Coyotes Rumor Roundup – Apr. 2013

April 30, 2013

The Coyotes announced the signing of a new long term deal with General Manager Don Maloney, strengthening the belief that a resolution to the Coyotes playing in Glendale is also near. The next deal we all hope to see come to fruition is a similar one with Head Coach Dave Tippett. Click here for the Coyotes press release.

April 29, 2013

So we know the name of “the Gosbee group” commonly referred to as “Ice Edge” is Renaissance Sports and Entertainment. Renaissance is comprised of former Ice Edge and Lakehead Yale guys Anthony LeBlanc and Daryl Jones plus George Gosbee and a new name, to me, Avik Dey. It turns out all the guys were a handshake line for all the players coming off the ice at the Ice Den back on April 7.

We haven’t been able to verify, but rumors abound the Renaissance moniker means frescos will adorn the ceilings at the rink and a National Jousting League (the NJL) will have a team housed permanently at the arena.

The NBA wants to stay in Sacramento. The relocation and finance committees unanimously voted against relocating the Kings. There will be a formal vote of all 30 owners in a couple weeks that appears to be a slam dunk (BOOM basketball reference from a hockey guy) to approve the recommendation.

This is a serious blow to the Seattle relocation contingent hoping to snag our Coyotes to reside in the same arena which, by most accounts, depended on the NBA franchise for erection.

Hey, clean up your mind.

April 28, 2013

Well, the last game of the season was last night in Anaheim and the Coyotes won with a Vrby HAT TRICK of all things.

For some reason, the negativity bus has pulled into the mental garages of the normally unstable but lovable Coyotes fan base today. The deflation of a sloppy season finally coming to a close probably has a lot to do with it as does the uncertainty of a resolution to the mess we call ownership. It’s still pretty scary, even more so THIS season for a bunch of reasons. I’ll put in my two cents about ownership strife in a bit, once the dust from the end of the season settles.

April 27, 2013

Darin Pastor was, according to his PR people, at the final home game of the season for the Coyotes last night and was buying hats and sodas for the fans in his section. He spent the day yesterday looking at houses in Scottsdale. While we’d even let him live here in Cave Creek (if he passed the tests, of course) Scottsdale is an okay place to live. Does that sound like a guy “just kicking the tires” or does it sound like a serious contender looking to buy a hockey team?

Also at the game were Anthony LeBlanc and George Gosbee. I had the pleasure of attending the game with some of my crew in the suite two doors away from where Mr. LeBlanc and Mr. Gosbee were watching the game. While I didn’t see them handing out any hats OR drinks, they were sitting in the Coyotes suite with Coyotes brass coming and going all night. Bea and I even decided the master thug, Bea, should wander over there and introduce herself on the odd chance we’d score hats and/or drinks. Alas, she came up short, but did meet the men in question.

Suffice it to say things continue to progress on multiple fronts toward a successful conclusion of the Coyotes sale and future in Glendale.

April 26, 2013

Tonight is the last home game of the season for the Coyotes, we all have mixed feelings about it but the game will be sold out. Again, another sellout. We will all be there, we’ll be loud, and we’ll continue to support our team for the foreseeable future.

Darren Dreger on TSN
Darren Dreger on TSN

There was some buzz yesterday when Darren Dreger said something on TSN “Insider Trading” about the Coyotes. Click here for the video, disregard everything before 3:07 and Dreger states “Some say there’s a chance a deal could be signed as early as next week.” By the way, “some say” Sasquatch would beat up the Loch Ness Monster. Silly, we ALL know Nessie is a badass.

He goes on to say “It’s a combo group involving Ice Edge and Gosbee…”. There is a group that is George Gosbee and the FORMER Ice Edge guys, last I heard they were actually “Lakehead Yale” but that’s also probably morphed into a different entity. He then continues to hedge (get it? “hedge”) his bet with a “seems to be the frontrunner” disclaimer.

He also says there “is (sic) negotiations going on specific to and the lease.”

Some or all of the above may be true, but there’s nothing new there, nor is there anything specific. Characterizing the LeBlanc/Gosbee group as the frontrunner may be correct, but it might even be as simple as that group being the most vocal about their progress with the NHL negotiations. Other groups have been, historically, significantly more circumspect in their statements and guarantees of their success.

