Phoenix Coyotes: Are They About to Move to Winnipeg?

Imtiaz FerdousCorrespondent IIApril 14, 2011

GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 08:  NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during a press conference before the NHL game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Phoenix Coyotes at Arena on March 8, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

So the saga continues.

As we all know, it all began last year when the Coyotes started borrowing money from the NHL. To be fair, it actually began when the Coyotes moved from Winnipeg to Phoenix. The team has been bleeding money ever since.

Estimated losses of $30 million per year are huge considering the team is worth less than $200 million.

Last year, the Coyotes borrowed money from the NHL. The NHL denied this, saying that is completely false. However, halfway through the year, they admitted this was true. Then there was a long, drawn-out legal battle between the NHL and Jim Balsillie. The judge was forced to rule in favour of the NHL because he could not find a reason to break NHL by-laws.

However, the judge warned the NHL that this is a fiasco because the other bidders they had lined up were clearly never serious. Commissioner Gary Bettman was happy, even though the league is suffering.

As a result, the NHL ended up owning the Coyotes.

The next phase came when Matthew Hulsizer said he would buy the team and keep it in Phoenix. However, he would have to float bonds to buy the Coyotes. He did not wish to finance it all himself.

It seems nobody would buy the bonds, because why would anybody help someone else finance purchasing a sports team when they know it will never make money? As a result, they decided to not buy and he could finance it.

On top of all that, the city of Glendale is arguing that the lease on Arena (where the Coyotes play) has a long lease left that the city will not allow the Coyotes to get out of. Realistically, there is no way on earth that the Coyotes will be able to pay. As a result they need to find a way to let the Coyotes buy out the lease, because if they go bankrupt, the city will get nothing.

Now, on top of all that is the fact that Sportsnet has reported that the Phoenix Coyotes are moving to Winnipeg. They said as soon as Phoenix is eliminated from the playoffs, the announcement will be made.

I find it amusing that they said as soon as Phoenix is eliminated from the playoffs and never add, "...or if they win the Stanley Cup," as if they have no chance.

Bill Daly of the NHL has refuted this, saying that is completely false. However, can we really trust them? They also said the NHL did not lend money to the Coyotes last year.

Now, the first question is, if this were to happen, would the lease on Arena have to be bought out? If it does, then it's wonderful, because the city should get something back.

The second question is, since the NHL put so much money into the Coyotes, how much will they get back and how will that money be distributed? In fact, where did the NHL get the money to finance these things? Did they take it out of revenue sharing? Did they have an emergency fund? These are all questions that need to be asked.

In conclusion, I think this is the only way this saga ends. The Coyotes have to move back to Winnipeg.

People may argue that the team lost money and that is why they left. The main issue there was the lack of corporate sponsors. Besides, losing their team will make the fans come back in droves and stay because they don't want to lose it again.

I absolutely love this deal. The joke is over! Winnipeg has their team back now!