Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Don't get knickers in knot over latest Coyotes rumours

  • Print

So, Victor Newman has ordered his minions to fire up the Gulfstream and chart a course for Phoenix. Seems the main villian from the Young and the Restless wants to buy himself a hockey team.

Or maybe it's Stefano DiMera coming ashore after months in his submarine to kick the tires on the Phoenix Coyotes. Beating up on the folks on Days of Our Lives isn't enough to keep him busy, so look out Ron McLean and Gary Bettman and Brian Burke. There could be a new bully in town.

News coming out of the desert the last couple of days has a mystery buyer now interested in purchasing the Yotes. In a related note, the boys from Ice Edge are out of the running but are now putting together a no-cash-for-a-new-building deal in Thunder Bay to house an ECHL franchise. Talk about your left turns.

We've heard from credible sources that there is no new buyer in Phoenix and we've heard from equally plugged-in folks that there is some fire behind this smoke.

Regardless, there is nothing in such news that should elicit much of a response from NHL loving Winnipeggers.

And there will likely be lots more news just like this. Before this deal is put to bed we might meet a sheik, a Texan, a Russian playboy or even a Philadelphia lawyer, all with sights on owning an NHL franchise.

And maybe one of them will get it done.

But Winnipeg's role in this game has already been played. Mark Chipman and his True North Sports and Entertainment group have done their thing. There's nothing more for them to do but wait and see what happens.

When NHL commissioner Bettman told the city of Glendale back in May to either find a buyer for the Coyotes to keep the team in Phoenix or else, the Free Press learned True North was Bettman's other option.

"The owners currently have a bona fide offer from a viable purchaser who would relocate the hockey team to another market for the 2010-11 season and contemplates that the owners (the NHL) would break even on their investment in the team through the end of the 2009-10 NHL season as well as the NHL potentially receiving a relocation fee," read a document between the league and Glendale city council.


Glendale was given a deadline of Dec. 31 to find a buyer to keep the team in Arena.

True North has made its offer and now can do nothing but wait. Same goes for those hoping and praying to see the NHL take up permanent residence in Manitoba.

There's no bidding war between True North and the city of Glendale. There's not even a guarantee that the NHL views Dec. 31 as a hard and fast date.

It would behoove us not to get our panties in a knot, folks.

Hey, do we want the Coyotes to come back to Winnipeg? Of course. But getting all sweaty every time the rumour mill kicks out a sultan or a tire king or even the lady who owned the Chiefs in Slapshot does no good. In fact, it's likely bad for our collective blood pressure.

There's a guy in Phoenix who has been emailing me regularly since May telling me that he 'knew for sure that Ice Edge would land the Coyotes,' and that Winnipeg was just being used. Oddly, he hasn't emailed me for a few days.

Nobody knows what will happen where this deal is concerned. Maybe a billionaire will surface and actually have the money to buy the team and determine it's a solid investment and Phoenix will keep NHL hockey.

Maybe Glendale city council will decide keeping the Coyotes is paramount -- no matter how expensive for their constituents -- and give a potential buyer all the breaks they want.

Or, perhaps time will run out in Phoenix and Bettman and True North will come to an agreement and we can begin fighting over what to call our team.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 1, 2010 C1

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Stephen Harper announces increased support for Canadian child protection agencies

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • An American White Pelican takes flight from the banks of the Red River in Lockport, MB. A group of pelicans is referred to as a ‘pod’ and the American White Pelican is the only pelican species to have a horn on its bill. May 16, 2012. SARAH O. SWENSON / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • Carolyn Kavanagh(10) had this large dragonfly land on her while spending time at Winnetka Lake, Ontario. photo by Andrea Kavanagh (mom0 show us your summer winnipeg free press

View More Gallery Photos

About Gary Lawless

Gary Lawless is the Free Press sports columnist and co-host of the Hustler and Lawless show on TSN 1290 Winnipeg and
Lawless began covering sports as a rookie reporter at The Chronicle-Journal in Thunder Bay after graduating from journalism school at Durham College in Ontario.
After a Grey Cup winning stint with the Toronto Argonauts in the communications department, Lawless returned to Thunder Bay as sports editor.
In 1999 he joined the Free Press and after working on the night sports desk moved back into the field where he covered pro hockey, baseball and football beats prior to being named columnist.


Are you concerned about the number of homicides so far this year?

View Results

Ads by Google