Has the NHL been unfair to the Phoenix Coyotes?
I am not a big fan of the Phoenix Coyotes, or their less than suitable location. However, it now seems like the team and its fans are kind of getting a raw deal. The NHL has allowed this situation fester for far too long. At times it seems they are using the sale and possible relocation of the Atlanta Thrashers as leverage against the Coyotes. If True North were to buy the Thrashers, and move them to Winnipeg it would take all the pressure off the situation in the desert, and the groups involved would have plenty of time to work out a new deal.
Let’s be real honest here the citizens of Glendale have now ponied up 50 million bucks of taxpayer money to keep the Coyotes in town. If they wind up leaving I think the folks in Arizona will be mightily pissed off and may turn away from hockey all together. I know I would if I were in that situation. So the NHL should do whatever is necessary to work out an agreement to keep the Coyotes in Arizona. That would be up to and including giving ownership of the team to the city of Glendale.
Asking taxpayers to hand out that kind of cash, after building an arena with other public funds, and then ripping the team out of the area would be unconscionable. It would be a PR nightmare, and hopefully Gary Bettman understands that. The NHL should move to allow True North to buy the Thrashers, get heavily involved in getting a Phoenix deal done, and then work towards fixing the problems with the Columbus Blue Jackets.