Okay, I admit that headline needs to come with an asterisk. Technically, it is possible that the Phoenix Coyotes as a franchise could turn a profit this season. According to reports, Greg Jamison–should his deal to buy the beleaguered franchise from the NHL ever finally go through (like really actually go through instead of all this “two more weeks and it should be a done deal” nonsense we’ve heard for so long)–would turn a profit even if the entire season is cancelled. It would mark the first profitable season in the team’s history.
Without a single game being played.
Ponder the bizarre reality of that statement for a minute. Go ahead…I’ll wait.
By now I am sure you are just as confused by this fact as I am, but the proof is in the pudding, and would-be owner Jamison would stand to make as much as several million dollars this year even if the Coyotes never actually get on the ice. Gary Bettman has to be doing a jig and smiling his impish little smile at this news because he’ll finally have a factually legitimate (though incredibly whacked out) counterargument to all the media, fans, etc. who say the Coyotes cannot succeed in Phoenix and that the NHL cannot succeed in the desert.
This just goes to show how unbelievable the state of affairs is in the NHL right now. A team that should be sold and relocated for the health of the league continues to exist in Phoenix while the entire “we have an NHL franchise for sale…to someone who wants to keep them here in Phoenix…no matter how many years we have to wait and how many tumbleweeds we have to watch go by us in the meantime” situation continues to make the NHL look like a rinky-dink league (but not quite as much as, say, this whole lockout business and how completely moronic that is making both sides look these days).
Bettman and Co. are okay with all of this for some reason. They could relocate the club to any of several locations in Canada or even to Seattle and the team would instantly be in better shape than it is now. But instead, Bettman can now fire back at the haters that the Coyotes are–technically, at least this “season”–a financially viable team. Maybe it’s pride. Maybe they really are this stupid. Or maybe they really think news like this would actually validate the claims they’ve been making the past three and a half years since Jerry Moyes started all of this craziness by trying to sell the team to Jim Balsillie without the NHL’s approval. It kind of makes you wish Balsillie had gotten his ducks in a row and done this the right way, then we wouldn’t be having this problem. How sad is that?
No wonder the NHL isn’t a Big 4 sport anymore, and never will be again.