Winnipeg’s NHL dreams dashed again

Glendale, Ariz. council votes to cover Coyotes’ losses


Hopes that Winnipeg could once again host an NHL team took yet another blow yesterday, as councillors in Glendale, Ariz. voted to cover the Phoenix Coyotes losses up to $25 million. The resolution means the team will stay put through the 2010-11 season, while councillors surprised observers with the revelation that the exurb remains in negotiations with two potential buyers of the team—Jerry Reinsdorf and Ice Edge Holdings. This contradicts earlier reports that both parties had thrown in the towel on purchasing the Coyotes. The news had raised optimism in Winnipeg that the club would be coming back to the city after heading south in 1995. The Coyotes are currently under league ownership. But the NHL is said to have an offer on the table backed by billionaire David Thomson that would see the team moved back to the ‘Peg, where it was known as the Jets.

Arizona Central

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Winnipeg’s NHL dreams dashed again

  1. People need to stop listening to rumours and NHL rhetoric…. the NHL will not allow a team to move to Canada — not Winnepeg, not Quebec City, not Hamilton, not Kitchener — it does not further their strategy to get US network contracts which would make a new Canadian team's profits pale in comparison. Vegas will get a team before any Canadian city.

    • The thing is – and I'm not disagreeing with you – but even US hockey fans realize it would be a better league with Winnipeg, Quebec City, etc.

  2. You do realize that 3 of the top 5 teams making the most revenue are Canadian?…….

    • And all the Canadian teams have been in the black for some time now…

  3. Gary Bettman is turning the NHL into a joke. Why would the nhl allow Phoenix to even try to make a go of it. They had 14 years to try to make it work and averaged 30 million dollars in debt every year. All this is doing is prolonging the eventual move. It is really hard to believe that a guy who's tried so hard to take NHL to another level has actually messed it up so bad that around 8 teams are looking at bankruptsy. What is it going to take for the owners to realize that they need to fire Gary Betman. Trust me anyone can do better. By the way Winnipeg will get a team eventually it is just a matter of time. It will probable happen the day after Betman is gone.

    • I would say… Get rid of Bettman. The next logical move would be to appoint No. 99 or Steve Yzerman as commissioner. You need someone who is hockey minded. You can always hire a marketing person to make suggestions, but the person at the top needs to be from hockey! Short of that… the Canadian teams should pull out of the NHL and form our own league like the CFL is to the NFL. Because our dollar is at par we can compete with contracts and hopefully draw our Canadian players back to Canada.

  4. Any chance the Leafs can go to Winnipeg Phoenix go to Toronto?

  5. I very glad that the NHL is not coming to Winnipeg. It would only be a matter of time before public dollars would be needed to support an NHL team here, and to be honest we have more important things to spend our civic and provincial dollars on.

    • Not making any excuses for Phoenix, but the Jets(and Nordiques) moved to due to economic reasons. The Can Buck was low worth only .65 cents and they could not survive due to high costs of expenses ie salaries paid in USD. Currently both dollars are close to parity. What happens when the US economy rebounds and the US Dollar soars versus the Loonie?

    • if you don't know what you are speaking about then don't speak……David Thompson is worth 19 billion dollars……he owns the mts center, he would own the team, he would own the land…there would be no public dollars of any sort……thats what makes it so great…plus mts center is the third most active building in north america….which means he makes all the money off kids shows, concerts or anything else at the mts center……once again know your facts before you blog……

  6. Did anyone catch Bettman's interview with Scott Oake yesterday during the 2nd intermission of the Canucks game? I just want to punch Bettman in the face. He's pretty smug for a guy running a league with as many ownership problems as it has.

    Then again, he has managed to hang onto his job for the better part of 15 years, so maybe I'm the idiot.

    • Bettman IS the poster boy for the Peter Principle. Not a doubt about it. His level of malicious incompetence is simply breathtaking. That also says plenty about the owners that support his tenure…. If there ever was a time to set up an alternate league, perhaps this is it… but I do love the history of the NHL…

  7. Jamie G, you're absolutely right, Winnipeg may be able to afford the team, and maybe pack the stands regularly, but the profit wouldn't be there. Profit comes from very large cities becoming fans and 14 year olds buying lots of paraphenilia, but more importantly the US television audience is 10X larger, thus the advertising contracts are 10X more lucrative.

    Although Nashville for instance is only a city of 650,000 people same as Winnipeg, it's commercial footprint area is 2 million versus Winnipeg at 1 million, and then the TV coverage goes out to 10X the viewers…'s a no-brainer.

    • clp…. the metric is not necessarily market size but ratings. Ad dollars are generated on rating points in markets. Nashville may have a larger media footprint but likely much lower local viewer-ship for hockey. Winnipeg may have a market area half the size of Nashville but I would estimate 50%+ of the market would watch hockey on TV, making Winnipeg a more valuable media market for hockey..

  8. This is great. I'm sure the tax payers of Glendale are super-excited to be footing the bill for a money losing team. I know I'd be ecstatic!!! The councillors of Glendale should all be fired for such an irresponsible act. The residents should voice their opinions, I'm sure the majority would be against this. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

  9. Kyle – everyone realizes that, except Bettman.

  10. How can a city of 250,000 afford this much corporate welfare? Enjoy your $100/head hockey tax, Glendale.

  11. Another example of the US Government's poor fiscal responsibility. The City of Glendale is $14.5M in the hole and they have just agreed to pony up $20-$25M to pay for athletes million dollar salaries. I'm sure the people in Arizona who lost their homes to foreclosure appreciate this irresponsible use of tax payer money. The city councilors should be ashamed of themselves.

  12. N/Wof Van says this I say. The $8 million Bettman is an extension of his ego and should be paid in Parker Bros Monopoly $ only. As for Glendales citizens they should have taken J Bassillie`s offer last year. Now let them subsidize Bettmans Folly and lets watch some other NHL owners panic. The sooner the NHL "Bored of Guvs" fire Bettman the better for the NHL and none too soon.

  13. What a comedy of errors…

    A US city spending money they don't have (and wouldn't be their's in the first place) on things they don't need (or seem to want), while depriving Canadians of something they do want and can afford. Welcome to Arizona, where the government is hard at work making sure everyone loses…

  14. this is a joke betman is the biggest asshole ever, he talks like a fricken penguin

  15. I wonder why I don't read Maclean's all that often? Could be they can't fact check – the Jets left in 1996, not '95 as reported in the story.
    That said, Winnipeg is nothing more than a pawn. If there was a legitimate owner, playing by league accepted (i.e. old boys, our way or the highway = not Balsillie) for anywhere BUT Winnipeg, the team would have been gone Monday. Bettman allowed Glendale to have an extension because he couldn't bear the egg on his face from the team going to Winnipeg. I don't think he's wholly opposed to a team in Winnipeg but do believe he's wholly opposed to Phoenix going BACK to Winnipeg because of the embarassment factor. So Glendale agreeing buys time for someone in Arizona or elsewhere to pony up the cash.
    Thompson fits as an owner and Winnipeg will get a team in time, quite possibly Atlanta, but never Phoenix.

  16. Why on earth would the NHL put a team back in that frozen hell hole? Why would any player want to move his family there? The cold, the suicide rate, the car thefts, the floods, the giant blackflies. Somebody help me out.__

    • ron are you gay?