Updated Oct. 18
So maybe, just maybe, the story about the Phoenix Coyotes this season will be strictly about what happens on the ice.
|Matthew Hulsizer (center) bids to take over the Coyotes. (AP)|
Those questions were still there when this season began. But they should become less of an issue, at least for the time being, if the sale of the team to Matthew Hulsizer is completed, although there's no guarantee it will. The NHL has danced unsuccessfully with a couple of suitors since buying the Coyotes out of bankruptcy in the summer of 2009, but the process with Hulsizer has gone further than any other because he reached a tentative agreement last week with the city of Glendale to restructure the team's arena lease.
That has been the biggest stumbling block for everyone in the past. But Hulsizer, a wealthy investment banker from Chicago with an affinity for hockey from his days playing at Amherst College, was able to squeeze quite a bit out of a city desperate not to let a building it spent a lot on sit empty. Now all he has to do is buy the team.
At this point, that seems to be a matter of just negotiating a sale price more than anything else. Hulsizer is reportedly looking to pay the $140 million the NHL spent to buy the team, while the league wants to recoup that and the added $25 million or so it lost operating it last season. But NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly kept his message positive after Hulsizer worked his deal with Glendale and said the league was eager to settle the situation and get on with business.
Obviously so are the Coyotes, especially since they've won only once in four starts.
The rankings through Sunday's games: