The roller coaster is back. The team the NHL just won't let die, the Phoenix Coyotes, nor their annoying wannabe buyers, Ice Edge Holdings are at it again.
First reported by the Winnipeg Free Press (surprise, surprise) Wednesday about the controversial group losing its right to negotiate with the city of Glendale, other media outlets now report the same thing, additionally adding Glendale itself says any potential deal may be in trouble .
So spin it all you want, all 1400 of you Coyotes fans still in Arizona, as well as the good-intentioned-but-clueless-when-it-comes-to-business Ice Edge Holdings. This comes from the mouth of the council that literally went in the tank and agreed to cover the team's losses next year by up to $25 million just to delay the inevitable move that is coming as I foreshadowed in May.
Once again, what's the big hold up? Money, of course. Ice Edge Holdings once again couldn't prove it had enough money to keep the "agreement" going forward by a June 18 deadline which would have prevented any other outside bidders like True North and Winnipeg or possibly Quebec, out.
Here we go again?
So, if you can't negotiate with the one city that actually apparently wants you evidenced by their willingness to absorb millions in projected loses, where exactly does that leave you as a potential bidder?
Back to square one?
What about the city?
Sure looks that way according to the Phoenix Business Journal , who I must say, has always done the best job at covering their fledgling team, ironic as that sounds. At least the writing staff there seems to care?
As someone who has wrote probably close to a dozen articles in the past ten months on returning hockey to traditional markets like Winnipeg, Quebec, or Hartford, while its once again funny to see Ice Edge Holdings fall, predictably, flat on their face, I'm getting quite sick of watching it, as I am sure the NHL must be too (even though they will of course deny it).
When I first heard about the two-month limit, I kept thinking how the NHL was going to extend the deadline since if Ice Edge is your last hope, your only hope at this point, you are in trouble.
I planned to write this headline sooner when I heard that Ice Edge had fallen out but was back in the bidding again but since they keep messing things up the same concept still applies and I haven't missed anything. Only difference is now I can simply fill in the blank with their latest mistake, that being losing their right to negotiate with the city of Glendale.
Remember, this group supposedly met with Commissioner Bettman after their initial bid (I know, I forget which one, too) failed, in order to discuss what they did wrong, and hopefully, how to not repeat it. Apparently they weren't listening or at least didn't learn anything.
Lack of professionalism, I guess at this point, is all one can say.
What more can you say that hasn't been said? This hodgepodge, rag-tag group of wanna-be, prospective owners seems to have a good heart but lacks the capital to actually move forward as they've proven over and over again.
They had until August 6th under the terms of the original Memorandum of Understanding to get a deal done (two months from when it was agreed upon June 8th) but in a league where deadlines apparently mean nothing, don't be surprised to see this arbitrary suggestive date moved back, especially if it looks like (falsified) progress is being made (allegedly).
Yawn, when will it end?
If you can't negotiate with your host city, who can?
Whose left, and what's the hold up of even keeping the orphan team there, anyway?
When will you just move on, NHL (Gary Bettman) and do the right thing and put this team in Canada, somewhere, anywhere, just to be rid of it? That's about the point I'm at.
Ice Edge, don't you have any pride left? Don't you just want to walk away and save face?
I'm starting to agree with the murmurs that you should try your hand at junior (read: token) ownership by combining with a larger conglomerate like True North or Quebecor and owning a team that way. At least, you can learn how a business is run and let people who actually have a business plan and know what they are doing, lead the effort since you obviously cannot.
This American-Canadian alliance of misfits, Ice Edge, cannot even get their [stuff] together to get into the league . What in the world would they do, once, God Forbid, they are actually approved as majority owners?
I predict, (but that would be stating the obvious) they'd end up relocating the team anyway to Canada within five years, since hockey's success in the desert is impossible regardless of business experience.
Just ask former owner Jerry Moyes or White Sox/Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, Ice Edge's only real competition for this team, and the 14 years hockey has actually existed in the desert with no profits.
Can you also imagine if Ice Edge faced any local, passionate, legit competition that actually wanted to keep the team in the desert? It would make them look even more bush-league than they already do.
Its almost at the point of "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."
That advice could ring true for both the league that continues to deny the inevitable move to Canada with spin rivaled only by the ownership group who wishes to court them.
Until the latest update on this mess...
Information from the Winnipeg Free Press, Phoenix Business Journal, and AZCentral.com directly contributed to the content of this article.