On CBC’s intermission program the Hotstove, a multitude of things were discussed but the most intriguing was the potential for the Phoenix Coyotes to move out of Arizona. The Phoenix Coyotes and the city of Glendale have had issues finding a new owner and agreeing to terms. Now there is a council meeting on June 25th to determine whether or not the newest ownership group can work with the city of Glendale. This article from the Sporting News does a great job of detailing the concerns with the deal.
The Vancouver Canucks recently tried to place their new AHL team at the Key Arena in Seattle and were told by the NHL that it is not available, so they put the team in Utica, New York. Why was the move not allowed? Because the NHL’s backup plan for the Coyotes is to sell them to a group that would move the team to Seattle, according to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman and Glenn Healy. We will find out July 2nd if that will actually happen, but the move to Seattle would be a first for the NHL and it would allow the Coyotes to stay in their current division in the NHL’s new division format.
This would be the third time that Seattle has tried to acquire an NHL team. They came very close to getting an expansion team in 1976-77, but the owners didn’t pay the proper fees and they were passed over. In 1990, Seattle came close to adding a team, but the prospective owners wouldn’t pay the NHL’s $50 Million expansion fee, and teams went to Ottawa and Tampa Bay instead.
There are a lot of unknowns and I don’t think that the Coyotes would have time to change their name or their uniforms if they moved in the summer, but one thing is certain, the NHL has finally lost their patience trying to keep the Coyotes in Arizona.