Los Angeles Kings v Phoenix Coyotes - Game Two

Coyotes update: Glendale’s new proposal could be a ‘non-starter’


Glendale’s city council unveiled an updated counter-proposal for a possible arena lease deal with Renaissance Sports and Entertainment to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in town on Friday and … things look messy as usual.

Long story short, the city council is ready to vote on their version of the proposal on July 2, but RSE claims they won’t agree to the modified deal, according to Fox Sports Arizona’s Craig Morgan.

The biggest sticking point appears to be the well-worn issue of an out-clause.

Glendale’s new proposal constricts RSE’s window for an out-clause to a brief window of time after the fifth season of the 15-year lease (as opposed to any time after five years, which is what RSE proposed), but that’s not the largest stumbling block. The bigger issue is that the city wants its own out-clause if Glendale loses $50 million or more.*

While there are other tweaks that may or may not cause problems, the out-clause has been called a deal-breaker. RSE’s spokesperson David Leibowitz said as much.

“The city’s proposal for an out clause is a non-starter,” Liebowitz said.

RSE claims that the city didn’t inform them that the out-clause would be added into this proposal, creating doubt about whether the vote will happen (or have any legitimacy).

Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers seems confident with the city’s approach, though, as Morgan reports.

“We’re going to vote on Tuesday,” Weiers said. “The only thing that might happen is (RSE) may come back and say ‘you know what, we were kidding. We really didn’t mean what we said’ and I sort of expect that’s exactly what they’re going to say. ‘We weren’t really serious about we’re leaving.’

“If they are they are. That’s a risk all of the council members this morning (agreed was) fine.”

(Morgan believes that Weiers is essentially calling Gary Bettman’s bluff regarding the NHL’s reported backup plan to move the team to Seattle.)

The details can make your head spin, but the summation remain the same: it’s a mess of a situation that could still contain a few twists and turns. The only thing that seems clear is that the haggling will continue, maybe until the bitter (or triumphant) end.

If you’re an upset Phoenix fan, you might find some relief in Coyotes blog Five for Howling’s argument for why the scenario might not be as bad as it seems.

* – Basically matching the terms of RSE’s out-clause.

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.