Another frustrating night for the snake-throwing faithful of the Phoenix Coyotes: Ice Edge Holdings chief operating office Daryl Jones told the Winnipeg Free Press that his group has broken off talks with the City of Glendale ahead of Tuesday's important council meeting. From the Free Press:
"We were adamant about needing exclusivity in these negotiations and they haven't provided it. I'm not totally surprised. We've been dealing with this for a while. We thought we had agreed to certain things and expected them in writing. That didn't materialize."
CBC's Jeff Marek reports that Glendale failed to meet a deadline Monday that would have secured an exclusive negotiating arrangement for Ice Edge, meaning the thought of Jerry Reinsdorf re-entering the picture could have still haunted the process. Marek quotes a source as saying Ice Edge will "leave their phones on, but their pencils are down" for now.
The vibe certainly doesn't make this feel like a definitive end for Ice Edge; it's more like a suitor that's been trampled on before attempting to ensure it won't happen again.
Rebekah Sanders of The Arizona Republic writes that the city council "should vote Tuesday evening to enter an agreement" that guarantees the city will cover the Coyotes' operating losses for next season "if a permanent buyer is not found."
Two other Coyotes-related items for your perusal. First, a terrific Phoenix Business Journal blog post that covers all the latest angles in the Coyotes' ownership dilemma, including how Glendale would cover the team's losses as requested by the NHL:
The Glendale plan would kick in in September if a new owner is not yet found. The city would use the bond proceeds or some kind of other user fees to cover the Coyotes losses for the season. This raises the questions of whether a deal to sell the Coyotes to an owner who will keep the team here ever will get done. There also are questions as to whether Glendale legally can cover the Coyotes losses.
First, the idea of a city government pretty much financing a private business runs into legal issues in Arizona. We have a gift clause here that restricts things, like say, a city government covering the costs/expenses/losses of a professional sports franchise. Glendale will argue the bonding district helps alleviate the gift clause worry. Critics might argue if the district quacks like a subsidy then it is a subsidy.
Finally, CBC reporter Tom Harrington tweets that the NHL has an alternative schedule for a Winnipeg franchise at the ready. Just in case. Much more in a great new columni by Y! Sports' Dan Wetzel, which you should already be reading now.