Even if Greg Jamison is unable to close on his purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes by the end of the day — and it doesn’t appear he’ll be able — the NHL is going to keep working to find a solution that doesn’t involve moving the franchise out of Glendale.
That was the message commissioner Gary Bettman communicated to Glendale mayor Jerry Weiers via telephone this morning, per USA Today.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly struck a similar tone in an email to the Arizona Republic.
“Regardless of what may or may not happen tonight, the Coyotes will still be playing here tomorrow and our objectives will remain the same,” Daly said.
Still, Weiers is adamant that, once the day is done, the 20-year arena management deal that was considered vital to completing the sale of the Coyotes to Jamison is off the table.
“If we can keep the Coyotes here and have a successful team and have people spending money, certainly I’d want that, but not with the deal that was made with the previous council,” Weiers said.
Whether the NHL will be able to find another ownership group that’s willing to keep the team in Glendale without the arena-management deal that Jamison managed to negotiate, we’ll have to wait and see.
At this point, it seems unlikely. But as hockey fans have come to learn, the next chapter in the Coyotes saga is impossible to predict.