I’m sorry NHL and I’m really sorry to the loyal Phoenix Coyotes fans, but this has to stop. The Phoenix suburb Glendale does not want to support a hockey team, which is why the Coyotes are last in attendance once again to start the 2013. As it was leaked today that the Coyotes sale to a local group was again being shelved because of insufficient funding, the writing on the wall was shouting to be read. It’s time to move the ice out of Phoenix.
I know there are loyal Coyotes fans out there and I am really sorry that you have to lose your franchise, but the NHL really does not care about fan bases. I think there are a lot of broken hearts in Atlanta that still do not understand how the NHL moved their team to Winnipeg one night. The Coyotes only remain in Phoenix because of commissioner Gary Bettman’s ego, not because they care about the fans who just suffered through another lockout.
Bettman orchestrated the NHL’s move out of the cold home of the Northern sphere. He bet on the southern states moving the Minnesota North Stars to become the Dallas Stars, the Hartford Whalers became the Carolina Hurricanes, the Quebec Nordiques became the Colorado Avalanche and the original Winnipeg Jets became the Coyotes. The league also expanded with teams including the Atlanta Thrashers, the Florida Panthers, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Nashville Predators. Some of this migration to warmer climates has worked out and some has not.
The NHL has lucrative markets across Canada and in select cities across the United States including Kansas City and Seattle. It seems inevitable that the NHL will also expand because they would like to move to a four conference format and need a number that is divisible by four, which the current 30 teams is not. However, why must the Coyotes struggle in an unsupported market, even as the team competes for a top spot in the West? Does the NHL not get that we’re sick of their administrative issues? Stop howling and play hockey.