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During their press availability before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly discussed the on-going Phoenix Coyotes ownership situation and the need for a resolution. Four years after they were put into bankruptcy, the team remains without an owner, with the league running it since.
During CBC's Hockey Night in Canada Hotstove segment Saturday, the future plans of the Coyotes became a bit clearer, with a report that Plan B for the franchise to a move to Seattle.
According to Elliotte Friedman, the Vancouver Canucks, who announced on Friday that their AHL team was moving to Utica, N.Y., originally had planned to put it in Seattle in KeyArena. Turns out, they were told "it was not available for hockey," reported Friedman.
In a twist, turns out it is available for hockey: NHL hockey, that is. Plan B for the NHL and Coyotes, if the latest candidate doesn't go through with the purchase, is to sell the team to investors Ray Bartoszek and Anthony Lanza, who previously engaged in discussions to purchase a 49-percent stake in the New York Mets in 2011, for $220 million. According to Glenn Healy, if those two do not get what they want by July 2 from the city of Glendale, then they would move the team to The Emerald City. Part of the new ownership group would be former NHLer and current NBC analyst Jeremy Roenick, who would help run the hockey operations department.
KeyArena would be a temporary home until a new facility is built, something Chris Hansen has been working on in his quest to bring basketball back to Seattle.
It appears that the Coyotes saga will come to an end one way or another before next season. We've come a long way since Jim Balsillie, haven't we?
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy