Here's what we know about the Phoenix Coyotes sale situation right now:
- There are groups interested in purchasing the team and keeping them in Glendale, Ariz.
- There are plenty of groups interested in purchasing the team and moving them elsewhere, be it Quebec City, Seattle, Saskatoon or some other location.
- The NHL wants the team to stay in Arizona -- but they're beginning to realize that might not be an option. They can't wait forever for a sale. They're still operating the team.
- The City of Glendale needs the team to stay, thanks to a gigantic money pit of a City-owned arena that needs a regular tenant. Yet we know that until a new owner is found, Glendale is paying the NHL $25 million per season to keep the team around.
So, has there been any progress in sale negotiations? It doesn't appear that way, but according to a report in the Arizona Republic, there are at least three groups in the running to purchase the team and keep them in Glendale. Who are they?
[Coyotes President Mike] Nealy said that more than three groups are working to buy the team and keep it in Glendale, although he would not elaborate on their identities.
Former San Jose Sharks chief executive Greg Jamison's group has been working to pull together funds to buy the team. A spokesman for a second group led by ex-Arizona lawmaker John Kaites and Chicago sports magnate Jerry Reinsdorf recently said they remain interested.
The identities of the other groups are unknown.
It was reported by multiple sources in February that Jamison's group was close to a deal, but there's been nothing but curious radio silence on that front since. The recent report in the Republic states that Jamison's group is also interested in purchasing Jobing.com Arena from the City of Glendale, which likely complicates the deal quite a bit.
The Coyotes play their final regular season game on Tuesday, and with the playoff less than a certainty, the ownership situation much less than a certainty, and with interests in Seattle, Quebec City and elsewhere breathing down everybody's neck, the fear that it could be the last NHL game in Arizona is a real one.
Meanwhile, the local government leaders that put the City of Glendale into this entire mess? They're stepping down, although it does appear as though soon-to-retire Mayor Elaine Scruggs still has the support of at least some local residents.
For more on the Coyotes, including actual on-ice hockey stuff, check in with Five For Howling.