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CURTAIN CALL ON THE COYOTES

So is this it?  There is speculation this will be the last game played in Phoenix if Detroit wins tonight.  It’s kind of sad if you think about it.  Consider all of the people who will be out of a job; all the businesses folding once the Coyotes leave town.  It’s not a pretty scenario, but it seems very likely.  The same happened 15 years ago when Winnipeg lost the Jets to Phoenix.  The fitting saying is “what goes around, comes around”.  I’m not saying that it’s right to strip a city of its’ team and leave their workers unemployed, but the city of Phoenix had no business ever having an N.H.L. team.  Bettman has exhausted all possibilities to try to keep Phoenix from losing it’s team, but it doesn’t look like there will be a knight in shining armour this time.  No-one is going to rescue the Coyotes; it’s time they packed up and left for a hockey starved market waiting to cheer them on.  Sure some of the hockey players might prefer to stay in the warm weather of Phoenix, but let’s be real here, why keep a team where they have no support?  Why not go to a city which adores you; a city which will have a building near capacity every night.  I’m sure the players will enjoy the support they receive in Winnipeg much more than in Phoenix.

There’s a reason no-one has stepped up to make a significant attempt to buy the team and keep them in Phoenix; there’s a reason why the Goldwater Institute denied Hulsizer’s request to allow him to use the city of Glendale to contribute $100 million worth or proceeds from a municipal bond sale to help him buy the team for $170 million.  They too see hockey as a failing entity in Phoenix and refuse to risk any city funding to aid in keeping a team there.  Considering the rough state of Arizona during this recession, I don’t blame them.  If Hulsizer really wanted, or was fully able to buy the team, he wouldn’t ask for any city funding whatsoever.  Has he done this?  No.

So I’m going out on a limb here and saying the N.H.L. will make it official after the Coyotes are swept away in Phoenix tonight.  Where a few fans will be mourning the loss of their Coyotes, many fans in Winnipeg will be rejoicing the rebirth of hockey in Winnipeg.  There is no doubt the Winnipeg Jets, Manitoba Moose, or whatever they call the “new” team there, will receive a heroes welcome the minute they step on the ice and the first N.H.L. game is played there again.

It’s time to give the city of Winnipeg back its’ team which was taken from them so long ago.  It’s time for Shane Doan to don a jersey for Winnipeg as he did when he started his career; the last of the Winnipeg Jets he is, so how fitting would it be for him to be the first to bring hockey back to Winnipeg.

Until the next puck drops,

Nick

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END OF THE ROAD FOR THE COYOTES IN PHOENIX?

Relocation continues to be a hot topic in the N.H.L. the last few weeks. More specifically surrounding the Phoenix Coyotes and the rumour of the team’s potential move to Winnipeg. The fall out of the deal between Matthew Hulsizer and the city of Glendale is being blamed on the Goldwater group refusing to release bonds of $116 million towards the $170 million deal to keep the coyotes from abandoning the Jobing.com Arena. The Coyotes have been losing money since day one when they relocated from Winnipeg in 1996 and it appears it’s only getting worse. Gary Bettman is fighting to the bitter end to come to some kind of agreement to get this deal done. It appears it may never happen and of course the city of Glendale’s major concern is the possibility of several bars, restaurants and jobs around the arena will suffer and weaken an already unstable economic condition there.

Lets say the Coyotes move to Winnipeg next season, well they have buyers already lined up there. There’s a N.H.L. friendly arena which seats about 15,000 which was originally designed for the American Hockey League‘s (A.H.L.) Manitoba Moose, but could easily be converted to a NHL arena when they potentially add a couple thousand more seats. Lets face it Winnipeg is starving for hockey and they should have no problem filling seats night in and night out something they couldn’t do in Phoenix.  Phoenix is a much bigger city then Winnipeg however the interest in hockey is far greater in Winnipeg where hockey is religion. It is a Canadian city that absolutely cherishes the game and is equipped with a strong Canadian dollar, a brand new arena and a billionaire investor waiting for the green light to return hockey to Winnipeg. All this was working against Winnipeg nearly 15 years ago when they moved the Jets out to the desert. Now they are prime to land a N.H.L. franchise like the Coyotes.

Gary Bettman has run out of options and time is running out on the Phoenix Coyotes. This team has simply lost far too much money year in year out to ever make this thing work in the desert. I think we all agree that it’s about time Bettman pulls the plug on this franchise that has been a financial burden on the rest of the league. I assure you, they move this team back to Winnipeg and it will be far more successful and profitable then it ever could be in Phoenix. They will have great attendance, which in turn will bring in great revenue, not to mention making the league more money and run a lot healthier. It’s a no brainer Gary Bettman. Personally I think the coyotes have let out there last howl in the dessert! Bring back the Jets!!!

And that’s my two cents,

Domenic