That said, while Dreger has simply repeated stale rumors and some inaccurate information, it isn’t bad news.

April 25, 2013

Nice game against the Sharks last night, it was a LOT of fun and I managed to chirp a device obsessed Sharks fan with “iChirp, there’s an app for that” and so much more, I was on fire.

Something I overheard at hockey last night warmed the cockles of my heart, maybe even the sub-cockle area (click here, NSFW). I heard that, at a recent political soiree in the Valley, Goldwater Institute VP for Litigation (head lawyer guy) stated that they NEVER got as much flak and kickback for any of their “projects” than they did from their constantly annoying the Coyotes and dragging Glendale into court. He’s on a bit of a losing streak, lately, though, and has lost the popular Carrie Ann Sitren from his staff.

The takeaway vibe is that Goldwater has moved on to other things, their interest in Glendale has waned. So, the hopes of the trolliverse of GWI riding in at the last minute to peck away at any agreement negotiated between Glendale and the new owner of the Coyotes are dashed. Somebody run this through Google translate for a French version?

Nice work, compadres! If need be, I’m sure we’ll be able to spool up the thug machine again any time we need to. After all, there’s likely to be a vote in Glendale and the Ken Jones / Francine Romesburgs of this world are still licking their wounds in their lairs but may be ready to leap into the fray once again.

OEL Fan Club and Drinking Society
OEL Fan Club and Drinking Society

Yes, the OEL Fan Club and Drinking Society was in the house and vocal. NICE!

Now that the Coyotes are officially eliminated from contention for the playoffs, all eyes shift toward the ownership situation. The silence from people who had been exceptionally blabby should be exciting to the pro Coyotes crowd. Typically a silence such as this can be traced to nondisclosure agreements and admonishments from lawyers. Plus, assume the NHL has gagged the groups vying for Coyotes ownership. Weiers is out of town and has quieted his face running recently anyway, and Phil Leakerman is retired.

Don’t mistake the silence for “nothing is happening” or “the moving trucks are hired”, you SHOULD bet it’s the exact opposite. While out northern troll brethren (if it’s possible for donkeys to be brethren with humans) are overheated with theories that are the exact opposite, remember that they also worship a frozen hole in the ground and follow an imaginary hockey team.

Bill Daly, speaking to Patrick Caisse from Montreal, killed one of the remote possibilities I floated out there some time ago when he said “We have no intention of responding to the RFP”. Of course, Daly is a lawyer. But to me it means the remote possibility that one of the potential ownership groups would buy and run the team and the NHL would continue their contract with Glendale to run the arena. It was a really remote possibility, anyway.

April 22, 2013

Apparently Keith isn’t auctioning off the “MARTIN RICHARD” sweater, he will be giving it personally to the Richard family because they preferred having the sweater. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, click here.

If you were planning on bidding on that sweater, perhaps you might think about Googling where to donate (I don’t want to select one place) to the Richard family, I’m sure they can still use some help.

April 21, 2013

Doaner and Yandle have a shot at being on the cover of NHL 14. Click here for the video. I’d just embed the video, but it’s Flash so Apple products can’t figure out how to deal with it and just give up.

Why yes, the fabled Chicago Blackhawks lost another one to the Coyotes in their house last night, thanks for asking. Boedker continued his routine beatdown of Hawks goalies (two game winning goals in the playoffs last year), but it took hirsute defenseman David Schlemko to seal the deal.

Schlemko, by the way, was called “Peter Schlemko” on the Channel 12 sportscast this morning. Yup, Gannett (AZ Republic, AZ Central and KPNX) is on top of everything in THIS town, buddy!

April 17, 2013

The City of Glendale City has FINALLY released the RFP for their city owned arena. Click here

Enjoy reading it! I’ll read it later and compare it against the former RFP that was never published to determine why it took so long.

April 16, 2013

The Glendale City Council is meeting today, maybe even RIGHT NOW, to discuss arena management possibilities. You shouldn’t expect many updates about it, though, since all the discussions are being held in Executive Session. That means “private” and you don’t need to know about it, Bucko! So just lean back and relax, mayor Weiers and crew will just handle this thing for you.

