Darren Dreger of TSN updated Thursday night's breaking news about Ice Edge Holding being approached by the City of Glendale to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes, writing that Winnipeg will know within the next three weeks if the franchise will relocate there.
It's a possibility, as indications are that the city will have to agree to fund operating losses next season or else the NHL won't sell to Ice Edge.
Dreger wonders if this is a negotiating ploy in Glendale's ongoing back-and-forth with Jerry Reinsdorf's group of bidders, whose deal isn't dead yet according to the Arizona Republic. It wouldn't be the first time a massive news leak occurred at a sensitive time; please recall the first blast of Winnipeg news back in March as Ice Edge and Reinsdorf were preparing to petition the city for a more favorable lease.
As TSN reports, Winnipeg is a solid Plan B that can house a team next season, even though there's no formal relocation plan in place for the NHL at this time. If this actually happens for the 2010-11 season, three requests for the new Jets:
1. Teemu Selanne(notes) Must Sign and Retire with Winnipeg. Even if it's one of those symbolic things. He's a UFA this summer, and made $2 million last season with the Anaheim Ducks. C'mon that's, like, Jim Vandermeer(notes) money. Make it so.
2. The NHL Must Realign Jets 2.0. Mentioned this on Twitter on Friday morning, and specifically the idea of moving the Vancouver Canucks to the Pacific and Winnipeg to the Northwest. Travel considerations trump maintaining Vancouver's Canadian rivalries, right? Wrong, evidently: The majority of readers think it should be a Colorado Avalanche swap for the Jets, giving the NW Division four Canadian teams and the Minnesota Wild. (Then there's Derek Zona, who wants to go back to four divisions with the Coyotes/Jets in the Smythe.)
3. Toronto Must Be Formally Promised The Next Expansion Franchise. Toronto and Quebec City are, we feel, better locations for an NHL franchise than a second go-'round in the 'Peg -- and Toronto especially. So let's cut through the Leafs' blue tape and Make It Sev ... er, Eight in a formal way.
Again, that's all if the Coyotes ownership deal falls through and the U-Hauls roll to Manitoba. We don't want to see that happen, especially after that fan base in Arizona got a legit taste of playoff hockey. Coyotes blogger and conjurer of snakes Travis from Five For Howling is happy Ice Edge is back in the mix; hopefully it means good things for the franchise's solvency.