After an underhanded attempt to sell the Phoenix Coyotes after the NHL had stepped in to help with payroll dollars, a bankruptcy fight that went on and on over the summer, and after losing millions upon millions of dollars, Jerry Moyes has finally agreed to sell his team back to the NHL. Of course the sale of this club will have to be approved by a Federal Bankruptcy Judge, but the safe bet here is he will allow the NHL to buy this team, and then do with it what they can.
It is really too bad that this is what we are discussing when the Coyotes are off to a 6-4 start, and look to be far better than anyone was willing to give them credit for. However even with their fast start, they are averaging just above 10,000 fans per home game and that simply will not do. There still seems to be a large question about how viable a hockey team can be in the desert.
While Moyes has agreed to this plan, in large part because the 140 million the NHL bid for this team is actually going towards operating the team, is former minority partner Wayne Gretzy has of yet not agreed. Gretzky has a 22.5 million dollar claim before the court and it seems likely that the NHL is going to have to pay him at least part of the amount.
Once the sale is completed the NHL plans to seek new ownership for the team immediately. They would prefer to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix, but the low attendance numbers may make that impossible. There have been some reports that the Canadian city of Quebec would like once again to have a NHL franchise of its own, and the Coyotes would certainly fit the bill of a team needing a fresh start.