Coyotes Rumor Roundup – May, 2013

May 31, 2013

We Love This Guy (Phoenix Coyotes)
We Love This Guy (Phoenix Coyotes)

Here we are at the last day of May and a deal for the Coyotes has yet to be consummated. What’s the rush? It’s spelled T-I-P-P-E-T-T. Despite Don Maloney extending his contract with the team, my guess (based on published actual words from actual knowledgeable mouths) is that Coach wants stronger assurances of ownership stability and commitment from those owners to support his roster with do-re-mi. As of today, it would still require a leap of faith from Tippett.

That said, I am aware he is sitting on an open offer to detail his bike once a week for free if he stays. No word on whether that has swayed his judgment at all or even if the offer has been relayed to him, being that the guy making the offer didn’t run it past GMDM.


Craig Morgan, our “go to” guy with this story for the past months, tweeted this today regarding Darin Pastor:

Here’s Darin Pastor’s reaction to yesterday’s Forbes report on the #Coyotes sale: “As I understood through the media, the league has chosen RSE’s proposal. After reviewing what has been reported about this proposal, I believe my offer supplies superior benefits for all parties concerned.”

From that statement, it appears the NHL has still not been in direct contact with Mr. Pastor regarding their rejection of his bid. I think, at this point, it’s safe to say he is out of the running unless he ramps up his effort significantly and also discloses details of his offer.

May 30, 2013

Forbes is reporting the financial arrangement between RSE and the NHL today, and it includes a third party ponying up most of the capital for the team. The NHL participation is old news, cognoscenti have been aware of this for a long time. Click here for the Forbes piece, which includes:

“A source close to the negotiations, who traded candor for anonymity, revealed the purchase price as $170 million. The capital structure would consist of RS&E putting in $45 million of equity, Fortress Investment Group lending $120 million (to be repaid by the fee Glendale taxpayers are going to pay the team to run the arena), and an $85 million loan from the NHL.”

So it looks like Glendale’s commitment to the deal will finance the bulk of the transaction. That puts an interesting spin on a few things, including the dismissal out of hand of the rumored Pastor bid to finance the purchase of the team over a longer term, especially if it’s true the group won’t be expected to pay ANY of the $85M (from the NHL) for the first five years.

I don’t profess to know the details of that deal and it’s very possible there were significant other problems with the Pastor proposition. I’m also not aware of the details of the Jamison deal when it was still active.

But, the amount of equity from RSE is relatively small, although we don’t know what personal financial guarantees are being made to cover the Fortress portion of the deal. Let’s face it, we don’t know if the Forbes story is even true.


The rockstar to the trolliverse, David Shoalts, hasn’t been as prolific since Phil Leakerman left Glendale, but he is still around. Five For Howling’s Ben Shroyer explains where he is wrong, click here to read it. It would have been faster to list where Shoalts was RIGHT.

I’d like to add that, in respect to Shoaltsie’s snarky “NHL’s longest running farce” that he’s wrong, EVERYBODY knows the NHL’s longest running farce is the Toronto Maple Leafs. Duh.


Pretty soon we should be hearing how the negotiations between the Renaissance group and the City of Glendale will be structured and maybe even start getting some scheduling information. Despite the prognostications of some Nordiques fans and “copy and paste” bloggers, there will be no Coyotes dooming announcements today or tomorrow. Will that damage their credibility? Nope, it couldn’t and you all know why.

May 29, 2013

We all still hate the Red Wings, right? Sure, some of us have held our noses and managed to keep down our lunch while we root (*urp*) for the Wings to whomp up on the annoying Hawks (GAME SEVEN SOON!) while the other half of us have done the same rooting for the Hawks. I won’t admit which side of that equation I come down on, let’s just say it’s on the side where the captain isn’t whiney.

Now there’s even ANOTHER reason to reduce our nausea with the Wings. Wings Senior VP Jimmy Devellano has said “I would be the most shocked man on the face of the earth if they weren’t in Phoenix next season.” Click here to listen.

Sounds good, Jimmy, Good luck (*erp*, *gag*) against the Hawks in a couple hours.

