Phoenix Coyotes fans, the end of uncertainty may be near! After a recent development, the Coyotes ownership saga finally seems poised to come to an end. An end which would keep the hockey franchise in the Valley permanently.
The city of Glendale announced on Friday that it has reached an agreement in principle with Chicago investor Matthew Hulsizer on a new lease for the Coyotes to continue playing at Jobing.com Arena. With that agreement in place, Hulsizer will now shift his attention toward formally purchasing the team from its current owner, the National Hockey League.
Much unlike the prior story line of the Coyotes ownership struggle, Hulsizer’s purchase of the team from the NHL seems certain. Well, almost certain.
For example, all of the involved parties are eager to reach an agreement. Bill Daly, the NHL’s Deputy Commissioner, recently released a statement illustrating the NHL’s intention to “[work] closely with the Hulsizer group and [to move] quickly toward[s] the conclusion of [the] process.” Additionally, both Glendale and Hulsizer have deposited $25 million as a demonstration of their commitment to the transaction.
But, as to be expected, the completion of the sale hinges upon the price. ESPN recently reported that Hulsizer hopes to close the deal at the NHL’s asking price. An asking price that is speculated to be between $165 million and $170 million, which would cover all of the NHL’s incurred losses since obtaining the team last year.
However, a separate report claims that Hulsizer is only willing to pay $140 million, and thus he will rely on Glendale to cough up the difference. Would Glendale be willing to do so? Their recent statement seems to suggest that they would, as they have already foreshadowed the need for any completed transaction to obtain “formal approval by the NHL Board of Governors.”
The NHL has set a deadline of December 31st to find a local buyer before exploring relocation. Let’s hope Hulsizer is that buyer.
Otherwise, the team may slip back to a certain Canadian city desperately looking for a “fish to fry.”