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Seattle is Plan B for Phoenix Coyotes: a crazy 5 days in NHL to Seattle news

Here is a summary of activity that went down over the last 5 days with links to the most important articles/stories.

Wednesday June 12, 2013:

Bettman and Daly triggered the chain of events with interviews saying that they could relocate the Phoenix Coyotes next season if the City of Glendale and the Renaissance Group. The Renaissance Group (RSE) is the interested party in purchasing the Coyotes with the intent to keep them in Glendale. Bettman was very clear he didn’t get into specifics on where the team could move and noted said something to the effect that it was not fair to the fans in those cities.

This was the catalyst that led to Ken Campbell publishing an article later in the day saying the potential relocation city is Seattle and not Quebec. Quebec has been long favored by the hockey community as the destination of the Coyotes should they relocate.

Thursday June 13, 2013:

Not picked up by many, Pierre Maguire gave an interview with a Montreal Sports Radio station where he talked about the rumors about Seattle being the back up option. He said he spoke to the potential (backup) owner and said he was extremely wealthy and money is not an issue. This is when I recognized this was not just a random reporters opinion/speculation. First, he talked to the potential owner and second he was very very wealthy which implied he could work out some arrangements with Hansen to being the Arena without the guarantee of an NBA team. This was my tipping point. Interview is here (go to June 13th post at the ~16:45 mark)

Friday June 13, 2013:

Late in the day a story broke out of Arizona that the gap between RSE and the City of Glendale had been bridged. Craig Morgan is a top notch journalist and very fact based so the story is very credible. Think of this as a preliminary deal that was negotiated between the city manager and RSE. It still needs to be taken back to the Glendale City Council for Review (6/18) and final approval (6/25).

Saturday June 13, 2013:

During the second intermission of Game 2, (While I was watching on NBCsn at a local watering hole) CBC broke more details about the backup plan. Specifically that the Vancouver Canucks were blocked from moving their AHL team affiliate from playing in the Key Arena next year. It wasn’t clear if the City or the League blocked it. Also revealed was identification of two people from the ownership group that will be moving the team to Seattle: Here is the Hot Stove that trigger the rest of the hockey world to pay attention.

Sunday June 13, 2013:

With a local perspective Chris Daniels uncovers that both Gary Bettman and members of the potential NHL franchise in Seattle have met with the Mayor and other Seattle city officials. Important because this confirms that the NHL is ok with KeyArena as a temp site and that the MOU could be reworked to lead with NHL vs. NBA. (It appears that Hansen is in the loop on all of this progress and helping with facilitation)

Everything else is really just a derivative off of the above. It is being reported everywhere but I’ve seen very little new info beyond the articles I have linked to above.

Important to stress that Seattle is a Plan B/contingency should things in Glendale not work out which we will know by next Tuesday and should hear some more rumblings tonight or tomorrow. Two solid articles laying out next steps/current situation located here: Globe and Mail & one out of Arizona.

John Barr
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