Anthony LeBlanc admitted today that it was a “blindside” when the Arizona Coyotes’ plans to build a new arena in Tempe fell through late last week.
But LeBlanc, the Coyotes’ ever-optimistic president and CEO, also reiterated his confidence that the team would be in Arizona for years to come. It’s just a matter now of finding another site and another partner, and then striking the right deal so that the team can move out of its current arena in Glendale.
“We feel pretty confident — and this is where I am going to sound like a politician, and I am absolutely becoming one through osmosis through this process — but we really do believe that we will come up with a solution in the relative short term. When I say ‘relative short term,’ that could be six months, that could be a year,” LeBlanc told Arizona Sports radio.
The Coyotes still have no intention of calling Gila River Arena home for any longer than they have to.
“We’re okay staying in Glendale if we know that there’s certainty of a new facility coming online and shovels in the ground,” said LeBlanc.
Hence, the challenge. Because, so far, shovels haven’t come close to shoveling anywhere, which is why there continues to be speculation that the Coyotes will eventually just give up and move to Seattle or Portland.
As for that Glendale Star report that the Coyotes so vehemently shot down this morning — the one that said representatives of the team had recently toured arenas in the Pacific Northwest — LeBlanc attempted some topical humor to dismiss it.
“Well, I have big news for you guys, because I found out who the source is,” he said. “It’s Kellyanne Conway.”