As we noted last week, the Phoenix Coyotes enter the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs without the heavy hearts they had in the previous postseason, when relocation to Winnipeg seemed like a certainty.
Calling their chances of remaining in Glendale optimistic might be pushing it, but there's no question the vibe is sunnier than it was a year ago.
The Arizona Republic reported on Tuesday night that city manager Ed Beasley believes "we're going to get this done, and I feel it will be soon."
On Wednesday, the eve of the Phoenix Coyotes' home playoff opener against the Chicago Blackhawks, Mike Sunnucks of the Phoenix Business Journal reports that the city of Glendale has chosen to focus on former San Jose Sharks CEO Greg Jamison's group as potential owners after a private meeting with the City Council this week.
From the Journal:
An official familiar with the Coyotes deal said the lease will be structured to avoid legal and political challenges from the Goldwater Institute watchdog group. Goldwater's opposition to a previous city bond deal helped scuttle a sale of the Coyotes to Chicago investment executive Matthew Hulsizer. Hulsizer later unsuccessfully tried to buy the St. Louis Blues.
The NHL has owned the Coyotes since buying them out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy for $140 million in 2009. A number of sources familiar with the Coyotes situation said the NHL is poised to finalize a Jamison deal as soon as an arena lease with Glendale is approved.
The Journal reports the other two offers Glendale mulled were "from a Canadian group and another cash offer from an international investment group." (Would love to know more about that latter one.)
The final asking price for the Coyotes could be in "the $140 million to $150 million range," aka significantly lower than the expansion fee Quebec City will eventually pay if this thing gets settled.