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Coyotes' future to be decided soon

The SportsXchange

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman suggested Wednesday that the Phoenix Coyotes could see their future decided by the end of the month.

"There is a board of governors meeting on June 27 and a (Glendale) City Council meeting on June 25. Stuff is going to happen," Bettman said during his annual state-of-the-league session with reporters covering the Stanley Cup Final.

Though Bettman didn't put a deadline for a decision, deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league plans to release a schedule in July, suggesting that the final week of June is key for the franchise that has been league-operated since 2009.

"Obviously we're getting to the point where some decisions are going to have to be made, both by the city of Glendale and by us," Bettman said Wednesday. "We haven't set a deadline, but the time is getting shorter. ... We're still focused on making it work with the Coyotes staying in Arizona."

After numerous suitors came and went, the NHL agreed last month to sell the team to Renaissance Sports & Entertainment, but the deal is contingent upon a new lease agreement for Arena being reached. Negotiations with Glendale continue to drag.

"Everyone knows what is on the table," Daly said. "I think the puck is pretty much in the City of Glendale's end."

The league's preference remains to keep the team in Glendale, but the relocation possibility exists.

"It certainly means it is possible that the team might not play there next year," Daly said.

Bettman wouldn't speculate on possible relocation sites, saying it wouldn't be fair to other cities.

"There are a number of markets that have been expressing interests to us over the years," Bettman said, "And the phone keeps rings more regularly as long as the Coyotes situation stays unresolved."

Bettman also declined to answer a question about whether putting the Coyotes on hiatus was an option, saying only "there are a myriad of options."

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