Link to the super secret need to know basis only agenda is here.

There were prospective owner group guys and money guys all over the arena last night.

We finally had the pleasure of meeting Jim Foss last night and managed to NOT talk about ownership issues for more than a second or two. Mr. Foss is the GM of the Arena Management Group, so everything that’s great about arena is what he and his staff are responsible for.

We also had a minute or two with Mike Nealy as he made his way past on his lap of the arena before the game started. I’m pretty sure we managed to avoid any ownership talk with him as well. Nobody is more exhausted with answering questions about this stuff than those guys, they still have nearly impossible jobs to do.

OEL and Burish No penalty of course
OEL and Burish No penalty of course

We hear some drunken boors were tossing stuff at player’s cars as they headed home after a bad loss. We also hear that the outstanding security staff at managed them handily and got to limber up what we hear is a hammer of a right hand. Boom goes the idiot to jail with a headache.

Outstanding defenseman OEL is ramping up his already stellar game to include on-ice yoga moves. Even Lidstrom couldn’t do that. And, no, of course there was no penalty called on Burish despite the fact that particular yoga moves requires holding. Maybe the zebra didn’t see it?

Seattle has reached an agreement (Click here) with Horton Street, LLC (Chris Hansen’s group) for the operation of the existing city owned KeyArena. The language in the agreement includes “NHL team (if applicable)” in a lot of places. The agreement would now have to be approved by the City Council.

There is no mention of hockey in the press release.

April 15, 2013

Obviously the horrific Boston Marathon news is our preoccupation now.

Craig Morgan is reporting Darin Pastor’s prospective Coyotes ownership group will be meeting with Glendale mayor Weiers on Friday morning.

April 13, 2013

For the people saying Taylor Hall should have had a chat with Shanahan, but the zebras just didn’t see him deliver a two handed chop to the back of Z’s legs, the video shows otherwise at 1:10 where two zebras are clearly looking right at Hall and Z.

April 10, 2013

You can’t make this up.

The Oilers are celebrating their alternate captain Taylor Hall’s exemplary performance in their loss last night. To memorialize the bratty, yet dangerous, set of malicious slashes by Hall (on Vrby and Z), the Oilers are having a, get this, “HACKATHON”!

This stuff just writes itself.|EDM|home

Today I’ll make a couple exceptions, looking at both the Phoenix Business Journal and the AZ Republic for Coyotes news. Other than Sarah’s excellent Coyotes coverage, both outlets are so far behind the curve on Coyotes news that they’re usually worthless for this page. But how about the Coyotes whomping up on the Oilers last night? And yeah, while Taylor Hall slashed Z with two hands and essentially got away without a proper reprimand, he DID get a “keep your head up” lesson from Marty! Good stuff.

Business Journal is quoting Fox’s Brett Hansen (@bretthansen5) in support of a 125% increase in Coyotes viewership (yes, MORE than doubled):

”Just as the case is with attendance at Arena, Coyotes television ratings on Fox Sports Arizona have also enjoyed a big increase this season. Both are great examples of the interest in the team and the support the Coyotes have in Arizona,” Hansen said.

This is more interesting because it seems as if nearly every Coyotes game has been on a sometimes difficult to find alternate channel. Fox Sports AZ continues to be a real bright spot in the Coyotes story.

Rumor verifications coming from interviews done by the Arizona Republic (click here) are few and far between. While the author of the article puts the wrong “CEO” label in front of the Coyotes’ Mike Nealy’s name (he is actually the President and “COO”), I assume there isn’t also a mistake in quoting him as verifying the NHL is involved in discussions with four potential ownership groups. Cool!

Beacon will be conducting tours of arena May 6-10, narrow the field to 2-3 “finalists” and then sign a contract by May 24 according to CM Gary Sherwood.

How the Glendale schedule fits with the NHL schedule remains to be seen. It sounds more and more like a pissing contest every day. While those contests might be fun, they are rarely productive in negotiations.


Whoops. Google is your friend.

