Not too long ago, Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs could barely spit out the words Goldwater Institute, so mad was she with the libertarian think-tank and its obstructionist ways.
Times change and Scruggs has asked the folks at Goldwater to have a sit-down and discuss the snagged sale of the Phoenix Coyotes.
Goldwater has been inviting the NHL, potential buyer Matthew Hulsizer and Glendale city council to get together and discuss the plight of the franchise for some time, but always with the unsettling caveat of having any meetings done in a public forum.
Glendale, feeling the heat of the NHL's internal franchise clock ticking, has now agreed to meet this concession. Reporters, with TV cameras, notepads and recorders, will be present, as well as members of the public in a meeting that will take place sometime Thursday, according to Goldwater representatives.
Where and when has yet to be released, but for Scruggs, who in March was threatening to sue Goldwater for $500 million over this issue, to ask for a sit-down, the situation must be dire.
Glendale has been trying to facilitate a sale of the Coyotes to Hulsizer for some time, but the deal they have constructed has been deemed illegal by Goldwater. The institute opposes Glendale's role in the proposed arrangement, saying it violates the gift clause in the State of Arizona's constitution, which prohibits government from giving corporations gifts, loans, grants or subsidies.
Glendale has proposed to subsidize Matthew Hulsizer's purchase of the Coyotes from the NHL with a $100-million purchase of parking rights at Jobing.com Arena.
Goldwater says those rights are already owned by Glendale and worth far less than $100 million, therefore making the deal illegal.
Don't expect Goldwater's position to change. Time and again, Goldwater's message has been misread and its will underestimated. The right-wing taxpayer lobby isn't interested in making deals. It is comprised of ideologues who oppose corporate welfare.
Goldwater has repeatedly said the way for the Coyotes to remain in Arizona is for Hulsizer, or some other buyer, to purchase the team with their own money.
Unless that's what Scruggs is coming to put on the table, expect this meeting to be over before the TV cameras get rolling.
-- Wheel of confusion: NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell has a tough job, but the league's seemingly inconsistent approach to punishment puts him rightly in the line of fire. Campbell gave Canucks winger Raffi Torres a free pass for his high hit on Brent Seabrooke, then a day later handed out one-game bans to Tampa's Steve Downie and Pittsburgh's Chris Kunitz for head-shot offences.
The NHL needs to decide what it wants to be. If it's Rollerball, fine, let the carnage continue. But if it's a responsible league with concern for the safety of its players, then start acting like it. Torres deserved a game at the very least, while Downie and Kunitz should be out for a minimum of four games.
And this notion that a playoff game counts more than a regular-season game is ridiculous. A concussion doesn't feel any different to a victim whether its October or April.
Clean it up, NHL, or prepare to sink to the depths of dogfighting, MMA and other blood sports.
-- Bottom six: It's fairly easy to discern the Hamilton Bulldogs possess the AHL's top trio in Nigel Dawes, Dustin Boyd and Aaron Palushaj. But an argument can be made that the Moose have the league's best group of bottom-six forwards.
What's better to have at this time of year is open to interpretation, but Manitoba's third line of Alex Bolduc, Guillaume Desbiens and Shawn Weller, followed by the fourth line of Rick Rypien, Garth Murray and Aaron Volpatti make for good grit.
Give this group a lead and watch them grind away the minutes. As a group, there's lots of defensive savvy, physical presence and role acceptance.
There's no question Manitoba has the complementary players, but whether its top-liners can do enough to hand games over to the slugs to close out remains to be seen.