Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Coyotes In Trouble?

There's been a lot of vague rumblings about financial trouble for the Phoenix Coyotes, but this column by Scott Burnside has interesting details:

"The NHL hasn't taken over control of the Phoenix Coyotes, but it is taking an active role in trying to find new investors or ownership for the financially strapped franchise and is being kept apprised of any 'significant' financial decisions the team makes...

The league also is trying to help broker changes to the existing lease with the city of Glendale in the hopes of making the situation more attractive to new investors or owners."

Adam Proteau has a dramatically named article on the tenuous situation of the Coyotes in the December 29th issue of The Hockey News: "A Slow Death In The Desert." Pertinent quotes:

"Depending who is talking about them, the Phoenix Coyotes are either (a) in the direst of financial straits, hemorrhaging money like a North American auto company and on the verge of either bankruptcy, relocation, or both; or (b) cautiously tiptoeing their way through a corporate minefield laid out by the unprecedented global economic crisis..."

"...it isn't as if the Coyotes are the only NHL team hurting for money. ...in addition to Phoenix, franchises in Atlanta, Florida, Nashville, Long Island, N.Y., New Jersey and Carolina each will lose at least $5 million this season, barring lengthy and lucrative playoff runs."

" 'It wouldn't be hyperbole if I told you Phoenix is front and center among the NHL's top concerns these days,' said one league executive. ...'I just don't see how (owner Jerry Moyes) holds onto that club...the only question to answer will be, does he manage to find a taker - I don't think it matters whether the (new owner) would keep the team in Phoenix - or does he throw up his hands and turn it over to the league to run. If I had to bet on it, I'd bet against (Moyes) finding (a buyer). Too many 'cons' and not enough 'pros' to make it work in Phoenix.' "

" '...There's not a chance the NHL comes out the other side (of the economic crisis) without some serious bumps and bruises,' one source said. 'That may mean moving a franchise or two. Or more.' "

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