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Wednesday April 13, 2011 9:55 pm

Rumors sending Phoenix Coyotes back to Winnipeg?




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: NHL, Rumors,

Shane DoanBoth co-hosts on Hockey Central at Noon, a Toronto-based radio program, have claimed that numerous sources confirmed with them that the NHL would announce a move for the Phoenix Coyotes organization back to Winnipeg. Former NHL tough guy Nick Kypreos and former NHL general manager Doug MacLean both have very credible names among sports media and the fact that both have independently heard the same rumors lends a lot of weight to the claims.

Like clockwork, the NHL made an immediate announcement denying the rumors. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an email “The report isn’t true. No decisions have been made at this point one way or the other. Efforts to sell the club in Glendale remain ongoing.” Of course they are. The NHL certainly won’t deny a sale of one of the league’s biggest financial hemorrhages, but we’ll have to wait and see what the league says if and when the Coyotes make their exit from the postseason.

Chances are they’ll have another one of their characteristic changes of face. Over the last two years, we’ve seen the NHL make many claims and rebuke many rumors regarding Phoenix, only to find out they were lying all along. There’s no reason to believe that the governors are willing to let Gary Bettman and the Coyotes plague their bank statements any longer. How they’ve let Bettman drag this situation out as long as he has is an incredible gesture in itself.

But if the pressure to finalize the Coyotes’ situation is indeed coming from one or more of the league’s owners, it will be just the first of several other bad situations that are arising in the NHL. More than a half dozen of the league’s teams are bleeding money and causing the rest of the league to give up millions in revenue sharing, and after all the problems with Phoenix, there are only so many band-aids Bettman has left to fix the rest before somebody starts pointing fingers at him.

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