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The city then engaged Ice Edge Holdings

by on Sep.11, 2012, under Journal

Ultimately, the bankruptcy court selected the bid of the NHL and the league formally took over operations near the start of the 2009 – 2010 campaign. The NHL’s intention was to stabilize the franchise and sell it to a party willing to keep the team in Arizona. Again, the Reinsdorf group and Ice Edge surfaced as potential buyers. The first order of business has been to negotiate a new lease agreement with the city of Glendale who owns the arena in which the Coyotes play. Many financial experts have said in order for the Coyotes to ever be financially viable in this market they would have to have a more favorable lease. Initially the Reinsdorf group entered into a memo of understanding with the city but several media reports have suggested the deal between the two has fallen apart. The city then engaged Ice Edge Holdings, Inc. in hopes of working out a deal which would keep New York Islanders Jerseys the Coyotes in Phoenix but that deal has also reportedly hit a snag. Right now the team is again in limbo. Rumors have circulated the NHL has a potential buyer in Winnipeg willing to purchase the franchise and move it back to its original home in Manitoba. The city of Glendale is scrambling to keep its team. Bettman is in a no win situation it seems; or is he? It would appear Bettman has three options: keep control of the struggling franchise and force the 29 other owners to front the operational losses of the Coyotes; strong-arm the city of Glendale to make concessions on the arena lease; or admit it may have been a mistake to move a team to Phoenix in the first place and sell the team to the buyers desiring to move the franchise back to Winnipeg. None Edmonton Oilers Jerseys of those options are particularly palatable. The other 29 owners have already grumbled about having to put up the cash to keep the Coyotes afloat and are unlikely to be willing to do so indefinitely. Bettman has already attempted to maintain his distance in negotiations between the city and other potential buyers on the arena lease agreement. And as mentioned, would Bettman be willing to swallow his pride and ego by agreeing to a sale and move back to Winnipeg?
Now is not a good time to be NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. A quick survey of the NHL landscape shows several teams with severe ownership questions including; New york Islanders, Phoenix Coyotes, and St. Louis Blues. Bettman also has the upcoming labor negotiations to prepare for and #1 on that agenda is going to be the failings of the current salary structure in evening the playing field for all teams. This failing is evidenced by the sheer number of teams suffering financially. Before Bettman even addresses the next round of labor negotiations though, he is confronted by a more pressing problem; what to do with the Phoenix Coyotes. The former Winnipeg Jets were relocated to Phoenix as the Coyotes in 1996. Since then, the franchise has yet Minnesota Wild Jerseys to produce a single profitable year. The NHL secretly took over operation of the troubled franchise early in the 2008 – 2009 season. Former owner Jerry Moyes, citing tens of millions of dollars in losses, attempted to place the franchise into bankruptcy protection with the intent of selling it to Canadian billionaire, Jim Balsillie, in May of 2009. Balsillie had already established himself as somewhat of a villain within NHL headquarters. He had already engaged in questionable tactics in previous attempts to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators. Balsillie employed a negative media campaign which some say was designed to drive down the value of the Nashville franchise with the purpose of preventing potential investors from purchasing the Predators and keeping it Tennessee. This earned him no friends within the NHL. Eventually the case headed to bankruptcy court where bids to purchase the team were submitted. With Balsillie’s name already in the hat, the NHL felt compelled to submit its own offer to buy the team from the Moyes ownership group in order to protect its presence in Arizona. Two other contenders surfaced as interested parties: Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls and MLB’s Chicago White Sox; and Ice Edge Holdings, Inc., a Canadian conglomerate also willing to keep the franchise in Phoenix.
The changing face of the NHL is very prominent as the first regular season play begins for the 2005-2006 season. Big named players have left big named teams for the previously has-been doorstops of the NHL. It is amazing that sports like baseball have not seen the light, and it is unfortunate that hockey had to learn this lesson the very hard way. We now have players like Paul Kariya playing in a market where there are only 1. 2 million people. For Kariya, though, it is a great move. Nashville has some talent on its team, and embedded coach, and a decent place to live. c. On top of that if Kariya has a few good years, then he has a golden ticket for the rest of his life in Nashville. He will be a celebrity way past the end of his playing days and will likely never have to pick up a check there ever again. It is amazing the spending spree teams went on that previously would not spend an extra nickel to buy new uniforms. Teams like the recently bankrupt Pittsburgh Penguins, hanging by a string Edmonton Oilers and the previously mentioned Nashville Predators, are just a few who have had the flexibility to make moves. On the opposite side of the puck you have the established dominant teams like Detroit, Colorado, New jersey and New york who are facing a significant crisis due to previous signings. The bottom line is the players cut of the pie dropped significantly, some 25% in some estimates. However, the result is going to be better for the league, the teams and ultimately the players. Having more teams capable of competing for more players, even with the caps in place is going to be good for the league. Baseball should take note.


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