City of Glendale: Sale of Coyotes to Ice Edge Holdings in trouble

coyotes1.bmpThe never-ending soap opera in the desert concerning the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes continues to take awful turns for fans of hockey in Arizona. Rebekah Sanders of the Arizona Republic breaks news tonight that the City of Glendale, where the Coyotes currently reside at Jobing.com Arena, says that negotiations to sell the team to Ice Edge Holdings is in trouble.

A group seeking to buy the Phoenix Coyotes has not complied with terms that Glendale officials believe are required to pursue the purchase, city leaders confirm.

But Ice Edge Holdings and the National Hockey League say the deal is moving forward.

The dust-up is the latest in a series of negotiations between Glendale and at least two team bidders that have collapsed and resurfaced over a tortuous year for local hockey fans.

The group of Canadian and American investors was required to show Glendale proof of its financing last month in order to negotiate exclusively with the city and work on a detailed lease for the Coyotes to play at city-owned Jobing.com Arena.

At the deadline, Glendale said Ice Edge had submitted “some of the required financial information.” City officials declined public records requests for more detail.

But on Monday, city spokeswoman Julie Frisoni revealed that Ice Edge has failed to submit some of the required documents, five weeks past the deadline. She would not elaborate on the missing files.

Though the deadline for exclusivity is gone, Frisoni said, the city can still negotiate with Ice Edge.

But the clock is ticking. The tentative agreement between Glendale and Ice Edge aimed to conclude negotiations Aug. 6.

“We have a very tight timeline to make the deal,” Frisoni said.

While the deal that gave Ice Edge exclusivity in the rights to buy the team was hailed as a success, there’s been a lot of ill wind blowing around this situation all along. Think back to Jerry Reinsdorf being brought in at the NHL’s urging to help show that there was an interest by a proven owner to purchase the team. Reinsdorf was granted the same exclusivity that Ice Edge has but Reinsdorf got out of the mix to buy the team when Ice Edge stepped up.

When Ice Edge was granted the right of exclusivity, the NHL and the City of Glendale worked out an agreement to ensure that the team would stay there by ponying up $25 million if the NHL didn’t have a buyer for the team worked out by June 30th. Whoops, good bye money for the city, but hey they’ve still got a team and they’ve got a definitive future buyer in Ice Edge, right? Not so fast.

In all truth, this is just yet another apparent failing on behalf of all parties to sell this team. First it was Jerry Moyes trying to sneak out in the dark of night and hand the team over to Jim Balsillie and now it’s on the NHL to act as the kindly benefactor for the fans in Arizona and all that’s happened to this point, aside from a great season out of the Coyotes last year, is having the home town lose a ton of money and to have the future of the team staying in Glendale once again remain very much up in the air.

Ice Edge’s response to this news as well as the NHL’s likely “no comment” on the matter will follow this up soon. Ice Edge has been very honest and up front about everything all along as they’re the “people’s choice” for buying the team. Any kind of wavering in their words when discussing matters will be crushing for the fans in Glendale and Phoenix, and may once again spark hope in Winnipeg that they might soon get their team back. At the very least, there’s one guy that will be excited about that.

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    PHT Morning Skate: On how Jacques Plante ‘revolutionized’ hockey

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    Brian Campbell may have spoken to teams about continuing his career, but he didn’t start negotiating with any of them because he knew he wasn’t willing to continue playing. “I’ve been thinking about [retirement] for a while. At the end of the season, I didn’t know if I was ready to do it anymore. So that was only fair. But I will say July 1 was tough, a tough day. There’ve been some tough days. But I think we’re happy with our decision.” (CSN Chicago)

    –The Hockey Writers ranked each team’s farm system from 1 to 31. Interestingly enough, the Vegas Golden Knights don’t have the worst system in the league. That honor belongs to the San Jose Sharks. The number one team on the list is the Philadelphia Flyers. (The Hockey Writers)

    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has been with the Oilers for six years now, but he still hasn’t established himself as one of the dominant forces on the team. Per the Edmonton Journal, he could be skating on thin ice. “With Draisaitl likely to be paid next season and McDavid already signed to big money the following campaign, the cap budget at centre is tight. Whether Nugent-Hopkins stays or goes in the longer term, he needs a major bounceback next season to prove his worth.” (Edmonton Journal)

    –On Nov. 1, 1959, Jacques Plante revolutionized the game of hockey by putting on a goalie mask for the first time. NHL.com contributor Stan Fischler wrote: “The legacy of Plante’s decision is evident in today’s game. Not only are all goaltenders required to wear a mask, but teams must dress two goalies for every game. And when a goalie’s mask comes off during a game, the whistle is blown and play is stopped.” It’s a remarkable story. (NHL.com)

