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SBD/March 10, 2011/Franchises
Coyotes Captain Joins Bettman In Questioning Goldwater's Motives
Published March 10, 2011
KEEPING THEIR DISTANCE: The GLOBE & MAIL's David Shoalts reports the NHLPA is "fielding calls from players concerned about the Phoenix Coyotes crisis but is not planning to get involved yet." NHLPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr said, "If I thought there was something the union should be doing which could affect a better result for everybody, I’m not unwilling to undertake that. This is a process in which the union is not essentially involved." But Fehr "does not want to see the Coyotes move." He said, "It would be great if they could figure out a way to make it work on an economically viable basis" (GLOBEANDMAIL.com, 3/10).
OPTIONS EXHAUSTED? YAHOO SPORTS' Greg Wyshynski wrote should Bettman "place pride aside here, he has a legitimate cover story if the Coyotes have to leave." Something "doesn't frame this as the NHL's failure." The NHL "went to court, bought the team, owned it, operated it, facilitated its sale to a party willing to keep it in Glendale, and then through the actions of a politically motivated group and the local bureaucracy (and the dreaded economy), the deal fell apart." The NHL "did everything it could" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/9). In Winnipeg, Ted Wyman writes, "Phoenix is simply not a good hockey market. They have tried and failed to save their team and now it’s time to move on. Winnipeg has deep-pocketed owners who are believed to be willing to give the NHL what it wants for the franchise." Wyman: "The pieces are in place and a deal is there to be made, if only Bettman can swallow his pride and allow it to happen" (WINNIPEG SUN, 3/10). However, in Toronto, Steve Buffery writes, "Let’s forget about relocation once and for all. Instead, let’s think about retraction. I know it will never happen, but in a perfect world, the NHL would do just that. There are too many teams" (TORONTO SUN, 3/10).
MARKET SIZE MATTERS: The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin notes the NHL is "expected to announce its new U.S. TV package within the next six weeks." Dowbiggin: "Now ask yourself, for which city would NBC or Fox or ESPN add zeroes on the rights cheque? Winnipeg or Phoenix?" (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/10). Phoenix is the 12th largest media market in the U.S. (THE DAILY).