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SBD/May 8, 2012/Franchises
NHL Reaches Tentative Deal To Sell Coyotes To Jamison, Keep Team In Glendale
Published May 8, 2012
DON'T COUNT YOUR CHICKENS: ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun wrote, "What remains to be seen is if Jamison's bid won't fall apart when it's time for his investors to actually sign on the dotted line." LeBrun: "All signs point to his group being in line financially, but until that moment of truth, one doesn't fully know." The fact that Beasley was present at yesterday's news conference "is a good sign." Sources said that when the time comes to vote and pass the lease agreement at city hall, Jamison "has four of the required seven votes to get it through." LeBrun: "What remains to be seen is what kind of long-term commitment Jamison will ultimately give cash-strapped Glendale" (ESPN.com, 5/7). NBC's Jeremy Roenick, who played for the Coyotes from '96-'01 and '06-07, said Jamison has "his hands full in Phoenix," but he "couldn’t come into a better time to get involved in the Phoenix Coyotes with the way the Coyotes are playing right now." Roenick: "Hockey is buzzing in the Phoenix area right now. Now we have to make sure that they make this just as exciting for the regular season and the fans come out and support this team the way they’re doing in the playoffs. This is a great market ... (and) this team has a lot of promise” (“Coyotes-Predators,” NBC Sports Network, 5/7).
BUYER'S REMORSE? THE HOCKEY NEWS' Ken Campbell wrote, "There is speculation Jamison will not be required to sign an 'unconditional guarantee' attached to his ownership." An unconditional guarantee "basically ensures the owner will be obliged to continue to throw unlimited amounts of money into the sinkhole without leaving the NHL to become a ward of the state." While the deal will be announced at about $170M, Campbell cited a source as saying that it is "unlikely the actual money changing hands will amount to even $100 million." Campbell: "Isn’t it time that perhaps the NHL did the right thing here and stopped holding this city hostage?" Glendale "is in for $50 million so far and if Jamison gets his lease, will have to pay another $92 million over the next five years." However, there is "no guarantee from anyone the Coyotes will stay in Glendale long-term." Bettman is "capitalizing on a feel-good situation in Glendale, where the team is winning and creating a short-term buzz" (THEHOCKEYNEWS.com, 5/7).
FEELING LEFT OUT: In Toronto, Mark Zwolinski asks with a deal in place to keep the Coyotes in Glendale, "What is going to happen to that nice new arena being erected in Quebec City, and another one in the works for Markham?" It now "appears both cities will have to wait for the next NHL candidate for relocation." When asked what yesterday's news means for Quebec City, Bettman said, "We're not focused on any other place for the Coyotes other than Glendale" (TORONTO STAR, 5/8).