Even as the NHL's regular season remains shrouded in uncertainty with the threat of a lockout, the long-awaited sale of the Phoenix Coyotes is actually coming more clearly into focus.
A source confirmed to ESPN.com Tuesday evening that suitor Greg Jamison, the former president and CEO of the San Jose Sharks, has finally arranged financing that would allow him to purchase the team from the National Hockey League for $170 million, and that any issues with the lease agreement between the City of Glendale and Jamison's investors for Jobing.com Arena, where the Coyotes play, are expected to be resolved by the end of September.
Among the investors, who have to this point remained unidentified, are some members of the Ice Edge Group, a collection of Canadian and American businessmen who at one point were front-runners to buy the team themselves, the source told ESPN.com.
Ice Edge head Anthony LeBlanc has been in discussions with Jamison throughout the summer in putting a deal together to buy the team although it's not known exactly what role the group will play in the new ownership structure.
A second source confirmed to ESPN.com Tuesday that a deal that would see the league's three-year run as stewards of the financially beleaguered team come to an end is nearing completion.
Jamison had previously agreed to a deal with the City of Glendale for a 20-year lease that would see the city pay $324 million in management fees over the life of the lease. That agreement only becomes valid when Jamison closes the deal with the NHL although multiple sources said that once the sale is completed the lease agreement will kick in virtually simultaneously. There could be some minor tinkering with the lease agreement before the sale is complete but nothing major, the source said.
The ongoing labor negotiations between the NHL and the National Hockey League Players' Association will have no bearing on the sale being completed. The NHL is expected to lock out its players if a new collective bargaining agreement isn't reached by Sept. 15.