Thursday, February 05, 2009

All that money and not a dime for Gary...

Gary Bettman may be confident that the NHL is destined to stay in Phoenix, but for those that might have the kind of money required to keep that destiny alive, the prospect of hockey in the desert doesn't seem quite as enthralling.

Gary Bettman's personal thorn this week has been David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail, he has been doing some fascinating research on the state of the financial picture of the Coyotes and the interest in them and he is providing a contrarian opinion to the Commissioners public pronouncements in today's edition of the Globe.

Shoalts contacts have suggested that some of Phoenix's most established sports owners have taken a look at the Coyote's books and quickly turned the other way, such is the apparent state of the financial picture in Arizona.

The sources for Shoalts article list two baseball owners Jerry Reinsdorf of the White Sox and Ken Kendrick, the managing general partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks, along with Phoenix Suns majority owner Robert Sarver having all taken to crunching those numbers and deciding that the smart money would be to spend no money on the Coyotes who are reportedly mired with some 45 million dollars in losses for this year.

It's a huge number that is proving to be the main deterrent to anyone taking to the idea of making hockey work in Arizona.

The Globe and Mail story provides just the latest outline as to how much trouble the Coyotes are in as they wander through the final months of the 2008- 09 season, still a potential playoff team it will be interesting to see if the Little Orphan Annies of the NHL can keep the suspense carrying on into the second season.

The Commissioner has repeatedly suggested that the Coyotes will be fine, and that there is no plan to move the team to some other location.
Perhaps that's true, but the real question should be will the Coyotes still exist in September.

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