Now that the Phoenix Coyotes have new owners, they’re looking forward to helping establish the team’s hold in the desert. Of course, that won’t stop some from looking at the five-year out-clause IceArizona has.
As Coyotes Chairman and Governor George Gosbee tells The Canadian Press, they have no plans or intent to move it or lose it.
“It’s frustrating for me because for this exit clause to kick in, we have to lose $50 million and that’s not something I want to do,” Gosbee said. “We came into this to build a successful organization in Phoenix and that’s our plan. We have no plans of relocating anywhere else and we have no plans to lose $50 million, I can tell you that.”
Well that’s a relief!
Snark aside, it’s good to know Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc along with rest of the IceArizona group know what they’re getting into. The job they’ve got to do to further inspire fans to come out to Glendale won’t be easy. Or maybe it will be if fans were merely staying away because they didn’t want their hearts ripped out if the team moved.
The best thing they can do is make sure they ice an entertaining and competitive team.
Related: Don Maloney happy to lead Coyotes into the future
Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The Phoenix Coyotes.
For the first time in four years, talking about the Coyotes over the summer doesn’t necessitate talk about whether or not the team is going to stay in Glendale, Arizona. After all that time, IceArizona led by George Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc bought the team from the NHL and now they can all focus on the game on the ice. Thankfully.
Last season, the team had a huge letdown failing to make the playoffs. Coming off a season where they made it to the Western Conference finals, that makes for quite a step backwards. GM Don Maloney stayed vigilant in the offseason, however, as he looks to get the Coyotes back in a position to win a Stanley Cup.
The Coyotes summer was mostly spent on spending cash to lock guys into staying in Arizona. Goalie Mike Smith signed a lucrative six-year contract. Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson inked a six-year deal of his own. Throw in free agent pickup Mike Ribeiro and his juicy four-year deal and you can’t accuse the Coyotes of not spending money.
Of course, deals like that will raise questions. Did they give Smith too much money based on one excellent season two years ago? Is Ribeiro the answer for them at center? Will Ekman-Larsson finally grab everyone by the face and make them see how excellent he is? If anything, the biggest question for coach Dave Tippett is: Is it all enough?
The Coyotes still have some questions surrounding their roster heading into next season, but at the very least wondering if they’ll be in Arizona next season isn’t one of them.
Introducing: PHT’s ‘Team of the Day’ summer series
Now that the Phoenix Coyotes are no longer wards of the NHL, it’s time to get to know the group of businessmen who jumped in to save hockey in the desert.
The 10-man group called IceArizona is headed up by team Chairman and Team Governor George Gosbee. He was the guy who helped spearhead the group in rallying together to buy the franchise. Gosbee was thrilled about seeing the purchase finalized.
“We are extremely pleased to have finalized the transaction with the NHL and to take ownership of the Coyotes franchise,” he said.
Joining him are Anthony LeBlanc and Daryl Jones, former members of the Ice Edge Holdings group who attempted to purchase the team two years ago. LeBlanc as well is ecstatic to finally own the Coyotes.
“Our ultimate goal is to bring a Stanley Cup championship to our tremendously resilient, passionate and dedicated fan base here in the Valley. We have a lot of work to do and we can’t wait to get started,” LeBlanc said.
Rounding out the group of 10 are: Avik Dey, Gary J. Drummond, W. David Duckett, W. R. Dutton, Robert Gwin, Scott Saxberg, Craig Stewart, and Richard Walter. You search engine wizards can have fun looking up who they are.
Finally, it’s over.
After four years of up-in-the-air status, bankruptcy court, and numerous failed bids — the Phoenix Coyotes have been sold.
The NHL announced the Board of Governors approval of the sale of the team to the IceArizona group (aka: Renaissance Sports & Entertainment). Commissioner Gary Bettman released this statement about the sale.
“The National Hockey League believes in Arizona as an NHL market and that these new owners can provide the Coyotes the opportunity to secure a stable, long-term future in Glendale,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “We thank Mike Nealy, Don Maloney, Dave Tippett, team captain Shane Doan and all the players and staff for consistently going ‘above and beyond’ on behalf of the franchise during this long and complex process. We thank the Coyotes’ devoted fans for their patient, perseverant support. We are extremely pleased that a positive resolution has been achieved for the fans, the city, the Coyotes and the League.”
With the Board of Governors approval, the deal the City of Glendale made with IceArizona goes into effect to help manage Jobing.com Arena and ease the financial stress of purchasing the team.
Of course, that city-approved deal also has a five-year out-clause that allows IceArizona to sell the team if they lose $50 million over that time.
While that might be a story further down the road, for now the Coyotes saga is at an end and for the first time since Jerry Moyes declared bankruptcy and attempted to sell the team to Jim Balsillie, they have a real ownership group in place.