THIS IS BREAKING NEWS...
Bill Daly, Deputy Commissioner of the National Hockey League, today released the following statement:
"In response to the many inquiries we have received in light of the story in the Phoenix Business Journal this morning, we would like to make clear that at this point in time the National Hockey League has no "deal" in place to move the Coyotes' franchise to Winnipeg -- or to any other city for that matter -- in the event a transaction cannot be timely consummated in Glendale. Our focus continues to be on completing a transaction with local ownership that is committed to operating the team in Glendale. Based on the communications and information we are receiving on a regular basis, the stakeholders involved continue to express a high level of confidence that that can be successfully achieved. We will not focus on completing arrangements for one or more alternative option(s) until such time as it may become necessary.
"With respect to Winnipeg and Messrs. Chipman and Thomson, we have had ongoing discussions over time regarding their potential interest in owning an NHL franchise (as we have had with a number of other individuals and cities around North America) and potentially bringing an NHL franchise back to Winnipeg. It remains an intriguing possibility and one we would consider given appropriate circumstances, but there is nothing new to report on that front at this time."
The article in question brings up renewed interest from Chicago Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf in purchasing the beleaguered club. The reported deal would have the "city of Glendale giving him an out to move the franchise to another market if the team’s bottom line does not improve."
Several sources familiar with the Coyotes ownership situation say a Reinsdorf bid could include a clause that would allow the team to get out of its long-term lease at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale. That could mean a move to Las Vegas, Kansas City, Winnipeg or Quebec City.
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Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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