Shane Doan

Can Glendale make a decision on the Coyotes by June 25?


“No decision could be a decision” is how NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly put it Wednesday.

What he meant is this: If the city of Glendale doesn’t get an arena-management deal done soon with the latest prospective owners of the Phoenix Coyotes, the NHL will be forced to relocate the franchise for next season.

How soon does a decision need to be made? Well, the City Council is set to meet on June 25, and the NHL Board of Governors convenes June 27.

“Stuff’s gonna happen,” said commissioner Gary Bettman yesterday.

“Obviously we’re getting to the point where some decisions are going to have to be made, both by the city of Glendale and by us. We haven’t set a deadline, but the time is getting shorter.”

Which brings us to this:

For Coyotes fans, that’s not good.

Obviously, this is a massive decision for the cash-strapped city. It’s believed the Renaissance Sports & Entertainment group is looking for around $15 million a year to manage Arena if it buys the club. Four bidders recently proposed to manage the rink without an NHL tenant.

“I could easily see this going into July,” Sherwood told The Republic. “I’m a little embarrassed that we haven’t been better prepared.”

June 25 may not be the official deadline for Glendale, but for scheduling reasons (not to mention, this just can’t keep dragging on), the NHL will need to be quite certain a deal is going to get done if it waits on the city any longer.

“No matter how this plays out, I don’t think anybody can accuse us of kind of (taking) a grass-is-greener approach to this,” Daly said. “We’ve been committed to this market; we’ve done everything humanly possible to make this franchise work in this market, and now’s the time we’re going to find out whether that works.”

Raffl coverts PTO into one-year, $575K deal with Jets

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There’s another Raffl in the NHL.

On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.

Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.

For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.

Flyers to start season with seven d-men; MacDonald sent to AHL

Andrew MacDonald, Matt Calvert
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Seven defensemen will comprise the Philadelphia Flyers’ opening-day roster, which the club finalized today.

Those seven are Radko Gudas, Michael Del Zotto, Luke Schenn, Nick Schultz, Brandon Manning, Mark Streit, and Evgeny Medvedev.

Not on the list? Andrew MacDonald, who has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley. (That move allowed the Flyers to keep both Manning and youngster Scott Laughton.)

Also not on the list were prospects Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Sam Morin, Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim. The first three will start the season in the AHL. The last two have been sent back to junior.

But the opening-day roster is not where this story ends. How the Flyers’ defensive mix changes as the season progresses will be worth watching.

They’d no doubt love to move Schenn, a pending unrestricted free agent with a $3.6 million cap hit. He could also end up in the AHL, a la MacDonald.

Medvedev, the 33-year-old who came over from the KHL and put up five points in five preseason games, is another pending UFA. The club could either look to re-sign or flip him.

Might 37-year-old Streit be a chip worth cashing in at the deadline, especially if the Flyers aren’t in a playoff position on Feb. 29? He’s only got two years left on his contract.

Meanwhile, GM Ron Hextall will be watching pending restricted free agents Manning and Gudas closely. Are they part of the future?

So, lots of decisions to make in Philly as the blue line continues its much-needed transition.