President Obama to Oversee Government Takeover of Coyotes

Jeffery StonerCorrespondent IMay 22, 2009

WASHINGTON - MAY 9:  In this handout provide by the White House, U.S. President Barack Obama plays basketball at Fort McNair on May 9, 2009 in Washington, DC. Obama is serving as the 44th President of the U.S. and the first African-American to be elected to the office of President in the history of the United States.  (Photo by Pete Souza/White House via Getty Images)

In a surprise announcement, US President Barack Obama announced earlier today that a new government organization is being created to oversee the takeover of the fledgling Phoenix Coyote hockey franchise.

“It is in our national interest to have a profitable, stable, and fan-friendly hockey industry within this nation.  This isn’t something we want to outsource,” Obama said in a prepared statement.  “If we let the Coyotes move to Winnipeg or Hamilton, it might not be long until my Blackhawks have moved to the Yukon.”

Obama also couldn’t resist a good-natured jab at his rival for the Oval Office.  “In the spirit of bringing America together, I’m going to try to save an organization in John McCain’s backyard.”

The deal surprised many Obama critics and supporters, who always knew the President as an avid basketball fan.

Although the details have yet to be announced, sources indicate the ownership would be split between the US Treasury and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA). 

Many Republicans expressed concern in both the increasing nationalization of formerly private industries and the influence of labor unions in the negotiation of these deals.

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One lawmaker stated, “With the NHLPA directly responsible for negotiating the salaries of the Coyote players, the salary cap might be exceeded with only six players on the roster.”

Several Coyotes countered with the fact that this would make line changes much easier, showing the added efficiency of organized labor involvement.

Research In Motion co-CEO, Jim Balsillie, who is trying to purchase the franchise out of bankruptcy with the intent of moving them to Ontario, was expectedly upset at the news. 

“The United States thinks it can police the world,” the Canadian said.  “The President has involved himself in a situation he had no right to get into.  He should be forced out of the discussion, and given a game misconduct per the NHL’s ‘instigator penalty’ rule.”

Part of the deal for government operation, would be the naming rights of the Coyote’s barn.  Currently known as Jobing.com Arena, it is soon to be called IRS Ice.

The Coyotes might only have a handful of players next year, but at least the name of the Arena will make it a place that few NHL teams want to visit.


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