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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Few U.S. teams will benefit from Canadian TV deal as much as Coyotes

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PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- It has been over a decade since the Phoenix Coyotes played in Canada as the Winnipeg Jets.

Still, the NHL's new television rights deal should help the Coyotes almost as much as the seven Canadian teams.

Thanks to the $5.2-billion exclusive rights deal with Rogers that begins next season, every team will have more money to work with.

President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc knows that for his team it's even more important because every dollar matters so much.

LeBlanc said the Coyotes factored a new TV deal into their business plan, but a windfall of these proportions came as a pleasant surprise.

"We thought that the TV deal was going to be a home run," he said. "I didn't expect it to be a grand slam."

Because of the TV deal and other business aspects, the Coyotes don't have to worry about the rapidly increasing salary cap.

Phoenix isn't a floor team under this ownership group, and LeBlanc and his staff figured increases into their internal budget in the next few years.

One thing that could help substantially is if the Coyotes land an outdoor game close to next year's Super Bowl.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said on the Fan 590 in Toronto the Coyotes had expressed interest in hosting a "Stadium Series' game, something LeBlanc confirmed with the caveat nothing was officially in place.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 10, 2013 D7

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