was also stated that the Gosbee group would be submitting paperwork to the NHL shortly, perhaps as early as today.
This morning, the Darin Pastor group announced via their PR group through local media contacts that they would definitely be submitting their paperwork to the NHL today.
Other groups, including those of Matt Hulsizer and Greg Jamison remain active in pursuing the Coyotes. While John Kaites also announced his participation in the Coyotes sweepstakes some time ago, he hasn’t been heard from lately. That does NOT mean Reinsdorf (through Kaites) is actually out of the running.
NHL Running The Show
It seems clear that the NHL is now running the Coyotes sale with a sense of urgency. If that wasn’t the case, the floodgates wouldn’t have opened on the number of candidates bidding for the team.
While Glendale fiddled with Beacon Sports Capital and played games with owner group rumors from the mayor, the NHL was quietly getting the league ducks in a row in preparation for selling their unwanted asset. Now, they’re ready to go and are listening to all offers.
Conventional wisdom has the NHL taking back a bunch of financing on their $170M price, which they are by all accounts sticking to. So, because the Coyotes aren’t worth $170M on this planet and in this market, the league will apparently agree to do what they can to make the cash price financially feasible for approaching groups. It’s not a stretch to assume that, given the influx of potential buyers that have already failed to make a successful bid for the team, maybe the NHL has relaxed their financial requirements a bit to move the Coyotes off their books.
The thinking among people that have been close to the situation for four years is the NHL will soon sell the team to a qualified bidder based on their own NHL criteria. Once the sale is consummated or ready to be signed, the NHL and newly anointed ownership group will approach the City of Glendale with some sort of ultimatum deal. You know, a “Godfather” deal “you can’t refuse”.
What Are The Possible Scenarios?
The people that know what the criteria are for a successful pitch to the NHL aren’t saying what they are. It’s early in the process, though, so details may begin to trickle out once the competing bids are compared. We know there are at least two bids ready to go, perhaps already in the offices of the NHL. That has to be a good thing by anyone’s measure. Competitions ALWAYS strengthens the breed.
The question for Coyotes fans and conversely for the people that feel they’re entitled to our team is what the NHL is looking for.
One criterion is certainly keeping the team in Arizona, whether it’s a deal killer or not remains to be seen. There are other locations in Arizona for the Coyotes to play. While Jobing,com arena in Glendale is the class of the field and a GREAT facility by any measure, there are others available. Should the end of the season come and go, there would be a window of time for renovations to make other facilities closer to ideal for hockey than they are now.
The Glendale city government certainly realizes their position by now. Their hiring of Beacon Sports Capital to negotiate deals has thus far been completely ignored by the potential suitors unless they’re very good at hiding their participation. The long rumored Request For Proposals for the arena management has STILL not been released.
Currently, the Gosbee group is rumored to be working a fifteen year deal with no “out clause” for the Coyotes in Glendale, including an option to purchase the arena.
Check out the “Coyotes Rumor Roundup” page that will be updated as rumors come and go.