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Phoenix Coyotes

Cue The Coyotes Carnival Music

Phoenix Coyotes Oh yes, the circus is back in town. The financial woes of the Phoenix Coyotes have once again reared their ugly heads. After hearing virtually nothing for the last few months, news reports surface that question the validity of Ice Edge Holdings group’s intentions. After signing a letter of intent back in December, it was assumed that the group would be buying my financially strapped team from the NHL. No sooner than the ink was dry however, a veil of silence came over the once noisy group of Canadian businessmen headed up by Daryl Jones and Anthony LeBlanc.

Now it has been reported in various sources (most notably the Toronto Globe and Mail) that the group does not have funding to buy the team and the deal could never come to fruition. The unsettling news stirred fans to the point that Ice Edge issued a letter to Phoenix that had an overly optimistic tone:

These are exciting times to be fans of the Phoenix Coyotes. Our team sits in the top four of the very competitive western conference, and with less than a month remaining in the regular season, the team is well positioned to bring playoff hockey to the valley for the first time in over half a decade.

We are happy to report that regardless of reports to the contrary, there have been no material changes in the process to date. As we stated from the outset, we fully expected the transaction to take upwards of six months, similar to other recent transactions for other NHL franchises. Ice Edge Holdings continues to work very closely with the City of Glendale and the NHL towards finalizing a lease that will be appropriate for all parties.

The execution of a revised lease is the key outstanding issue, and once completed will allow the transaction to move towards closing. We are neither behind nor ahead of our expected timelines.

Ice Edge Holdings remain committed as ever to the Phoenix Coyotes and to the long term success of the NHL in Arizona. We look forward to joining all of our fellow fans as the Coyotes march towards the playoffs, and participating in white outs when playoff hockey is played for the first time in Glendale.

The fans of the Coyotes have been through more than any sports fan should have to endure. We have said in the past that to be a sports fan is to make a commitment to a team, both emotionally and financially. To do so requires a two way street between the fans and those that own the franchise. Ice Edge Holdings looks forward to showing the great hockey fans of Arizona and the Southwest that commitment for many years to come. We thank you for being the strongest fans in the National Hockey League.

Go ‘Yotes!

Anthony LeBlanc
Chief Executive Officer
Ice Edge Holdings, LLC

I say overly optimistic because in a radio interview Daryl Jones’ tone was just a wee bit different. He never truly answers the question of whether funding is in place, only reiterating that the lease in Glendale was the sticking point and they needed to come to terms on it. Sounds to me like there is no money…at least not at this moment. He also states that the process could go on for another few weeks or few MONTHS. I have been saying all along that something didn’t seem right here however I am not going to say “I told you so”…YET!

If this could take months then how much longer is the NHL prepared to take on the financial responsibility of the team? Have we shot ourselves in the foot with not finding other potential buyers? I’d say we are putting all our pucks in one net on this one. However, what other buyer is going to step up and buy a team that is slated to lose around 20 million this year.

And of course all of this is drawing attention away from what should be in the center ring and that is the amazing play our guys are putting on the ice. Shutouts, 6 game winning streaks, multiple stars of the week and great talent and heart is what we should be focused on. In strong playoff contention, we should be celebrating the Coyotes achievements and bright post-season future.

And that is just what I am planning on doing.

Let’s Puck!

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3 comments for “Cue The Coyotes Carnival Music”

  1. We have some curious shenanigans going on here too, looks like this is becoming a common phenomenon. The owner of the MLS San Jose Earthquakes pitched a new stadium to the city, at no cost to tax payers. The city approved the sale of the land to the owner and made way for all the construction, but the owner says he has no funding yet - he just wanted to get all the approval first.

    By the way, it looks like it’s only a matter of time before your Coyotes take over the Pacific Division - do you have a nice spot for your “Pacific Division Champs” banner in your barn?

    Posted by sharksfanNo Gravatar | March 17, 2010, 9:08 pm
  2. Phoenix has to be the feel good story of the year. With all the financial problems and distractions, who would have thought they would be in the position they are in now let alone make the playoffs.

    Posted by FC Sharks FanNo Gravatar | March 18, 2010, 2:49 pm
  3. Well I can’t say I am glad about your shenanigans but I guess we aren’t the only ones. The coyotes are the feel good story…everybody loves an underdog and to be able to do what they do on the ice under this pressure is amazing. I am glad that others are seeing it too!

    Posted by Sharon MurphyNo Gravatar | March 19, 2010, 5:20 am

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