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USA Today's Allen: NHL must continue committment to Phoenix

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02-01-2013, 10:37 PM
  #1
LadyStanley
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USA Today's Allen: NHL must continue committment to Phoenix

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports...Top+Stories%29

Quote:
When Greg Jamison missed his city of Glendale-imposed deadline to complete the purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes Friday morning at midnight, it was like adding a comma, not even an exclamation point, to the script of this four-year-old docudrama.

There is nothing here to see, just move along. If the NHL was going to give up on trying to save desert hockey, league officials would have pulled the plug a long time ago.

This is simply another pause in the proceedings, time for everyone to reevaluate the plot line, and perhaps bring in new characters. Didn't it seem time for a new twist to this tale?

Although many fans around the country might be shaking their head in amusement over the fact that the save-the-Coyotes campaign seems to be a never-ending story, the continuation of the fight is the most reasonable approach for the league.

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02-01-2013, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by LadyStanley View Post
And the end of that final sentence is probably the most ridiculous thing I have read concerning the Debacle in the Desert.

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02-01-2013, 10:52 PM
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Well some people are dreamers, mister Allen is one of them. Phoenix had it chances. It failed. Lets move on.

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02-01-2013, 10:57 PM
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Wonder if he felt that way about the Expos & Thrashers.

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02-01-2013, 10:59 PM
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Kevin's premise is correct. The NHL is in the situation they are to defend the right to decide where franchises go and who gets them. They are also there to show cities they will defend, to some extent, their investment in arenas.

That doesnt mean the NHL's commitment is everlasting. Each year the coyotes exist under NHL ownership (and even if sold), they cost every other owner money. The potential for future profit is there, given phoenix and arizona's population growth, but if the NHL can abandon Atlanta, a just as important market, they can abandon phoenix, and they will if it becomes apparent that there is no legitimate ownership interest.

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02-01-2013, 11:22 PM
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I understand what Kevin's trying to say in the article, and there is some truth to it. To date, the Coyotes franchise hasn't been owned by a group that was willing to work with the team.

However, at some stage, it's still a business. The team should have an owner, and it shouldn't be the league. And much like Atlanta, if no one wants to own the team in Glendale, then it's time to open the pool of potential owners up to those that may move the team elsewhere. Sometimes, the heartless decision is the right one.

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02-01-2013, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danishh View Post
The potential for future profit is there, given phoenix and arizona's population growth, but if the NHL can abandon Atlanta, a just as important market, they can abandon phoenix, and they will if it becomes apparent that there is no legitimate ownership interest.
And things (economically) are starting to turn around. Saw a graphic on Nightly Business Report this past week that showed that the Phoenix region was having a major increase in real estate sales/values.

That could be the harbinger of much (more) prosperity in the region after years of foreclosures and dismal economic news.

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02-01-2013, 11:45 PM
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Why does the NHL see Phoenix in particular as such a lynchpin for whatever they're trying to accomplish and not Atlanta?

Atlanta always had that potential as a regional center with a metro population of 5.3 million and a locally based media empire that could have made the Thrashers a real power house if the right ownership and on ice product ever aligned. And if we want to be naive about the NHL wanting to grow the game, it seemed like the Thrashers were onto something when they went out and loaded up on black players to appeal to the African American demographic.

Phoenix seems like a rather weird and insignificant market to make such a sustained, impassioned stand when there's Anaheim and Los Angeles so close to it already.

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02-01-2013, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
Why does the NHL see Phoenix in particular as such a lynchpin for whatever they're trying to accomplish and not Atlanta?

Atlanta always had that potential as a regional center with a metro population of 5.3 million and a locally based media empire that could have made the Thrashers a real power house if the right ownership and on ice product ever aligned. And if we want to be naive about the NHL wanting to grow the game, it seemed like the Thrashers were onto something when they went out and loaded up on black players to appeal to the African American demographic.

