Although word leaked out prior to last night’s midnight deadline for Greg Jamison to cull together the $170M needed to complete the purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes and keep the team in Phoenix/Glendale that he would not be able to do so, the deadline has now officially passed and–to the surprise of no one who has been following this train wreck of a saga at any point during the past four years–Jamison couldn’t complete the deal. So what happens now?
1) Jamison will try to broker a new deal with city of Glendale. The problem here is that any deal brokered will not be nearly as much of a sweetheart deal as the now-expired deal was, and if Jamison couldn’t make that one work, what on earth makes him think he’ll be able to make a new one work? The City of Glendale and its new mayor are already on record as having said a much different deal will need to be put together (if one can be put together at all), so this is a long-shot at best. But he will try because of the NHL‘s never ending quest to try save the Debacle in the Desert.
2) Another local “buyer” will come into the picture. It has already been reported that an anonymous, deep-pocketed investor is interested in buying the team to keep them in the area. Good grief, how many times is the NHL going to go through with this nonsense? Nobody wants to buy the team to keep them in the Glendale area. Cut the cord already. Hockey doesn’t work there from a financial perspective, but despite everyone knowing this…
3) Gary Bettman and the powers that be will continue to insist that they are committed to
tossing their money into a Glendale-sized money pit keeping the team in Glendale. Bettman’s hubris continues to shine through at every turn in this saga as he ignores common sense and continues to allow this situation to be the equivalent of the league having eggs thrown at their face. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what needs to happen here (which makes the fact that Bettman is still in charge unfortunate for the state of the NHL), which is…
4) That prospective owners who would like to buy the team and move them to either Seattle or Quebec City will make offers. Whether or not Bettman & Co. will be wise enough to listen to their overtures is up for debate, but the long-term health of the league continues to be in question and the Coyotes organization is the worst offender. There is no way the owners want to keep this charade going on any longer, so it’s up to Bettman to admit defeat in another southern market and call it good.
These are all events which will happen in the coming weeks and months, but what will the end result of all this be? The stars are aligning in Seattle for them to acquire the Sacramento Kings in April and relocate them to the Key Arena for the 2013 season. My money is on Bettman finally getting a clue and allowing the Coyotes to be sold to a prospective owner who will relocate the team to Seattle in time for the 2013 season, where they will spend the next two seasons playing at Key Arena until the NBA/NHL downtown arena is completed.