While expansion to Las Vegas was the buzz of the NHL's Board of Governors meetings the past two days, the fact that the ownership transfer of the Arizona Coyotes to Andrew Barroway was not ready to be voted on this week raised eyebrows in Boca Raton, Florida.
But commissioner Gary Bettman said there was no reason for concern.
"A fair amount of the documentation underlying the transaction we only got the end of last week," explained Bettman. "The documentation has to be reviewed, we have to finish our due diligence, there has to be an interview.
"It would be nice for a whole host of reasons to get it done by the end of the year. With the holidays coming up, that may be an achievable result, it may not. But all of the parties are interested in moving it along as quickly as they can, as are we. But we have a process that we go through, and we have to check all the boxes. But based on the timing of the documents having been signed, there are a lot of boxes we couldn't get to yet. But we'll get to them shortly."
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly denied that the Coyotes -- and the Panthers -- could be re-located.
"Arizona and Florida are not moving," Daly said with conviction on Tuesday. He added that both franchises are "100 percent" stable.
IceArizona agreed to sell 51 percent of the Coyotes to Barroway for $155 million in October, but the deal must be approved by the NHL's Board of Governors.
IceArizona purchase the franchise from the NHL last year.
Coyotes co-owner Anthony LeBlanc said the process just takes time. Paperwork was finalized last week on the sale, and it's now in the NHL's hands.
"A transaction like this is relatively complex," LeBlanc said. "You're essentially doing over what we did 16 months ago. You're dealing with the league, the banks, and an awful lot of lawyers. These things take time and there's a process."
Even with all the well-documented issues the Coyotes have had in establishing a hockey market in Arizona, LeBlanc said his franchise is not too far from turning a profit. Since buying the team from the league, his group has pumped new revenues into the franchise through an arena naming rights deal and local television agreement. Furthermore, LeBlanc said corporate sponsorships are between 350 and 400 percent higher than two years ago.
Last season, LeBlanc said ticket sales were up 16 percent and this season, they're up about 10 percent from last season. And that's with a struggling team on the ice and a horribly located arena.
ESPN's Pierre LeBrun and Craig Custance contributed to this report.