    –It’s always fun to think about how teams over in Europe would do against an NHL team. With the help of a couple of Russian hockey journalists, The Score put together a KHL all-star team, and asked fans to vote on where they think that team would finish in the NHL. Most people feel like the KHL all-stars would finish somewhere between 17th and 29th in the NHL. (The Score)

    Justin Williams signed a contract with the Carolina Hurricanes this summer, which means he had to move out of Washington. Some of his valuables got a little more attention than others:

    Teammates, friends were glad to see Okposo back on the ice

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    From the sound of things, Kyle Okposo‘s presence at “Da Beauty League” was a beautiful sight for Buffalo Sabres teammates, former teammates on the New York Islanders, and friends around the NHL.

    NHL.com’s Jessi Pierce was at that informal game, which apparently didn’t go well for Okposo’s team.

    That’s not the important part, certainly not in July. While Pierce noted that Okposo wasn’t comfortable answering questions during his first on-ice action in almost four months, it sounds like the talented winger was looking good on Wednesday night.

    Onlookers agreed with that sentiment, and also seconded the notion that he’s been doing well this summer, overall.

    “Obviously seeing a teammate go through something like that and struggle to get healthy is tough,” Sabres teammate Hudson Fasching said, via Pierce’s piece for NHL.com. “He’s such a good guy and going through a lot with that whole deal, trying to figure out what was wrong.

    “I’m just happy he’s healthy and happy for him to get back.”

    It was already noted that Okposo is expected to be ready for Sabres training camp, yet nights like these make it clearer that he’s likely on course. That’s a fantastic turnaround from his health scare in April.

    Pierce also has more here.

    Gaudreau on Flames’ future: ‘We have three great years ahead of us’

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    Things change quickly in hockey, but it’s often especially interesting when someone gives their team a “window” for their best chances at success.

    Considering the trying summer for the Capitals, GM Brian MacLellan’s two-year window proclamation might have been dead-on for Washington. If Johnny Gaudreau has similar prognosticating skills, then the Calgary Flames need to take some big swings in the next three seasons.

    “I think we have three great years ahead of us,” Gaudreau said last week, according to NHL.com. “I’m really looking forward to these next three years.”

    No, this isn’t Gaudreau hedging his bets based on his own situation; his contract runs through 2021-22. His partner-in-crime Sean Monahan‘s deal expires after 2022-23, so it’s not that, either.

    Instead, the dazzling young forward noted that some of the team’s most important supporting cast members are locked in for three more years. Take a look:

    Expiring after 2019-20:

    T.J. Brodie ($4.65 million)
    Travis Hamonic ($3.86M)
    Michael Frolik ($4.3M)
    Troy Brouwer ($4.5M)
    Michael Stone ($3.5M)

    Meanwhile, Mike Smith‘s contract lasts two more seasons, as does the rookie deal for Matthew Tkachuk. Dougie Hamilton‘s signed up for four more himself.

    Gaudreau likely didn’t have this in mind, but it’s reasonable to wonder how much longer Mark Giordano will be at or near an elite level. Yes, he’s at a reasonable $6.75M for five more seasons, but he’s already 33.

    All things considered, Gaudreau is reasonable in pinpointing these next three seasons specifically. In particular, defensemen as talented as Brodie and Hamonic are almost certain to command higher prices.

    On the other hand, merely having such a talented player as Gaudreau signed for such a reasonable deal – not to mention the Flames lacking many “albatross” contracts – could mean that they’ll have a solid chance at competing for some time. Still, Gaudreau might be right that this is Calgary’s best chance at winning big in quite some time.

    AHL teams can loan certain players to 2018 Winter Olympics

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    Players on American Hockey League contracts will be eligible to play in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

    President and CEO David Andrews confirmed through a league spokesman Wednesday that teams were informed they could loan players on AHL contracts to national teams for the purposes of participating in the Pyeongchang Olympics. The AHL sent a memo to its 30 clubs saying players could only be loaned for Olympic participation from Feb. 5-26.

    The Olympic men’s hockey tournament runs from Feb. 9-25. Like the NHL, which is not having its players participate for the first time since 1994, the AHL does not have an Olympic break in its schedule.

    The AHL’s decision does not affect players assigned to that league on NHL contracts. No final decision has been made about those players.

    Follow Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SWhyno .

    More AP NHL: http://www.apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey