The NHL and City of Glendale, Ariz., have reached an agreement that ensures the Phoenix Coyotes will remain in the desert for at least another season, TSN reported Friday.
Sources told the network that Glendale will cover operating costs of up to US$25 million for the 2010-11 season.
The league, which purchased the Coyotes out of bankruptcy last fall, has demanded that payment so that it has no liability for losses should the Coyotes remain in the Phoenix suburb.
The NHL operated the franchise last season and is believed to have lost up to $30 million.
It appears likely that the NHL will now negotiate a short-term lease for Jobing.com Arena in Glendale.
Meanwhile, a search for owners to keep the team in Arizona continues.
Sources told TSN that Glendale city officials also talked with representatives from Ice Edge Holdings on Friday. Ice Edge, which has been attempting to purchase the franchise and keep the team in Glendale, are reluctant to engage in further discussions with the city without exclusive negotiating rights.
Winnipeg-based Truth North Sports and Entertainment, which has had some serious discussions with the NHL about relocating the team, would not want to keep the team in Phoenix. The franchise moved from Winnipeg in 1996.
The terms of the bankruptcy sale allow the NHL to move the team to another location by June 30 if a suitable buyer cannot be found to keep the team in Phoenix.