Coyotes and Panthers not in the same boat

Arizona enjoys much more fan support than Florida, which has boosted the franchise's value. Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Sometimes it’s easy to draw a line from A to B. Sometimes the line simply doesn’t exist.

That’s why it’s been a bit puzzling to see connections drawn between the attendance woes of the Florida Panthers and the evolving situation with the Arizona Coyotes.

Sure, hockey fans everywhere spent far too much time pondering whether the Coyotes were going to stay in the desert during the four years the NHL ran the formerly bankrupt club.

And maybe it’s natural to see "Coyotes have new majority owner" in a headline and assume more chaos, further instability and a revival of the "Where will the Coyotes end up?" storyline.

Still, it’s hard to imagine how the sale of 51 percent of the team to hedge fund manager Andrew Barroway for more than $150 million (the team’s valuation is now at $305 million) suggests instability when the team was purchased about 14 months ago from the league for $170 million.

I don’t profess to be a business school graduate, but when a team’s value almost doubles in less than a year and a half that should be a good thing, no?

As for reports of massive losses sustained by the team, a source told ESPN.com Arizona had budgeted for losses last season and this season but is expected to turn a modest profit next season.

Ticket sales rose 16 percent last season and were expected to go up another 15-20 percent this season, the source said.

As for Barroway taking a controlling interest, the fact he is an American will reportedly allow the team to enjoy tax savings on interest fees in the neighborhood of $6-10 million annually related to a new league-wide credit option available to teams.

Now, is there a possibility the Coyotes could pick up and move after five years if the team loses $50 million an out option exists in the current lease agreement? Sure.

But one would think if that was part of the plan ownership wouldn’t have signed a 12-year television deal for local broadcasts, landed a lucrative naming rights deal for their arena and spent money renovating concession stands and other infrastructure within Gila River Arena.

In short, sometimes the line between A and B just can't be drawn.