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.
Oilers owner Daryl Katz had his dream of a new, money-making arena in Edmonton right there ready to be signed off on. Then he decided he wanted the city to pitch in even more money than they were already set to fork over. During a lockout.
Eric Duhatschek of The Globe And Mail says Katz’s thinking on why he should get more money was highly flawed at best.
“The justification seems to be that owners in Pittsburgh and Winnipeg received more generous support from their respective governments, so why shouldn’t Katz belly up to the trough for more, too?
Edmonton city council is in no way bound by precedents established by governing bodies in other jurisdictions. It has only one responsibility in the here-and-now, and that is to the taxpayers who elected them to office.”
Pittsburgh’s situation was a bit more dire when Mario Lemieux forced the city’s hand to get a deal done as he posed the serious threat of moving the team to Kansas City. That coming on the heels of Jim Balsillie’s failed bid to buy and move the team as well as other failed arena initiatives, the team and city worked things out.
Katz got the deal he was looking for at first, he just got too greedy in wanting more. It’s almost as simple as that. He figured looking a gift horse in the mouth was the way to go.
When a city is ready to back up the Brinks truck to get your deal done, the smart move would’ve been to just let them do it.
According to The Arizona Republic, the City of Glendale could be getting a cool $4.75 million settlement from Jerry Moyes’ bankrupt company, Coyotes Hockey LLC.
No truth to the rumor that Glendale will build a monorail with the windfall.
The proposed settlement still has to be approved by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge next month.
Glendale has claimed $590 million in losses stemming from Moyes’ decision to abandon his NHL team’s lease at Jobing.com Arena.
The 30-year lease at the city-owned arena (with the massive penalty for breaking it) was reportedly one of the main factors that led to Moyes’ and Jim Balsillie’s decision (scheme?) to place the franchise into bankruptcy. Often a bankruptcy court will cancel leases, and a canceled lease would’ve opened the door for a move to Canada.
No word yet if Wayne Gretzky will receive any settlement money.