Things are looking up for the Phoenix Coyotes on the ice. Although they’ll feel the loss of Zbynek Michalek quite a bit, the team that raised many eyebrows last season will remain mostly intact. In fact, they could even boast some extra offensive punch with the addition of veteran winger Ray Whitney. While I think it’s also possible that they might regress after overachieving a bit last season, it’s nice to see that the cash-strapped franchise should at least do what they can to remain competitive in the brutal Western Conference.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that team is still a mess behind the scenes and faces some unsettling deadlines before 2010 is over. While the December 31, 2010 deadline to sell the team before the NHL allows a Canadian owner the probable right to move the team from Arizona looms the largest, the city of Glendale is approaching another difficult one on September 15. The Phoenix Business Journal has the story.
The clock is ticking yet again on the Phoenix Coyotes.
Sept. 15 is the first day the National Hockey League can start drawing money from the city of Glendale to cover losses and costs for the Phoenix Coyotes until a new owner can be found. The Glendale City Council approved a $25 million fund in May to cover the Coyotes costs and losses starting this month.
It’s pretty difficult to imagine that the Coyotes will be able to find a new owner and get everything squared away much sooner than that December deadline, if at all, so September 15 will probably lighten quite a few wallets in the desert. After watching the rags-to-riches stories of franchises such as the Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, you cannot say for certain that the team would never be successful in Phoenix.
Still, they’ve been given plenty of chances to stay in Arizona, but those prospects remain clearly grim. This story won’t go away anytime soon, so we will keep a weary eye on any updates for you.