City of Glendale grants Ice Edge exclusive negiotating rights for 60 days

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Perhaps it shouldn’t be a big surprise since the ownership showdown is now really a one-horse race after Jerry Reinsdorf dropped out of the running (at least, if the team is staying in Arizona), but the City of Glendale unanimously approved Ice Edge Holdings for exclusive negotiating rights. TSN provides the news.

The Glendale City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve a memorandum of understanding from Ice Edge Holdings toward purchasing the Phoenix Coyotes and keeping the NHL team at Jobing.com Arena.

The memorandum gives Ice Edge, a group of Canadian and American investors, exclusive negotiating rights for a new arena lease over the next 60 days. A new lease is a necessary step toward buying the team from the NHL. Glendale officials say the memorandum will be forwarded to league officials for a final decision.

Does this mean that Ice Edge only has a two-month window to get the deal done? I’m not sure, but the next 60 days will definitely be a crucial point in these discussions. Here are a few more details behind the potential agreement.

Ice Edge plans to buy the team with their own money and bank financing.

The memorandum outlines terms of the proposed lease, with the hockey team owners getting revenue from parking and from a special taxing district to be formed in the immediate vicinity of Jobing.com Arena.

The story says that Ice Edge expects to get things done pretty soon (or at least “remarkably quick compared to the process thus far”).

According to TSN, the Coyotes haven’t turned a profit since 1996. There have been some doubts about Ice Edge’s ability to put together enough money to be a solid owner, but at this point it’s obvious that it’s Ice Edge or bust. So is it going to work out in the desert? We’ll have to see how the next two months go.

Video: Rangers shut out red-hot Sidney Crosby and the Penguins

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The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.

But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.

In the process, they held a red-hot Sidney Crosby off the score sheet, which has been a difficult, sometimes impossible task for opposing teams since about the middle of December. He entered this game with a seven-game scoring streak.

(In fact, New York held No. 87 to without a shot on goal in the entire game.)

Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 34 shots he faced for the shutout.

Kevin Hayes gave the Rangers the lead in the first period, before Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast put the game away in the third.

Pittsburgh remains in the second Wild Card spot in the East. The Rangers now move three points clear of the rival Islanders for second in the Metropolitan.

Video: Wideman hearing ‘a tricky case’ as NHLPA hopes to get 20-game suspension reduced

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There is no certain timeline for when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman might rule on Dennis Wideman‘s appeal, according to a report from hockey insider Darren Dreger on NBCSN, as the Calgary Flames defenseman hopes to get his 20-game ban for hitting linesman Don Henderson reduced.

“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.

“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”

Report: Coyotes shut down Vitale (concussion) for the season

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Joe Vitale will not play again this season.

The Arizona Coyotes have shut Vitale down for the remainder of the 2015-16 campaign due to “concussion-related issues,” according to a report from Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports on Wednesday.

Vitale, a 30-year-old veteran center, appeared in only one game for the Coyotes this season. That was back on Oct. 17, when he suffered a concussion and broken orbital bone in a fight with Kevan Miller of the Boston Bruins.

Sens announce Frattin, acquired in Phaneuf deal, will stick with AHL Marlies

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Matt Frattin was traded by the Leafs to Ottawa yesterday as part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.

But for now, he’s staying in Toronto.

On Wednesday, Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that Frattin will remain with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — on loan, but will be available for selection should Ottawa require his services down the road.

Frattin, 28, has spent all of this season with the Marlies, scoring nine goals and 22 points in 47 games. His last NHL appearance came during the ’14-15 campaign, with the Leafs.

Prior to that, the former North Dakota standout had spent time in Los Angeles and Columbus.