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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Coyotes sale hits another dead end

Jamison won't give up after missing deadline

Posted: 02/1/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Greg Jamison has missed his deadline to buy the Phoenix Coyotes before a lease agreement with the City of Glendale expires.

The former CEO of the San Jose Sharks had until midnight Thursday to buy the team from the NHL under the terms of the lease agreement with Glendale, but was unable to get the money or investors he needed in time to hit the deadline.

"We will not be able to complete our purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes today in time to meet our deadline with the City of Glendale," Jamison said in a statement. "However, our journey to purchase the Coyotes will continue. We realize this will require additional conversations with the city of Glendale and the NHL. We still believe we can reach an agreement that satisfies everyone. We hope negotiations with the city proceed as smoothly as possible, as everyone involved wants the Coyotes to remain in Arizona."

Jamison had emerged as the latest and arguably best chance for the Coyotes to land an owner after more than three years of being run by the league. He reached a 20-year, $308- million lease agreement with Glendale for Jobing.com Arena in the fall, creating what was believed to be a clear path to ending the Coyotes' up-and-down ownership saga.

Instead, the uncertainty with the franchise will continue with still no end in sight.

"To the Arizona's sports and hockey fans, and the City of Glendale, we appreciate your patience and diligence," Jamison said. "We wish everything was completed today as we worked extremely hard on the deal. However, we have taken significant steps to keep the Coyotes in Glendale for the long-term. I've seen first-hand the wonderful support Arizona hockey fans have provided the Coyotes and we will continue our efforts to keep the NHL in Arizona."

Glendale spokeswoman Julie Frisoni said the city will have a statement on Jamison missing the deadline on Friday, after the NHL issues one of its own.

The latest twist in the Coyotes' search for an owner leaves open the possibility that new bidders could give Jamison competition to buy the team.

To the Coyotes players and coaches, it came as no surprise after years of watching stops and starts in the process.

"Obviously, it's a frustrating time, but we have no control over it," Coyotes goalie Mike Smith said. "It's something we can't really solve, otherwise we'd buy the team if we could. We've just got to worry about winning hockey games and playing to the best of our abilities, and hopefully it'll work itself out."

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 1, 2013 C2

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