May 28, 2013

The NHL and Renaissance guys showed up for their scheduled meetings in Glendale this morning. The mayor stated:

“It’s a step in the right direction. Is it a step far enough? I don’t know.”

Then the official Glendale statement courtesy Craig Morgan tweet:

“The City Council will not be making a decision regarding the Coyotes until all pertinent information has been collected and reviewed and all the available options have been thoroughly studied. This includes several bids the city is expected to receive this Friday (May 31) from qualified venue managers interested in operating the city owned Jobing.com Arena. Glendale is committed to moving forward on a plan that is in the best interests of our city and our citizens.”

Progress!

Via Roc (@NBCSportsRoc), Renaissance, the meetings “…went very well and very positive”.

The NHL’s statement (click here):

“We had a number of constructive meetings today with the Mayor, various members of the City Council and the acting City Manager. Everyone involved in today’s discussions shares the desire and ultimate objective of transitioning the ownership of the Coyotes and safeguarding the franchise’s long-term future in Glendale. We expect that representatives from the Renaissance group will begin meeting with the City to see if a mutually agreeable lease arrangement can be forged expeditiously. We will have no further comment pending completion of that process.”


General Manager Don Maloney had his press conference today. Click here for the video. Some typical ownership questions and answers. Encouraging news? Sean Burke and Jim Playfair have been re-signed as well. Dave Tippett was in the press room and GMDM acknowledges him as the next target to be signed.


Beating a dead horse department:

AZ Rep gets things wrong again in their synopsis of the day with this:

“… LeBlanc is making a second go at ownership as he was part of an investment group called Ice Edge Holdings that sought to purchase the team between 2009 and 2010.”

Actually, Mr. LeBlanc was also involved in the Hulsizer bid AND the Jamsion bid, so this latest bid is at least the fourth “go at ownership”.

If you’re going to write something down, either check your facts or say “I think…” or something to make it clear you really are just taking a wild guess or parroting a rumor.

May 26, 2013

Memorial Day
Memorial Day

Men and women have been laying their lives on the line for us for hundreds of years, some of them died for us. I’m sure we are all remembering that, and there’s nothing wrong with barbecues and beers and road trips and car races and everything else we do to commemorate those sacrifices. We’ll just get a little more choked up when we hear, and SING, our National Anthem for a few days.


So the NHL and Renaissance Sports and Entertainment (RSE) are coming to town Tuesday, May 28 to lay out their expectations for an arena management agreement with Glendale. The basic schedule of meetings, as I understand it, will be:

  • Mayor and Acting City Manager Bowers, probably in the City Hall trophy room.
  • Council members, in groups of three:
    • Vice Mayor Yvonne Knaack, CM Ian Hugh and CM Norma Alvarez
    • CM Gary Sherwood, CM Manny Martinez and CM Sam Chavira
  • Other staff members (I’m not sure of this one)

Since there is also a press conference scheduled at the rink to deal with the VERY GOOD NEWS about General Manager Don Maloney at 1:30PM, that leaves plenty of time to meander over to Westgate for lunch before diving into the basement of the arena.

May 25, 2013

Let’s celebrate what this long weekend is all about. The service and sacrifice of our servicemen through the years allow us to talk hockey and enjoy the freedoms that make us who we are.

May 24, 2013

So we should expect the NHL and the RSE guys to sweep into Glendale with good news on Tuesday. It’s been confirmed by Craig Morgan.

Keep in mind that at least a couple of the guys involved in RSE have working the Coyotes sale for FOUR YEARS or so, they’re not newbies to this process or to the next set of hurdles.

You can expect that Bettman has been in contact with some council members in Glendale, so a dialog has been underway for some time now.


Paul Giblin is tweeting the NHL will be in town to meet with the Glendale City Council and that there will be a press conference from the Coyotes on Tuesday. The presser for Don Maloney sounds like it will be augmented for other things.

Assuming Mr. Giblin is right, which hasn’t always been the case in this story, then this is another domino dropping.


The Coyotes announced General Manager Don Maloney has signed a long term contract extension with the team, further cementing the optimism for a deal being done soon to keep the Coyotes in Glendale. Click here for the Coyotes press release.

