NHL, Hulsizer Amend Coyotes Deal In Final Push To Keep Team In Phoenix
The NHL and Matthew Hulsizer are "making a last-ditch effort to restructure" the Chicago businessman's deal to buy the Coyotes "in hopes of overcoming the opposition of the Goldwater Institute," according to David Shoalts of the GLOBE & MAIL. It appears that the changes "involve Hulsizer increasing the amount of money he and his partners will put into the purchase and the NHL reducing its asking price" of $170M or deferring payment of the full price. That would allow the city of Glendale to "reduce the amount" of the $116M municipal bond sale "that is to provide Hulsizer with much of the purchase price, perhaps by as much as half," to less than $60M. A source said it could be only "a few days" before the success of this effort is known. When asked if the NHL is willing to lower its asking price for the Coyotes and Hulsizer is "willing to top" the $70M he has pledged to put into the deal, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said that he "disagreed with that 'characterization.'" Daly also "disputed the notion the deal is being revised to appease Goldwater." He said, "Goldwater is not even a factor in this for us any more." However, a lawyer for the watchdog group said that "unless the revised deal addresses the institute’s main concerns it will not back off from its promise to block the bond sale in court" (GLOBE & MAIL, 4/27).
THE CLOCK IS TICKING: In Phoenix, Mike Sunnucks reports some officials and sources familiar with the process "peg late May or June as the deadline" for the NHL to determine whether the Coyotes will stay in Glendale or move to Winnipeg. Those officials "expect the fate of the Coyotes to be announced after the Stanley Cup Finals and before the NHL schedule is announced for next season," which generally happens in June. But another source said that the NHL "may make up its mind privately as early as May 6." If the franchise relocates to Winnipeg, it "might adopt the Manitoba Moose name instead of going back to the old Winnipeg Jets" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 4/27).