Posted on: July 31, 2009 4:16 pm

No Angels in the NHL / Phoenix Coyotes Fracas

Jerry Moyes is heavily in debt with the team and exploiting last-ditch legal manoevers to try and swing momentum back for his favored solution, which is to sell the team to Jim Balsillie.  Moyes may have a compelling argument for why Balsillie's is the only qualifying offer, but more importantly, he has the highest offer and it would substantially offset the massive loss he's taken since the Coyotes have been hemmorhaging money since moving from Winnipeg.

Jerry Reinsdorf wants to circumvent the entire NHL Board of Governors- the owners of all of the other franchises, and move into the Toronto-Buffalo market, by putting a team in Hamilton, Ontario.  Arguments aside on the importance of putting a team back in Canada, or whether there is enough of a market in the area to be profitable without hurting the Maple Leafs and Sabres, it would be a rocky road for the team, following any relocation.

Glendale (Phoenix) insists on pretending to still deserve a major professional sports league team, when it can barely garner enough fanbase to fill the stadium for Cardinals games, and has never been close to profitable for the Coyotes.  It's a pathetic state of affairs, but the city would look even more inept if they didn't have a client to fill the stadium.  Short of relocating the Jobing.com Arena closer to the intended hockey-viewing population (or vice versa), there's virtually zero chance that the stadium will ever be full and profitable-- no matter who owns the team.

The NHL Board of Governors, and their spokesman, Gary Bettman have decided that it would be better to support a failing franchise in its existing market, rather than entertain the possibility of relocation.  While there was some lukewarm discussion regarding payment of a "relocation fee", if the market(s) of other team(s) were encroached upon, the majority of all efforts have been to stall Jim Balsillie and prevent any movement of franchises.  Some analysis by individual team owners state that the current global financial crisis has created an atmosphere of risk that could threaten the whole league, and similar things have been said about the present failure of the NHL to renegotiate a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the players' union.

What's wrong with just looking for markets that want a hockey team, and then the NHL doing its best to accomodate them ?
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