The fate of the Phoenix Coyotes, Atlanta Thrashers and city of Winnipeg’s NHL hopes could be altered tonight. TSN reports that the City of Glendale’s mayor Elaine Scruggs and six councilors will vote to determine if they will pay the NHL $25 million to keep the Coyotes from relocating for at least one more season tonight.
Even if the City of Glendale’s representatives votes “Yes,” it’s far from a perfect solution. The Coyotes reportedly lost about $37 million in the 2010-11 season, so the league would still lose a significant amount of money if the same happens next season. Even if reports of potential owner Matt Hulsizer getting cold feet were exaggerated, the Goldwater Institute probably won’t be swayed by the simple passage of time, either.
The City of Glendale would likely lose a lot more money if the Coyotes left town, though, so you cannot totally fault them for holding on for dear life here. Time will tell if this solution works out in the long term or is just another band-aid plan.
Chances are high that the council will vote “Yes,” but Winnipeg wouldn’t necessarily need to give up on finding an NHL team anyway. As we’ve discussed before, the Thrashers could end up being the team that relocates to the hockey-hungry city. It would be quite the scramble to get all the paperwork done and for the league to get everything squared away by the beginning of the 2011-12 season, but it wouldn’t be completely out of the realm of reason for something to happen.
Anyone familiar with this situation will admit that the Coyotes sale saga has been full of twists and turns, so it isn’t safe to assume much. We’ll keep you up to date whichever way it zigs or zags next.