The Coyotes twitter feed quoted NHL commissioner Bill Daly:

“The NHL remains committed to securing the Coyotes’ future in Glendale under new ownership and we believe (Don Maloney’s) long-term agreement evidences that he is equally committed.”

Bravo! GMDM is an integral part of the Coyotes family, luckily we won’t have to find out if he is actually irreplaceable.

May 23, 2013

You know, I’ve been thinking about GMDM deciding to stick it out. If he isn’t the first in a series of good news dominos that start dropping fast, I’d be really surprised. Smitty? I’m not so sure. The OTHER important pieces that need to click into place, we all know who and what they are, should be coming soon.

You should keep your eye on @cmorganfoxsaz on Twitter, there’s nobody else likely to break this sort of news.


In the totally unexpected but GREAT news department, Craig Morgan is reporting (click here) Coyotes General Manager Extraordinaire Don Maloney, affectionately referred to as GMDM, is finalizing a deal to return as GM of the Coyotes. That news probably signals a sale of the club by the NHL is also imminent, since GMDM had a decidedly “I’m really DONE with this s**t” tone during his last appearance. And nobody blames him.

That leaves another signing, or perhaps three, to get done.


Gary Bettman, following the lead of his number two Bill Daly, has something to say to Canadian media. I’m not sure why the NHL feels it’s better to drop little breadcrumbs in Canada instead of the US, perhaps it’s just the relentless hounding and repetition of the same questions over and over in a kids in the back seat banging like Charlie Watts “are we there yet” fashion?

Whatever the reason, Gary sent the Quebecois a seed of hope by saying:

Of course, the story continues:

The commissioner wasn’t overly enthusiastic when asked about the viability of Quebec City as a hockey market even though ground has already been broken there on a new arena.

The second statement is, for some reason, being ignored by the northern tribe of trolls.

May 22, 2013

Here we go again. Some guy that WORKS FOR QUEBECOR and thus has a vested interest in razzing the blue shovel crowd states on some French language FM station that Quebecor, Inc. has begun negotiations to buy the Coyotes. That, of course, prompts the social media mavens to temporarily forsake their World of Warcraft characters to feverishly type “The Coyotes Are Moving” in 140 character chunks like some Canadian Paul Revere to alert their “troops”.

Then some other Canadian guy tweets this, “quoting” Bill Daly:

Then Quebecor Media denies the rumor on their Twitter feed:

Despite that, speculation abounds in French, English and Franglish about the fate of the Coyotes.

The fact of the matter is that it seems the NHL has, once again, clamped down on EVERYBODY involved in this fiasco. It’s an easy threat “You say one more word about our deal and we’re selling the team to somebody else.”

Thus, the cancelled (or “postponed until we forget it was scheduled”) radio appearance of Darin Pastor in Canada. If he wasn’t still in it, he’d be talking. Thus, the never rescheduled en masse appearance in Glendale by the NHL and RSE together. Thus, a whole bunch of other people not saying ONE WORD about what they know or don’t know.

The clock is ticking loudly, but don’t assume there’s nothing positive happening. Yes, you, Coyotes people. Don’t relax but c’mon man we’ve been doing this for FOUR YEARS now, we can all wait until the end of the month, right?

May 20, 2013

The clock is winding down. This statement in Craig Morgan’s Friday piece is a little baffling:

Pastor’s group has yet to submit the bid while it waits to see what other groups submit – and whether those other bids fall within the guidelines the NHL reportedly wants.

Pastor has reworked his rejected bid to get closer to the 5 year cutoff date for paying off the Coyotes deal. Glendale has extended their deadline for proposals until the end of this month, ELEVEN DAYS from today.

That’s a LOT to accomplish in eleven days. And let’s not forget the HARD deadline is July 1, also not many days removed from today.

My first question is, how would Mr. Pastor’s group KNOW what “other groups” submitted? Are those details released immediately to certain people? If so, how does one get admitted to that club? Aren’t those deals supposed to be private and covered by non-disclosure agreements? If they’re shared, are the shared equally? Is that an ethical way to do business?

