NHL Playoffs 2011: Coyotes Out of Postseason ... and Maybe Phoenix, Too

Kevin GoffContributor IApril 21, 2011

GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 20:  (L-R) Radim Vrbata #17, Shane Doan #19 and Keith Yandle #3 of the Phoenix Coyotes react after being defeated by the Detroit Red Wings in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on April 20, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Red Wings defeated the Coyotes 6-3 to win the series 4-0.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Even watching the game from home, there was a certain feeling in the air.

After Detroit finished off their four-game sweep of the Phoenix Coyotes with a 6-3 victory, almost everybody had the same thought running through their head.

Is this the last game that the NHL will see in Phoenix?

All things considered, it is quite possible.

The league has owned the franchise ever since they went into bankruptcy two years ago, and despite the fact that several potential owners have stepped forward with plans to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix, nothing has been able to stick.

Even the most recent hope for the Coyotes, Matthew Hulsizer, may now see his bid to become owner of the Coyotes go belly-up because of a lawsuit brought up by the Goldwater Institute to block the sale. 

The reasoning behind Goldwater's lawsuit is that the city of Glendale would be giving a loan to Mr. Hulsizer, which they say they plan to repay using parking revenues.

The issue Goldwater takes with this is that it puts the taxpayer at risk by using taxpayer money to give the loan, and Hulsizer isn't putting in an equal amount of money in order to buy the team. 

Putting the taxpayers in this kind of a situation is against Arizona state law.

Goldwater cites the best way to solve this issue as well. 

They point out that the Buffalo Sabres were sold to a new owner who bought them with his own money, which puts the taxpayers at absolutely no risk.

So in order to keep the Coyotes is Phoenix, it seems that Hulsizer, or somebody out there, is going to have to pony up their own money if they want to buy the team.

Coming back to the actual sport of hockey, one can't help but be in awe of the fact that this has been going on for two years now and the Coyotes have managed to make the playoffs in both of those seasons.

The players and coaches deserve an incredible amount of credit for being able to come to work in a situation where they literally have no idea what the outcome is going to be, and they are still able to perform at the high level they have. 

Regardless of who ends up owning this team, the entire hockey world should be very proud of this franchise for still coming out and putting its best foot forward and competing their hearts out every night. 

So we can debate all we want about whether this team should or shouldn't stay in Phoenix, and we will, but let's all give this team their due. 

Congratulations, Coyotes, you guys have played a great season. We'll see you next year, wherever you may be.