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SBD/March 9, 2011/Franchises
Bettman Blames Goldwater Institute For Delaying Coyotes Sale
Published March 9, 2011
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman "laid blame Tuesday evening on the shoulders" of the Goldwater Institute for the delay of the Coyotes sale to Matthew Hulsizer, according to Rebekah Sanders of the ARIZONA REBUPLIC. Bettman, speaking before last night's Canucks-Coyotes game, said that the conservative watchdog group "had obstructed
A DEAL'S A DEAL: Hulsizer, responding to a report that a "last-ditch effort to save the sale of the Coyotes is in the works," said that he "will not change the agreement he has with the City of
CLOCK IS TICKING: Sources said that Hulsizer "might have until May to try to work out his purchase of the team from the NHL." Other reports have stated that the process "could take until June." May is when the league "needs to figure out whether to schedule games for Glendale’s Jobing.com Arena or the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where the Coyotes likely will go if the Hulsizer sale fails" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 3/8). Bettman said, "We're hanging in there. Our commitment is as strong as ever. But time is running out, and if something doesn't happen, we're going to be close to the end. The bonds need to get sold. It's as simple as that" ("NHL On The Fly," NHL Network, 3/8). He added prior to last night's game, "We have options. But I'm not going to discuss what those options are. The options we're going to continue to pursue are here. We are obviously aware of the interest in
IN A TOUGH SPOT: The GLOBE & MAIL's Stephen Brunt writes Bettman "looked weak Tuesday." He looked like someone who was "playing his last card, trying to save face, trying to set up a future speech in which he can claim he did everything he could to keep the Coyotes right where they were." But it "isn't public relations that ought to be his concern right now." Brunt: "The folks Bettman will have sway with his great powers of persuasion are his employers, the owners. He needs to come up with a story to explain how, following the Coyotes bankruptcy, the Jim Balsillie incursion, the season of league ownership, the accumulation of losses, and the revelation of Hulsizer as saviour thanks to that remarkably generous offer from Glendale, the whole thing could hit the rocks because a small band of true believers sent out a few letters and press releases, filed some access to information requests, wouldn’t promise not to sue, and refused to be bullied off their position" (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/9).