Phoenix seems like a rather weird and insignificant market to make such a sustained, impassioned stand when there's Anaheim and Los Angeles so close to it already.
I see it more as an act... they kept Balsillie from moving the team where the owners would make $100's of millions in expansion for only $95 million relo fee. Plus, CoG up until now has been paying most of the losses so they could make it seem like they are trying to keep the team there. Don't think the NHL knew for months that Jamison would not pull this off ?!?!? it's a shell game, now we'll see what the real end game is in the next few months. If the NHL really wants a team in PHX it will have to lower the asking price... and Jamison will probably get a bone thrown to him for his smokescreen. (hel Jamison wasn't even the one looking for investors, it was the ice edge guy doing all the work)...

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02-01-2013, 11:59 PM
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Well, that was one of the most ridiculous articles I've read in a while.

Hemorrhaging money but the league must remain committed now that their money loss is sure to get even worse without municipal support and yet the potential for profit is still there? What?

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02-02-2013, 12:42 AM
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Yes, let's save an organization that continues to bleed money and cannot build up a fanbase that is big enough to support the team. 15 years is a long time and you know the region is not viable for NHL hockey.

Jamison was only going to purchase the team as long as he got 25-35 million a year to cover the losses.

The NHL is the worst run pro sports league in the world.

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02-02-2013, 12:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
Why does the NHL see Phoenix in particular as such a lynchpin for whatever they're trying to accomplish and not Atlanta?

Atlanta always had that potential as a regional center with a metro population of 5.3 million and a locally based media empire that could have made the Thrashers a real power house if the right ownership and on ice product ever aligned. And if we want to be naive about the NHL wanting to grow the game, it seemed like the Thrashers were onto something when they went out and loaded up on black players to appeal to the African American demographic.

Phoenix seems like a rather weird and insignificant market to make such a sustained, impassioned stand when there's Anaheim and Los Angeles so close to it already.
The Thrashers also had talent like Hossa, Heatley, Kovalchuk and Savard grace their ranks but management was complete ass in either complementing the stars or even retaining them.

The NHL had good reasons to re-do Atlanta and in the future, it will likely become a viable market again.

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02-02-2013, 01:36 AM
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the thing is the arena is only ten years old.

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02-02-2013, 01:47 AM
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the thing is the arena is only ten years old.
So put a giant mini putt in it and I bet you make more money than the Coyotes ever made. An arena is just like any other building if the business you rent a building for is going under it time to look for other renters preferably not in the same line of business.

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02-02-2013, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnyC View Post
The Thrashers also had talent like Hossa, Heatley, Kovalchuk and Savard grace their ranks but management was complete ass in either complementing the stars or even retaining them.

The NHL had good reasons to re-do Atlanta and in the future, it will likely become a viable market again.
Quote:
Everyone seems to have an opinion on that issue, but no one truly knows because the franchise has never had all of the elements necessary to test a market. To know whether a market truly will embrace the sport, you need stable, marketing-savvy ownership, patient, well-reasoned management and success on the ice. In their 17 years in Arizona, the Coyotes have never had all three of those selling points at the same time. Most of the time, the franchise didn't even have two of the elements.
First article I've ever seen from a reporter on either side of the border willing to admit this. In the next month I suppose we will see how much the NHL cares about publicly financed arenas.

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02-02-2013, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by danishh View Post
That doesnt mean the NHL's commitment is everlasting. Each year the coyotes exist under NHL ownership (and even if sold), they cost every other owner money. The potential for future profit is there, given phoenix and arizona's population growth, but if the NHL can abandon Atlanta, a just as important market, they can abandon phoenix, and they will if it becomes apparent that there is no legitimate ownership interest.
I would have thought that was apparent several years ago.

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02-02-2013, 08:40 AM
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The Coyotes had served its usefulness to Bettman during cba hard ball negotiations being a mock representative of every NHL owner claiming to be in the poor house because of high salary costs for players. Now that the owners have their 2.2 billion share of the pie, Phoenix can be abandoned as an interest for hockey.

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02-02-2013, 08:52 AM
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They've done everything they can. It's just time to move on at this point.