My second question is, WHAT “other groups”? Jamsion? Hulsizer? Kaitesdorf? What if the rumored “other groups” never show up for whatever reason, will the revised Pastor bid die on the vine? Is Renaissance (RSE) the “other group” and they’re reworking their deal as we speak? That would explain the current delay and the assumption by City of Glendale people that RSE has already been selected by the NHL. Is that the case?

Maybe.


Is it possible the Tohono O’odham Nation is in the market for an arena and/or a hockey partnership? Wouldn’t that mean the Gila River Indian Community and/or the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community might be likely to respond in order to keep the Tohoho O’odham at bay?

Maybe.


A recent Glendale Star article discussing the rejection of Darin Pastor’s bid stated:

A source close to the league explained that those “elements” were that the league wants a buyer to purchase the team in three to five years for the asking price of $150 million.

There’s a solid mention of a reduced (from $170M) price for the Coyotes. You have to wonder what effect the NHL reducing it’s price for the team $20M would have had on the Jamison deal back in January? Would it have been enough to make the deal work?

Maybe.


Based on what’s said in a Craig Morgan story from Saturday “… Smith Seems Unlikely To Return” to the Coyotes. Despite Team Canada getting bounced from the IIHS World Championships without a medal for the fourth year in a row, Smitty’s performance wasn’t the reason they lost. It’s more likely that his excellent performance was noticed by a bunch of NHL guys with the ability to write paychecks. While it’s much less likely that Smitty’s rumored demands north of $6M a year will be met, the Coyotes are still handcuffed and will unable to corral him without a legitimate owner.

Meanwhile, we’re all glad Klinkhammer DID get signed! He earned his way onto the roster this season.

So, will this make Smitty the first casualty of the current crop of indecision, delays, cancelled (or “postponed”) meetings and rumors? Sounds likely.

Mike Smith has a young family and needs to do what’s right for him. Even if Smitty is getting assurances of success in the Coyotes fiasco, why should he believe them? He shouldn’t.

Read Craig’s piece and think about the deadline math he offered in there. You decide who is responsible for the current round of delays if it comes time to point fingers at the culprit responsible for losing a starting goalie. It’s not Glendale. It’s probably not the prospective owners. Is it the NHL?

Maybe.

May 19, 2013

Congratulations to Team USA and Coyotes player David Moss (@djmoss25) for their bronze medal in the IIHS World Championships today. It’s not a gold, but it’s another medal for the USA to go with their gold from Juniors. In the spirit of peace and harmony, I’m not mentioning Canada’s performance in both tournaments.


Don't worry, we GOT this!
Don’t worry, we GOT this! (photo borrowed from Twitter) (We’ll take it down if you like, Jason) (unlike those on Amy’s site)

We hear the public relations campaign to revive Amy’s Baking Company (related to the Coyotes in strange ways) is in full swing. Of course, lending the weight of the prestigious Coyotes Rumor Roundup page to the campaign by mentioning it at all contributes to the problem, but hey when you compete with TMZ for news link this, you have to bend your ethics a little. Just this once. Right?

Amy’s is holding a job fair today to, so we hear, hire 30 people. We’ll assume they will be changing their employment philosophy detailed on the ever evil “Kitchen Nightmares”. If not, and you’re a server that wants to work for no tips, today is YOUR chance for a rare opportunity for just such a position.

Expect tons of media coverage. This is “spin” at it’s finest.


Hey this is pretty funny if you’re a Breaking Bad fan.

May 17. 2013

Wow we got tons of traffic on “Amy’s Baking Company, and the Coyotes” yesterday. Happily, the normal storm of traffic from “zonenordiques.com” was subdued, perhaps our northern brethren were too stung by Canada missing ANY medal in the IIHF World Championships (for the FOURTH consecutive year!) while the USA is still in it for the gold. A gold medal like they also won in the World Juniors this year (I forget how Team Canada finished there).

