From Winnipeg To Phoenix...And Back To Winnipeg?
The drama surrounding the Phoenix Coyotes continues nearly a year after it started.
According to Scott Burnside of ESPN, Chicago businessman Jerry Reinsdorf’s bid to purchase the Coyotes and keep them in Arizona is officially “dead,” and negotiations have shifted back to Ice Edge Holdings, a group whose original plans to purchase the team revolved around playing several games each season in Canada.
Interestingly, though the franchise’s potential permanent departure to Winnipeg likely would not come at the hands of Ice Edge Holdings.
Burnside writes: “The situation in Glendale remains fluid; if the city does not agree to the league’s conditions, it is possible the NHL will instead move quickly to finalize a purchase agreement with Canadian billionaire David Thomson and move the team to Winnipeg. Sources tell ESPN.com there is a purchase agreement ready if the Glendale situation disintegrates.”
In other words, if the NHL, the city of Glendale, and Ice Edge Holdings cannot come to a swift agreement, the NHL very well could shift its focus to Thomson, who would love to relocate the franchise to its original home.
Should such a situation arrive, Ice Edge Holdings likely would move the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, currently occupying the arena in Winnipeg, to Thunder Bay, Ontario.
“Ice Edge remains committed to our stated long-term goal of someday bringing professional hockey to Thunder Bay, however at this point in time it remains simply that, a long-term goal,” Ice Edge CEO Anthony LeBlanc told Burnside.