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02-02-2013, 09:05 AM
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This 'commitment' will be tested at the end of the season. If there is still no ownership in place. It will come down to another 11th hour decision on COG on if they'll pony up more $$$ to keep this tale going.

Remember the league was about 10-15 minutes away from sending this team back to Winnipeg. Taking the time to see if the market can live up it's true potential becomes meaningless at that time.

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02-02-2013, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
Why does the NHL see Phoenix in particular as such a lynchpin for whatever they're trying to accomplish and not Atlanta?

Atlanta always had that potential as a regional center with a metro population of 5.3 million and a locally based media empire that could have made the Thrashers a real power house if the right ownership and on ice product ever aligned. And if we want to be naive about the NHL wanting to grow the game, it seemed like the Thrashers were onto something when they went out and loaded up on black players to appeal to the African American demographic.

Phoenix seems like a rather weird and insignificant market to make such a sustained, impassioned stand when there's Anaheim and Los Angeles so close to it already.
The NHL had no choice with Atlanta since ASG held the arena management rights. I'm sure the league would have liked to have kept the Thrashers there.

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02-02-2013, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by HockeyH3aven View Post
They've done everything they can. It's just time to move on at this point.
[batman] Not everything. Not yet [/batman]

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02-02-2013, 10:37 AM
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The more I hear about this the more it just sounds embarrassing.

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02-02-2013, 12:47 PM
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The NHL had no choice with Atlanta since ASG held the arena management rights. I'm sure the league would have liked to have kept the Thrashers there.
The ASG, and Bruce Levenson in particular, might be the only bunch of businessmen that can out connive the NHL and their other owners. As much as Bettman would have loved to keep the NHL in Atlanta he was happy to be rid of the ASG. How bad do you think David Stern wants rid of those idiots?

The ASG was able to successfully run the Thrashers into the ground post their hosting of the All Star game. They were able to bide their time, wait for their contractual relocation stipulation to pass, then refinance the terms of Philips arena which severed the Thrashers from being tied to the lease. Keep in mind the refi was very hush hush. Also, it's widely known that ASG did NOT want the team from the time they acquired them. The Thrashers were the "booby prize" tied to the arena and the Hawks. The players here knew about the ownership. Why do you think they lost Savard, Heatley, Hossa, and Kovy? Those guys all wanted reassurance that the ownership was committed to THEM and TO A WINNING TEAM. Ultimately, none of them re-signed in Atlanta. If Atlanta has the same ownership as Nashville, we'd see a successful franchise still in Philips arena.

Overall, I agree that Atlanta is a very desirable market. Number 8 market in the USA with a very active and growing youth and adult rec. hockey league and culture. But, until the ASG are out of Philips Arena and most likely Bettman out of office, there will be NO NHL in Atlanta.

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02-02-2013, 01:10 PM
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He says “ The NHL must continue commitment to Phoenix “. Sorry, but the NHL hasn’t been committed to keeping the team in Phoenix as of yet, so why start now.

People keep saying its Gary Bettman that insists the team stays in Glendale and that the NHL has bent over backwards to keep the team in Glendale. How? What have they done? NOTHING.

They bought the team out of bankruptcy because they had to, to prove that they control their franchises. It had nothing to do with Phoenix. They would have done the same for any team in any city if someone tried owning a team via a back door.

The only people that have made a commitment to keeping this team where it is are the taxpayers of Glendale by way of their city council for right or wrong. Bettman was all ready to ship this team to Winnipeg, but it was the CoG that stopped that move, not the NHL.

There is something the NHL could do to show their commitment to the Phoenix market… Lower the sale price for this team to its true market value. That way maybe someone would buy the team without having to get a $320M subsidy. You won’t know until you try, but so far the NHL would go down that road.

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02-02-2013, 01:18 PM
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Lower the sale price for this team to its true market value.
We may yet see that. No one knows where the NHL's head is at right now. Or the council. I suspect in a month things will be much more clear. If we don't have a name, a potential lease and meetings by the end of March, it's over.

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