A new attempt at securing the purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes franchise could emerge as early as next week, according to multiple reports.
Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers told Paul Giblin of USA Today that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman informed him that a group of investors could be in place by next week. The intention of the NHL is to keep the team in Glendale. According to Weiers, he has yet to be informed of who the investors are and NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly declined comment when pressed for their identities.
Canadian financier George Gosbee is believed to be part of a group of Canadian investors who are interested in buying the Coyotes, according to a report by Scott Burnside of ESPN on Thursday morning. Burnside cites a source who says they could close on the deal as early as next week.
Considering the concurrent timelines in the two reports, one would venture to guess there is a correlation.
If the Coyotes were to be sold for the reported asking price of $170 million next week, the new ownership group would look to secure a lease agreement with the city of Glendale in order to keep the team in Phoenix. While that was a point of contention during Greg Jamison's failed attempt at buying the team, Burnside believes it won't be an issue:
But it's believed that if an agreement is reached with the league for the sale of the team, something that has not been accomplished in the past because the focus has been primarily on the lease agreement, a new lease agreement that would keep the team in Glendale long-term should be achievable.
The Glendale City Council hired Beacon Sports Capital on Tuesday to solicit bids from management companies to run the arena, as well as handle negotiations with prospective owners of the Coyotes franchise.