So what’s the takeaway from that traffic bump? More people are interested in ACTUAL craziness than the situational craziness that continues to be the Coyotes saga. Word came yesterday that Tuesday’s GRAND REOPENING of Amy’s is “sold out”. Of course, since the “tickets” for the event were distributed by the PR guy, there will be more toadies there than at a Louisiana frog pond. (Yeah I know a frog isn’t a toad, allow me some poetic license)

May 15, 2013

The NBA Board of Governors have voted against the relocation of the Sacramento Kings to Seattle. Despite GIANT additional bags of money tossed into the fray by the Seattle contingent, the NBA will be leaving the Kings in Sacramento.

Why does this have anything to do with the Coyotes? The new arena that would be built to house the Kings was also rumored as a landing spot for the Coyotes should relocation be necessary. Conventional wisdom has it that without an NBA team, the arena wouldn’t be built.

The NHL has had their options cut in half. If that means anything to them.


Former Coyotes winger Raffi Torres is likely to be suspended AGAIN during the playoffs for a hit characterized as a head shot. Perhaps Sharks fans will jump on the Free Raffi bandwagon to annoy the whiny Kings. Click here for a suggestion. Below is video of the hit, you decide.


The guy in the video below is calling the Coyotes goalie Mike Smith a diver.

 

May 13, 2013

Craig Morgan runs down the details of the Pastor bid announced as rejected by the NHL today. Click here. Craig later tweeted:

“Am told Pastor group is re-working its bid to reflect a shorter time frame”

The VERY extended term of the deal (15 years) was outside the reported boundaries the NHL specified (3-5 years), so the extra $100M+ offered for the Coyotes didn’t make a difference. So a reworked deal for a shorter timeframe might get consideration.


Okay, hahahahahahahahahaha! That’s rich.

Buzz everywhere the Pastor bid was rejected by the NHL, according to a “quote” from Bill Daly. While I haven’t yet seen it verified by a reliable source, HOLY CRAP! I imagine the phone lines are lit up in a lot of places now. FYI there were hints of big things coming this week from more than one source a couple days ago on Saturday.

Lots of people grabbing for any shred of good news like addicts. And, maybe, the results of that addiction are AGAIN what you’d expect them to be.


The 2013 NHL arena rankings are out and Jobing.com arena is in a solid eighth place. If things like sound systems and staff were considered, it would move WAY up from eighth. Congrats to the Coyotes and to the honcho of the arena management group, Jim Foss.

http://www.stadiumjourney.com/news/05-11-2013/337/2013-nhl-arena-rankings


As the Glendale budget debated are heating up, the hockey / non-hockey revenue numbers should be out before decisions have to be finalized on an arena management agreement. Who wants to bet that hockey generates six million dollars OR MORE of revenue for the City of Glendale each year? There’s that $6M number again.


Beacon Sports has been vewwwy vewwwy quiet since the RFP was published, but I believe they already have bids in hand from at least two of the likely suspects (AEG and Global Spectrum) that will eventually be presented to the City Council.

May 10, 2013

Darin Pastor’s group delivered it’s purchase bid for the Coyotes to the NHL. Read Craig Morgan’s story, more details than provided by any other group so far. Still plenty of guessing to be done of course.

I dropped a post a few minutes ago about the phantom $6M number being floated recently. Click here.

May 7, 2013

Craig Morgan provides, probably in response to a misleading article in the local paper, a great analysis of why the TRUE cost of operating a world class arena isn’t as easy to determine as the price of an apple at the store.

Click here to read it.


Listen to Roc and Mike Grose talk today about the Coyotes and Roc’s lunch with Anthony LeBlanc and Daryl Jones from Renaissance Sports. Good stuff.

AZSportsTalk.com Tuesday 5-7-13: Roc’s Latest on Coyotes After Lunch With Potential Owners


Curiouser and curiouser. After being worked up with news of an NHL / Renaissance Sports Entertainment tag team all day bout of meetings over at City Hall in Glendale, fans received another last minute letdown with the announcement the meetings would be rescheduled for “later in the week”.

Coyotes fans are the acknowledged world experts on expectations and deflations.

Now it looks like the Pastor group is sending a message they are, indeed, still very much in the mix for buying the Coyotes and keeping them in Glendale by announcing they’ve retained the Scottsdale office of Kutak Rock, LLP (based in Omaha) to “guide the documentation of the Coyotes transaction”.

