After prospective Phoenix Coyotes owner Greg Jamison missed a deadline late Thursday to purchase the team, the NHL is optimistic that an agreement can be reached in the near future.
"We remain hopeful the Coyotes' sale process will be resolved successfully and we will continue to work with the city of Glendale to move the process forward," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement Friday. "Mr. Jamison will continue to work with the NHL and the city of Glendale to close a deal that will keep the Coyotes in the Valley."
In the meantime, the NHL will maintain ownership of the team.
"Although there is no set timetable, hopefully it will be soon," Coyotes president and COO Mike Nealy said.
Jamison had until midnight Thursday to close a deal with Glendale or the city would rescind its lease agreement with Jamison for Jobing.com Arena, where the Coyotes play. Sources indicated that Jamison was unable to raise the money to meet the NHL's demand of $170 million to purchase the team.
Jamison emerged as the leading candidate to purchase the Coyotes after the franchise was taken over by the league three years ago. The city of Glendale would have paid Jamison an average of $15 million over 20 years to run the city-owned venue, allowing the franchise to stay in Arizona.
With Jamison failing to produce the money at the deadline, a separate group of investors is reportedly prepared to step in to purchase the team.
Jamison, a former president and CEO of the San Jose Sharks, remains committed to making the sale happen.
"To Arizona's sports and hockey fans and the City of Glendale, we appreciate your patience and diligence," he said. "We wish everything was completed today as we worked extremely hard on the deal. However, we have taken significant steps to keep the Coyotes in Glendale for the long term."