April 8, 2013

If you follow Craig Morgan on Twitter (@cmorgancbsfoxaz you should be following him anyway), then you saw he tweeted the NHL has asked the Darin Pastor group for more information related to what they’ve already handed in. Since the Gosbee/LeBlanc group is already considered to be the frontrunner, if they did their homework better than Pastor they’re likely to get a gold star from Bettman. Nice work, guys!

Greg Jamison continues to put in the hours on his bid, we should expect him to be a player in this sweepstakes. The Kaites group hasn’t surfaced publicly, but they were definitely at the game Saturday schmoozing the city people.

I’m pretty sure neatness also counts and YES it WILL be on the test.

April 7,2013

Thanks to the LA Kings Assistant equipment manager Denver Wilson, the son of Coyotes equipment maestro (and all around horseman and great guy) Stan Wilson for providing the Stanley Cup clue for our #HawkHunt hide this year. More thanks to Corky at Dynamite Horsemans Supply down the street for letting us use his horse and property.

Thanks to Tony and the Tony Hawk Foundation for participating in society in a productive fashion and doing so with humor and grace.

For those that didn’t score, there’s always next year!

Yes, boys and girls, THAT is the way to play hockey. If you missed the Coyotes beatdown of the Avalanche last night because the game was sold out, you couldn’t buy a ticket and maybe you live in a cave without cable, click here (courtesy @lodefstudios) for a highlight of our returned Goalie (yes a capital “G”) Mike Smith objecting to being poked with an Av stick. GIVE ME THAT!

Ownership news? Sure, we have that! Last night, besides simply attending the game, George Gosbee was spotted chatting with Keith Yandle (trade him!), Shane Doan and Mike Nealy. Gosbee is considered by many to be the spearhead of the frontrunner group for buying the Coyotes, although opinions vary.

Making a reappearance last night is none other than John Kaites, who has in the past been linked closely with Jerry Reinsdorf. His group is so tightly connected, politically and financially, with Glendale and Arizona that they have to be considered formidable opponents in the now hot competition to buy the Coyotes.

Gary Bettman is quoted as saying:

“There seems to be more interest at this particular point in time than we’ve seen throughout the process.”

The above via a tweet this morning from Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) from ESPN, relating an interview with Bettman that isn’t posted yet.

April 5, 2013

Add Greg Jamison to the mix of bidders submitting proposals to the NHL, although he won’t hand in his homework until next week. Matt Hulsizer’s group has still not appeared in public(ish) with anything, but there’s enough buzz around to NOT be surprised if he gets in on the action as well. Once the NHL does their thing, expect them to approach Glendale with their parameters for success. To assume there has been NO discussion with the city about guidelines for a deal would be, in my opinion, naïve.

Read the whole scoop that Craig Morgan laid out this afternoon. Click here to read a great summary, as usual.

Per Jaime Eisner (@JmeEisner), it’s rumored that the Gosbee group plan is a fifteen year deal with NO out clause. They will retain the option to purchase the arena during or at the end of that term. No mention of Glendale’s financial participation.

Personally, the above reduces considerably my concern of the LeBlanc/Gosbee former Ice Edge group’s plans to move the team north. It’s a well founded concern based on this (click here) and their previously stated intent to play some “home” games in Saskatoon.

Not a rumor that Captain Shane Doan is the Captain of the NHL. Click here to watch “In My Own Words: Shane Doan” to see why.

Darin Pastor is submitting his paperwork to the NHL for the purchase of the Coyotes TODAY according to his PR firm.

We also hear that Pastor would be amenable to speaking with Jerry Colangelo in his position as Arizona sports guru. Who has his digits?

The day after the Coyotes beat the Red Wings is bound to be good. Great game, highlighted by our Captain providing his take on the Mr. Plow episode of The Simpsons.

Normally reliable Craig Morgan is tweeting we should expect ownership news shortly. The LeBlanc / Gosbee crew is active. The NHL has apparently taken the reins, preparing to make Glendale an offer they can’t refuse. Yet of course they can refuse.

To paraphrase Bette Davis, hold onto whatever you hold onto for a roller coaster ride.

It turns out Jerry Colangelo has not spoken with Darin Pastor, so his conversation with Bettman hasn’t resulted in any contact between the two men.

AZ Republic’s Paul Giblin tweets: Sorry #Coyotes fans. No ownership announcement expected today. #NHL‘s Bill Daly told me: “It continues to be a work in process.”

