NHL Reportedly Reaches Agreement to Sell Phoenix Coyotes

Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2013

January 9, 2013; New York, NY, USA; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman addresses the National Hockey League lockout during a press conference at the Westin New York in Times Square. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It appears that the NHL has finally found a buyer for the Phoenix Coyotes franchise.

According Chris Morgan of Fox Sports Arizona, the George Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc-led Renaissance Sports and Entertainment group have come to terms on a deal to purchase the team from the league.

Per the report, the next step in the process will be for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, deputy commissioner Bill Daly, Gosbee and LeBlanc to meet with city officials and make the deal official. That meeting is currently set to take place on Tuesday, May 28.

One issue has already been resolved.

According to ESPN, general manager Don Maloney has been signed to a long-term contract. It's a fitting reward for a man who has stuck around since 2007.

The team has been owned by the NHL since 2009, when then-owner Jerry Moyes was forced to declare bankruptcy, selling the team to the league for $140 million.

According to Fox Sports Arizona, the issue of funding for Jobing.com Arena could be a contentious one for the new ownership group and the Glendale City Council. According to The Arizona Republic, the true operating cost for the arena is around $5.1 to $5.5 million per year.

"That is about $10 million to $20 million a year less than the Glendale City Council has agreed to pay hockey-related interests to manage the facility in recent years," according to The Arizona Republic.

After finishing the 2013 season with 51 points and just outside of a playoff berth, the Coyotes will be looking to transform the current roster into a playoff contender.