For sale: NHL team, priced to move (well, not literally, but we'll get to that). Hall of Fame talent behind the bench, nothing close to Hall of Fame talent on the ice. Did not rank last in the league in attendance last season (thank you, Thrashers). Please, no Canucks!
If you're looking to take a hockey trip in the darkest days of January, head south. Not because of the weather, although that's a perk, but because that's where the tickets are. The NHL has 10 teams that reside south of the Mason-Dixon Line, and nine of them ranked in the bottom half of the league in the percentage of capacity for home games.
So why is commissioner Gary Bettman so enamored with keeping the Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz.? The short version is Ontario rich guy Jim Balsillie wants to pay a lot of money to move the team to Ontario, and Coyotes owners Jerry Moyes wanted to sell it to him. The NHL rejected Balsillie and wants the team to go to Jerry Reinsdorf for significantly less money and stay in Glendale. And just this week, any resolution was delayed until September.
More than half of SportsNation is comfortable with the NHL maintaining its current size, if not even growing, but some relocation might be in order. Back in May, a majority of voters expected the financially-stricken Coyotes to be somewhere other than Arizona this season. That now appears unlikely, but it doesn't change the fact that Bettman and his fellow owners appear just about the only ones who think Phoenix is a better market for hockey.
Why not do what mom and dad always told us kids? SHARE. Play half the season in Phoenix and half in Hamilton. Have Balsillie and Reinsdorf co-own the team. Simple.” -- MiamiWing
This right here, this one team sale, will be the legacy of Gary Bettman. The city of Glendale loses, the NHL loses, the owners of profitable franchises (Canadian teams) lose big time because they will continue to prop this mess up with profit sharing, fans lose, players who waste the next 5 years of their career there lose, and old owners lose. Through it all Winnipeg continues to sit there and say "What happened? We had fans. We made the playoffs"” -- kingnormandy