Fri May 07 12:23am EDT
An hour later on ESPN.com, Scott Burnside read the bid its last rites, writing that the Reinsdorf bid was "dead" and that the Glendale City Council was expected to file paperwork on Friday to work exclusively with Ice Edge Holdings for an ownership deal.
Yes, the same Ice Edge group that the City Council rejected in favor of the Reinsdorf bid, which has long been considered the apple of Gary Bettman's eye. Now the process of conditions and concessions begins again with Glendale, Ice Edge and the NHL, which still owns the franchise.
If things don't work out with Ice Edge? Burnside writes the franchise could jet to Winnipeg:
The situation in Glendale remains fluid; if the city does not agree to the league's conditions, it is possible the NHL will instead move quickly to finalize a purchase agreement with Canadian billionaire David Thomson and move the team to Winnipeg. Sources tell ESPN.com there is a purchase agreement ready if the Glendale situation disintegrates. If the team moves to Winnipeg, the Ice Edge group would then move the existing AHL team, the Manitoba Moose, to Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Assuming their funding is in place, the reemergence of Ice Edge may not be a negative development for the Coyotes franchise.
They were the preferred group for most of the Coyotes fans thanks to their public outreach efforts. They were somewhat less objectionable to the watchdogs at the Goldwater Institute, who called their bid "more hard-working, as in let's be creative and see how this can work." Oh, and they also punk'd the media, which was grand.
The Coyotes finally connected with the locals this season and into the postseason. It would be a shame to see that goodwill squandered with more drawn-out ownership drama; or disposed of completely as the team relocates. Time will tell.