April 4, 2013

First of all, Red Wings suck. Second of all, Godspeed Roger Ebert, you handled yourself like a BOSS with your horrible disease. Beside being a solid writer, you were an inspiration.

Okay this is a good rumor. A reliable source has come through with some solid gold today. Seems as if NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and sports mogul Jerry Colangelo have had a phone chat or two about Darin Pastor. The assumption is that Gary would have asked Jerry for some background on Pastor and maybe even asked him to see if he could help Pastor get his bearings in the Arizona market.

Gary and Jerry are widely regarded as long term buddies and let’s not forget Jerry Colangelo was instrumental bringing the Coyotes to Phoenix. Whether there were discussions about reviving the downtown Phoenix Coyotes versus the Glendale Coyotes we don’t know.

To me it sounds like there’s another real player in the mix, that being Darin Pastor. That puts us at four with a couple others in the more shadowy rumor bucket. Competition breeds success.

Go Coyotes, please put somebody on Mr. Datsyuk tonight?

April 3, 2013

AZSPORTSTALK ROCANDMANUCH WEBSITE USAGE BLACK TEXTAmidst some trades within the division that have a few Coyotes fans scratching their heads, there’s not much in the way of rumors. Raffi and Lombardi went to in division teams and Sullivan went back to the Devils after his 1,000th game ceremony last night.

What is NOT a rumor is that prospective owner Darin Pastor will be on with Roc and Manuch on the still unofficial home of the Coyotes AZ Sports Talk at 5:18pm today. So tune in (click here), and it wouldn’t kill you to check out there show once in a while anyway.

April 2, 2013

Hot off the press, Darin Pastor will be at tonight’s Coyotes game. Bring your binoculars and zoom lenses, Coyotes spies, examine the upper levels for a face that looks like the guy in the picture on the March 29 entry below.

It will be like a scavenger hunt!


Word around the bowels of arena is that Coyotes starting goalie and soon to be unrestricted free agent Mike Smith is wanting $7.5M and is probably on the block. General Manager Don Maloney has commented that a run to and a few rounds into the playoffs would get Smitty the price he was asking.

In the meantime, I’m reminded by people that know what they’re talking about that Smitty is currently on injured reserve and can’t be traded. Hey this is “Rumor Roundup” not “Fact Roundup”. Anyway, a guy that’s up on rules and deals assures me a deal COULD get done in the background and then Smitty would come off the IR in enough time to pack and hop a plane east, but it would have to happen before the deadline tomorrow.

According to Craig Morgan, prospective Coyotes buyer Darin Pastor will meet with NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly today and will then meet with Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers on tomorrow. Amazing that Jerry Weiers JUST told AZ Rep’s Paul Giblin “I don’t know who Darin Pastor is” according to Giblin’s story today. Amazing, considering Pastor’s press release and LOTS of buzz about Pastor for some time now.

According to Joyce Clark, the infamous “four way” arena management scenario floated early in his reign by Jerry Weiers and then characterized a “non-starter” by council members is still alive. It’s a hare-brained scheme at best, and no professional sports arena management company would consider it. I doubt that it’s sanctioned by the company, Beacon Sports Capital, hired to manage the search for a arena management deal.

In other news, a lot of work went into the Coyotes fan photo montage below. Thanks to Katrina Devinny, Mike Kasbaum and Dave Zorn (for lending his voiceover skills). Check it out!

April 1, 2013

Amidst bazillions of unfunny April Fool’s jokes, we just saw a tweet from Craig Morgan (@cmorgancbsfoxaz) that Matt Hulsizer is actively pursuing the purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes.

Hulsizer came close to getting a deal done, only it had raised the eyebrows of the Goldwater Institute. He and Ice Edge were buds at the time, with Ice Edge pulling out before consummating anything for reasons unknown. They were reportedly working together AGAIN this time around, with another falling out apparently.

Whether the Hulsizer bid is truly legitimate and what prompted the split between he and LeBlanc is unknown. We have to suspect the deal parameters being offered by the NHL and, less likely, the City of Glendale have changed enough to pique the interest of new and old parties.