SBD/April 14, 2011/Franchises

NHL Denies Report That Coyotes Will Move To Winnipeg Right After Postseason Exit

Hulsizer says he is not ready to give up on deal to buy Coyotes

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly yesterday said that a report on Sportsnet Radio The Fan 590 in Toronto that the Coyotes will move to Winnipeg as soon as they are knocked out of the NHL playoffs "is not accurate," according to David Shoalts of the GLOBE & MAIL. He said that the league is "still trying to complete the sale of the Coyotes to Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer." Daly in an e-mail said, "The situation remains status-quo. Efforts to effectuate a sale remain ongoing." Hulsizer in an e-mail said that he is "not ready to abandon the sale." He added he is "still working on it" (GLOBE & MAIL, 4/14). However, in Toronto, Damien Cox notes multiple reports indicated that the "plan for Glendale to sell $116 million worth of bonds to help finance Hulsizer’s $170 million purchase of the team is no longer viable, primarily because of threats by the taxpayer watchdog group the Goldwater Institute to sue the city if it tries to close the deal." Another report out of Winnipeg indicated that Hulsizer "has pulled all his concessions off the table and that True North Sports and Entertainment Ltd. will soon be invited to table an official offer to move the Coyotes back to Winnipeg" (TORONTO STAR, 4/14). A source said the arrangement that would see Hulsizer buy the Coyotes is "on life support" (WINNIPEG SUN, 4/14).

FOR THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE: Maple Leafs fan Darren Thompson, who is trying to "pull together a fan group" to buy the team, said that his plan is "coming into focus." Thompson said that he "has attracted 7,000 pledges with a value of [C]$100 million, and that progress helped create a favourable impression after meetings with ownership representatives on Tuesday." In Toronto, Mark Zwolinski notes while Thompson "wouldn’t say who the stakeholders were, he said he was also planning to meet with banks, law firms, and public relations companies during his two-day stay in Toronto to attract the corporate requirements needed to legitimize his dream while the pledge process grows." The financial aspect of Thompson’s plan is to have "one million Canadians pledge" C$1,000 each, which would get his plan a C$1B "sum needed to seriously enter the bidding process for the team" (TORONTO STAR, 4/14).

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