Friday, March 30, 2012

Shifting tumbleweeds in the desert

While Gary Bettman and the rest of the worker bees at the head office hold their thoughts close to their vest,  there is going to be a changing of the guard in the hometown of the Coyotes.

In an interesting timeline, Glendale's Mayor Elaine Scruggs and City Manager Ed Beasley, both announced that they won't be seeking a return to their respective offices when Glendale's residents go to the polls later this year in Arizona. The Mayor having decided that she shall not run for another term of office, while the City Manager feels that retirement is in his immediate future..

Mayor Elaine Scruggs and City Manager Ed Beasley, of course were the driving force between the financial agreements in place in recent years that saw the residents of Glendale becoming financial backers, but not actual owners of a professional hockey franchise, a situation that didn't seem to have universal support in the suburban community.

The pair seemingly won't be alone in the departure lounge of local government, the Vice Mayor of Glendale Steve Frate also announced his plans to step away from politics on Thursday.

Their announced departures comes along, just as the fate of the Coyotes once again makes for a talking point among NHL followers, with the rumours running the range of the re-introduction of the Ice Age group with a hopeful eye the locals and NHL officials say to keeping the team in Arizona, to a possible move of the franchise either to Seattle or as the folks in Quebec would hope to the provincial capital on the St. Lawrence.

While her tenure perhaps will be missed by Gary Bettman, (it's not every day you can find someone with 20 million working capital for two years in a row) some of the local politicians on the Glendale scene aren't  going to be sad to see her departure.

In the case of  Councilman Phil Lieberman perhaps with it the end of the money pit like existence of the Coyotes, to that end we imagine that by his wish to wave good bye to them, Mr. Lieberman has not been among the small but faithful collective that take in Coyote games.

Still, if you're looking for an end game to the Coyote saga, this would appear to be the beginning of the end, once the few true blue Howling backers decide to walk off into the sunset, it probably isn't too much longer before the hockey team does the same.

AZ Central-- Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs will not seek a 6th term
Globe and Mail-- Architects of Glendale pro sports disaster won't be around for fallout
National Post-- Coyote's solution remains a puzzle
Seattle Times-- Could future of Phoenix Coyotes be in Seattle?

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