Might the man who nearly bought the Dallas Stars have his eyes on the Phoenix Coyotes?
And might that same man have a notion to move the Coyotes to Portland, Oregon?
To answer the first question, we refer you to a report from FOX Sports Arizona that says Calgary oilman Bill Gallacher could be part of a group that’s looking to buy the Coyotes from the NHL on a “fast track” after prospective purchaser Greg Jamison failed to close the deal by yesterday’s deadline.
It’s fairly clear Gallacher is interested in owning an NHL franchise. In addition to making a run at the Stars (they were ultimately bought by Tom Gaglardi), he was also rumored to be interested in buying the Devils before owner Jeff Vanderbeek got his financial house in order.
To answer the second question, well, we have no idea. But we sure can speculate. Gallacher, you see, is the current owner of the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks. And unlike Seattle — frequently mentioned as a potential relocation/expansion market — Portland already has an NHL-caliber arena in the Rose Garden.
The Portland metro area, with an approximate population of 2.2 million, isn’t as big as Seattle’s (est. 3.5 million); however, it’s larger than current NHL markets like Columbus and Raleigh.
With no NFL or MLB team, Portland also wouldn’t have the same competition for the sports dollar that the NHL would face in Seattle.
Again, this all speculation. Even if Gallacher were to buy the Coyotes, it doesn’t mean he’d move it to Portland, where he already has a successful junior franchise.
He might move it to Las Vegas though!