June 26 Deadline To Keep Coyotes in Phoenix

Mike Burse@Burse21Correspondent IJune 22, 2009

LAS VEGAS - JUNE 18:  NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during the 2009 NHL Awards at The Pearl concert theater at the Palms Casino Resort June 18, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for NHL)

The National Hockey League has set June 26, 2009 as the deadline for a local ownership group to step up and put in an offer to purchase the Coyotes franchise.

Failing an offer from local ownership that wants to keep the team in Phoenix, the NHL will then look for another owner that can relocate the franchise. The NHL does state that they will then run the Coyotes in Phoenix for the 2009-2010 season as there is not enough time to relocate them for the start of this season.

The franchise will be moved in time for the 2010-2011 season if an owner is not found to keep the franchise in Phoenix.

Looks like the Coyotes may be playing in an empty arena for much of next season if the Friday deadline passes without an offer to purchase.

Jim Balsillie's bid will be considered by the NHL if there are no bids for local ownership by June 26. Now if he can be patient and play nice from here on in he may indeed achieve his dream of bringing a seventh NHL franchise to Canada.