Is it really happening? Is it really going to be?
According to Mike Sunnucks of the Phoenix Business Journal, the NHL is close to finishing the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes to former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison. Before we get too excited, Sunnucks’ report comes from sources close to the Coyotes and like we’ve seen in the past with previous almost-sales of the Coyotes, things can dissolve quickly.
Sunnucks says that the NHL is trying to keep the sale price of the team to around $170 million and that a deal is being planned to help Jamison cover losses for the team through rebates and a fund. He also says the deal is not 100-percent complete but that the league is looking to close it soon.
We saw with Matthew Hulsizer’s attempt to purchase the team last year that his efforts to work a plan were crushed by the Goldwater Institute. They felt his idea to use parking fees to help pay off part of the sale would’ve hurt the city of Glendale financially for years to come.
If the report of rebates and a fund are true, keeping public money out of the mix would help prevent Goldwater from getting involved again. At this point in the ordeal with the Coyotes we’ll believe it when all the paperwork is signed, but after three years of being owned by the NHL, if they can get this done and keep the team in Arizona it will wind up being a fight the league will be happy to have fought.
(Update 11:20 a.m.: As you should be used to by now, Scott Burnside of ESPN says reports of an imminent sale are premature and that the situation is “status quo.” The more things change… )