Thursday, October 29, 2009

Raising Arizona?

I find it interesting that there is possibly another group that is interested in the Phoenix Coyotes. Toronto Argonauts’ co-owner’s Howard Sokolowski and David Cynamon plan to meet with Glendale city officials next week with an eye toward putting a bid together for the financially-troubled NHL franchise. These two guys were part of the Ice Edge Holdings that was involved in the bankruptcy hearing with the NHL and the Jim Balsillie bids. It looks like they have as many as 12 other investors lined up looking into acquiring the team. With that said, just remember Tampa Bay. They only have 2 partners and they couldn't agree on much especially on the players on the roster, 12 could prove to be cumbersome unless they are just money men.

Ice Edge Holdings were looking at playing 5 home games in Saskatoon and possibly 5 in Winnipeg while keeping the team based in Phoenix. They also seemed to be the only group that was either interested or willing to have Wayne Gretzky involved at any level. There have been questions on if they have the money and/or where they are getting this money but they have made it appear that they want to make it work in Phoenix. That may be a bit of ostrich thinking and burying their head in that plentiful Arizona sand. In an attendance driven league it may just have too many obstacles to overcome. Filling a building in the desert is not an easy thing to begin with and even if you fill the arena the people in there need to actually pay to get in for that to mean anything. Papered attendance and free ticket giveaways may indeed make it look pretty but smoke an mirrors only work for so long.

Having the two Argonauts dipping their toes into this desert mirage certainly leads one to believe that they may like to bring it closer to the team they presently own in Toronto. Sure that would make 2 teams in Toronto and we know what the lay of the land is there with everyone having an opinion - from the Prime Minister to the NHL - from MLSE and the Buffalo Sabers. The difference is they may be more liked by the board and the league. If the league ends up owning the team then they are in the position to call the shots and maybe something could happen. Sure it may be all very pre-mature at this point but it is an interesting development.

Maybe they will Make It 7 at some point - be it in Winnipeg, Quebec City or Southern Ontario.

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