Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss?

1) Many were proclaiming relief/excitement that the Coyotes were finally sold. If you missed it, the Coyotes former owner Jerry Moyes officially sold his bankrupt Coyotes (pending judge approval) to the NHL. Under the agreement, apparently Moyes gets no more than what the judge had said was not enough and rejected last month. Not sure how/why he would now approve the sale now? However, from what we have been told, its likely the judge WILL approve it as it now appears that with each passing day the red ink gets deeper so "the sooner this deed is done the better" is the way one source put it.

2) However, before the fans in Phoenix pop their champagne corks they should first wait for the next series of moves, because in essence the NHL has been running the team since last season anyway. This move merely makes official what has been a defacto situation since last November, we've been told. The real move is what the NHL now does with the troubled franchise. There are two very significant reasons why this news is not anything too important to us. The biggest is that the problems that caused the team to be drowning in red has not changed. Yes, a better more fiscally responsible owner might do better than Moyes, but even the best case scenario would still result in the losing of additional millions unless the City of Glendale makes significant concessions. As we, and many others have written, its VERY unlikely the city can/will give the team much. The city (like most of the US) is already trying to stay afloat and can't give away tax breaks/money, and as important its citizens (voters) are hugely against such a move. " It ain't gonna happen" a person close to the situation told us when we called over the weekend. '

3) Another problem therefore is who in their right mind would pay money for the privilege of losing millions annually? If there is no light at the end of the tunnel who would buy the team? Unless that group/individual had intentions of pulling a Balsillie and moving the team we can't see an ownership group emerging that would be willing to do that. Right now there is only one group that has expressed continued interest, The Ice Edge Holdings group. Press reports seem to indicate that they are going to be awarded the team from the NHL as soon as Judge Baum approves the Moyes-NHL sale- as soon as later this week. However (and fans of the 'Yotes need to know this) the Ice Edge Holdings group is on record in wanting to play five games in 'Credit Union Centre' in the town of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan(Yes Canada and a thousand miles from Arizona) There is also the possibility the group would award the games to another Canadian city(Halifax), but that would be even more ridiculous geographically!

4) Its obvious to anyone with a functioning brain what Ice Edge is doing here. Putting their foots in the door of relocation without publicly saying so. There is no doubt that the Saskatoon games would be hugely successful and show the stark difference between the two markets, making a decision to ultimately move the team (inevitable in our opinion) less a PR nightmare for the NHL. What is unclear is how the NHL feels about that possibility. We have in the past been told that Bettman would prefer another southern US market (KC) get the team, but if there aren't any takers would he modify that position?

5) Another issue that no one has addressed how Wayne Gretzky feels about this move. He stands to lose a few milion in this deal. If he rejects the deal can he stop it? Ultimately, as we wrote way back last summer this team WILL be moved. The question simply remains to whom and to where. From that angle/from a Coyote fan's perspective nothing has changed at all with this latest move and nothing it appears short of a miricle will. The Coyotes are still a Dead team walking, and The New Boss, Will be the Same as The Old Boss.

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