Weary fans of the beleaguered Phoenix Coyotes franchise took yet another hit Monday morning in the organization's seemingly endless ownership saga. To the dismay of Glendale residents, longtime potential buyer Matthew Hulsizer has ended his bid to buy the struggling NHL team.
The Chicago businessman once seemed to be a virtual lock to purchase the Coyotes before the desert-based Goldwater Institute interfered with any plans, sinking the talks with a counterclaim regarding city funding. With the issue of relocation drawing nearer, Glendale poured in another $25 million to the NHL in an effort to ward off leering Winnipeg financiers. Surprisingly, the move worked -- at the expense of the Atlanta Thrashers -- and the city reemerged at the bargaining table with a newfound upper-hand.
An upper-hand that apparently became too much for Hulsizer to handle. According to a report in the Phoenix Business Journal, an unnamed official claimed that the Hulsizer group did not wish to sludge through another round of discussions that held no foreseeable end.
The frustration is visibly mounting in Phoenix. Despite a multi-year struggle to regain legitimacy, the franchise remains no better off than it was in the beginning of the ordeal. SB Nation Arizona explains:
We said when the $25 million extension happened and the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg that the leverage had shifted to Glendale. One can imagine that they overplayed their hands and Hulsizer has simply moved on to other targets. Or, this latest news could just be part of the process of calling Glendale's bluff. The city claims to be negotiating again with Jerry Reinsdorf and some other mysterious owner.
Somehow, it's hard to imagine we are anywhere close to resolution and that only hurts the efforts of the Coyotes to rebuild their relationship with local sports fans.
Regardless of whether the Reinsdorf connection exists as mere speculation or actual fact, it is increasingly clear that no one wins from the stagnant nature of the current situation. For further coverage on the Phoenix Coyotes' ongoing ownership saga visit SB Nation's Five For Howling.