Matthew Hulsizer

Update: City of Glendale has half the buyers lined up for half of the Coyotes sale bonds

It seems like there are a million variables when it comes to the ownership situation in Arizona. Is Matthew Hulsizer willing to do what it takes to buy the team and keep them in the desert? Will the Goldwater Institute sue the City of Glendale the minute the deal is about to go through? But the most important question of the moment is whether the city will be able to sell all of the necessary bonds to make the sale a possibility. Because no matter what watchdog groups or taxpayers say, if the bonds aren’t sold, then the deal will never happen.

The news out of Glendale is they are halfway there.

According to reports, half the city has investors lined up and willing to pay for $50 million worth of the sales bonds. Under the framework agreement for the sale, Hulsizer and the City of Glendale have agreed to sell $100 million in bonds to help the Chicago businessman purchase the NHL team and keep them in Arena. Once all $100 million worth of bonds have been sold to investors, then we’ll see if the Goldwater Institute will follow through on their promise to sue to block the sale. The City of Glendale and their spokeswoman do not seem concerned (from the Phoenix Business Journal):

“…the city believes the bond deal and a $97 million arena management outlay to Hulsizer are legal, and several legal opinions are in agreement. ‘You’ve got one entity who says it’s not.’ Frisoni said.

Depending on how you look at it, the sale of bonds is either one of the last steps in this process or it’s only the first. Some people will say this story that began with Jerry Moyes, Jim Balsillie, and bankruptcy court is nearing an end with every additional investor who agrees to purchase the bonds. On the other hand, some will say this is only the first step in the actual sale of the team. Everything before the bond sales were just preliminary agreements—the sale of bonds are where we find out if it’s is really fiscally possible to make the numbers work in Phoenix.

We’ve found that half of the bonds fairly quickly—but like everyone says, the first $50 million is always the easiest.

Goalie nods: Niemi expected for Stars against Penguins

Antti Niemi, Jonathan Toews
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Talk about getting thrown into the fire.

Antti Niemi is expected to be the starting goalie tonight in Dallas when his Stars host Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Niemi has, not surprisingly, been given the assignment over Kari Lehtonen, the latter of whom struggled badly during the preseason, allowing 15 goals on 84 shots.

Not that Niemi was razor sharp himself. He allowed eight goals on 65 shots, for a save percentage of .877.

Considering the Stars have a combined $10.4 million in cap space tied up in those two veteran netminders, it’s no wonder the number-one question facing the club is whether the goaltending has indeed been fixed.

We’ll start to find out tonight.

Marc-Andre Fleury will undoubtedly be in goal for Pittsburgh, though that hasn’t been confirmed.


Craig Anderson, the goalie the Senators decided to keep, versus Robin Lehner, the one they traded to the Sabres.

Cam Ward will start for Carolina when the Hurricanes visit the Predators, who will obviously go with Pekka Rinne. The consensus is that Eddie Lack will eventually supplant Ward as Carolina’s starter, but that apparently hasn’t happened yet.

Brian Elliott goes for the Blues versus Cam Talbot for the Oilers. Elliott was excellent in the preseason, stopping all but two of the 57 shots he faced, while Jake Allen allowed six goals on 60 shots.

Steve Mason for the Flyers versus Ben Bishop for the Lightning.

Ondrej Pavelec for Winnipeg versus Tuukka Rask for Boston.

Devan Dubnyk likely for the Wild versus Semyon Varlamov for the Avs.

Flyers want to prove doubters wrong

Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux
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Jakub Voracek totally understands why nobody’s expecting much from the Philadelphia Flyers. When a team finishes 14 points out of the playoffs the year before, that’s typically going to be the case.

“We weren’t good enough last year, let’s face it,” Voracek told CSN Philly. 

So, no, it doesn’t upset him that the Flyers aren’t considered among the Stanley Cup favorites.

That being said, “it makes you feel you want to prove them wrong.”

The Flyers get going tonight with a tough game against the Lightning in Tampa Bay. They also play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers, before a rematch with the Panthers Monday in Philadelphia.

“My biggest concern would be getting off to a good start,” GM Ron Hextall said. “That’s one thing that we need to do.”

That’s something they didn’t do last year. In fact, they won just once in their first six games. By the end of November, they were 8-12-3 and in a big hole — one that proved too deep to climb out of.

Related: Flyers to start season with seven defensemen