True North confirmed as owner in waiting

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The NHL has told the City of Glendale to sell the Phoenix Coyotes to a buyer willing to keep them in Arizona by Dec. 31 or the team will be moved to Winnipeg.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/05/2010 (4573 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The NHL has told the City of Glendale to sell the Phoenix Coyotes to a buyer willing to keep them in Arizona by Dec. 31 or the team will be moved to Winnipeg.

True North Sports and Entertainment, a group led by Mark Chipman and David Thomson, have had the framework of a relocation deal in place with the league for some time, and is the third party the league is referring to in an agreement reached between the NHL and the city of Glendale on Friday.

A document sent by the league to the city of Glendale last week says the NHL has 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.

JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS archives Manitoba Moose chairman and part-owner Mark Chipman has been quietly watching for an opportunity to land an NHL team for Winnipeg.

True North had no comment when reached on Saturday, but the Free Press has learned they are the third party the league refers to in the agreement.

On Friday the City of Glendale reached an agreement with the league to cover operating costs up to US$25 million to keep the Coyotes in Jobing.com Arena for the 2010-11 NHL season.

The league has held discussions with the Ice Edge group and Jerry Reinsdorf, who owns the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Whitesox. Both say they want to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix.

It is believed Ice Edge isn’t interested in further talks without exclusivity that would make it the only prospective buyer to keep the team in Arizona.

"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…" the document obtained by the Globe reads.

The statements in the agreement mark the first published relocation deadline for the City of Glendale, and the first reference to a "bona-fide" owner waiting to purchase the team with the intent to relocate, since the Coyotes’ fomer owner Jerry Moyes filed for bankruptcy on May 5, 2009.

While no direct mention of a specific ownership group was made in the agreement, CBC hockey analyst Don Cherry leveraged the Globe story during the Stanley Cup playoff broadcast of the Montreal/Philadelphia game Saturday afternoon to restate his belief that the Coyotes are on their way back to Winnipeg.

History

Updated on Saturday, May 22, 2010 7:04 PM CDT: Adds confirmation that True North Sports and Entertainment is the "bona-fide" owner that the NHL has lined up

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