Looks like Glendale may have tied their own noose on this one. A week or two ago they pretty much kicked Ice Edge Holdings out of the picture hoping it would increase the chances of getting the deal done with Reinsdorf, he's the one Glendale and the NHL really wanted all along. But his offer got derailed last week and was knocked off the table. At that point Glendale had no other customers at the table...so they scrambled to get Ice Edge Holdings back into the conversation.
The NHL requires the new owner (be it Ice Edge or whoever) to cover the operating losses of the Coyotes for next season. Now, with Ice Edge backing out over not getting exclusivity, which only makes sense. If they're going to go through with this deal, they don't want another party jumping in trying to pick up some of the revenue while leaving Ice Edge on the hook for any losses. Why Glendale didn't give them that....who knows. Perhaps they thought bringing Ice Edge back might somehow get Reinsdorf back to the table...who knows, stupid move on their part. Now the NHL has said they'll keep the team in Phoneix another season with no owner....BUT they're done bailing out the team (guess hell finally froze over). So essentially the City of Glendale would have to cover whatever the financial losses would be next season....which would be pretty hefty. But there are citizens in Glendale who are NOT happy with the idea of their city shelling out possibly a couple million dollars, to keep a team in the city that nobody cares about. Sure if the team in question was called the Cardinals, Diamond Backs, or Suns....it'd be different. But people in Arizona actually GO to those games, so they wouldn't be in that position to begin with.
The major player it seems, backing the True North group is Dave Thompson, who is some billionaire. He's already stated that he could cover the losses for the NHL "out of pocket" (must be nice). That's huge hurdle #1. And with his money and the Chipman family involved, I can't see how the NHL would have a problem with the ownership group. Which leaves the facility, a 15,000 seat arena might be "small" for the NHL, but let's face it, how many NHL arenas are selling out every night. Not to mention the MTS Centre was built with this possibility in mind, and can be expanded to roughly 18,500 capacity.
So from the sounds of it, Ice Edge is out....Reinsdorf is out, and the NHL is only sticking around if Glendale decides to bail out the team. If they vote not to, then the NHL looks for new owners. Winnipeg, Quebec City and Kansas City are on the short list. Out of those 3, it looks like Winnipeg is the only one with an ownership group, money, financing to cover the losses, and an NHL size arena all ready right now.
The other thing to keep in mind is that Bettman, and the NHL could use a dose of some good publicity. Bettman has to know that he's kinda viewed as a version of Darth Vader (just as evil...way less threatening) to Canadian hockey fans for killing the Nordiques and the Jets. If he could posture himself to look like the one who made the decision to bring the Jets back to Winnipeg, with all the hype and talk there's been over the past 15 years about it....it'd definitely help is reputation.
I think in the wake of the recession, Bettman's learning that American billionaires are not as likely to throw around cash to keep teams in cities that don't care about them. Slowly I think he's realizing that if the NHL is going to survive, they have to re-invest into Canada and the passion the country has for hockey.
"Kevin Glenn goes long to Milt Stegall.....and he's got it......AND HE'S GONE....." -Bob Irving (during his near heart attack at Commonwealth)