While the other groups rumored to be working on a Coyotes deal haven’t been heard from publicly in awhile, this is a clear shot across the bow of Renaissance from the Pastor group and a deflection of the attention they’ve received for their meetings in Glendale. The ever Coyotes-positive Dan Bickley is even hinting that despite the Renaissance group’s bid could fail and Matt Hulsizer will rise from the ashes with “plenty of money” (?) and swoop in to grab the team.

Hey, people working on this deal? You hear that loud ticking sound? It’s the clocks ticking at Stan Wilson’s house in unison with those over at Dave Tippett’s house. Maloney has gone completely digital, so there’s no ACTUAL ticking, it’s only virtual. T Minus not many days, you guys.

Oh man, you can’t make this stuff up. Actually lots of people can make stuff up, but it doesn’t make that stuff true. Until it’s repeated enough times, then it becomes true.

May 6, 2013

Another day, another carefully timed (Monday is a classic hit piece day) hit piece from the AZ Republic about the Coyotes. There’s a lot of information there, but there’s a lot that’s either flat wrong or misleading and plenty of unsubstantiated “stuff”. But, it’s too much work to refute completely today.

One thing I’ve been harping on for months is that the NHL has an arena management agreement (AMULA) that was modified with a later amendment to be renewable at the NHL’s discretion until 2021. Click here for the original AMULA and look at item 2.3 with for “Actual Cash Losses” description which refutes one statement (from Ed Beasley) in the AZ Rep hit piece about the $25M obligation the City agreed to being EXCLUSIVE of hockey. It isn’t. Then click here for the amendment. Look at item 4 of the amendment and see how long the agreement is renewable for. Make your own decisions.

Blatant self promotion department: Read my post on The Hockey Writers about the upcoming meeting in Glendale with NHL and Renaissance guys.

May 4, 2013

Well I guess THAT cat’s out of the bag! Sounds like the NHL brass and the Renaissance group honchos will be invading Glendale on Tuesday, with meetings scheduled with EVERYBODY in Glendale. So we should know soon enough what the NHL and Renaissance are looking for with Glendale, assuming ANYTHING from the private meetings is leaked out.

May 1, 2013

Coyotes President Mike Nealy, in thanking Phoenix Coyotes fans (on the Coyotes web site):

“I believe the League wants this team here and they’re going to find a way to keep it here,” Nealy said. “There are a lot of active ownership groups that are vying to get this done and the League is working with them to get an ownership group in place and then a viable arena lease with the City of Glendale. I believe that’s going to happen in the near future. That’s why I said what I said to the fans at the last home game.”

Sounds like a clear statement to me.

From THIS fan, thanks to Mike and his very undermanned staff for another great season, one with increased attendance to boot.


Wow it’s May and we’re all still here, although looking for our backup teams to root for. Mine remains the NY Rangers and I’m going for the Ducks in the more competitive Western Conference. The playoffs kicked off last night with a bang. The Wild and Josh Harding lost to the Blackhawks in overtime, but happily the Kings and the Wings both lost.


There’s a lot of buzz north of the border that ends up being translated into:

Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers has stated that there are no serious bidders for the Coyotes

It stems from an apparent interview with “leSoleil” (the sun) granted by Glendale mayor Jerry Weiers. Weiers’ part of the article from them on Tuesday forgive the Google translate translation):

…Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers, said Tuesday he had not discussed with serious buyers about it.

“I spoke to Gary Bettman four days ago and he told me he could remember on Monday to discuss a potential announcement Weiers said during a telephone interview with The Sun . And on Monday, I have not heard from him.”

So, you can clearly see that Weiers did NOT say there are no serious bidders for the Coyotes, he only said he has not spoken with any serious buyers. Please note the position of mayor in Glendale carries only ONE vote of seven, so assuming that a serious buyer would speak with the mayor instead of any of the six council members is a stretch.

My assumption would be that serious buyers are speaking with people in Glendale in preparation for the decision by the NHL on who will be buying the team. Once that decision is finalized, and it appears that decision is in the cards for “very soon”, the mayor will be notified and Glendale will have the opportunity to keep the team or let it go.

July 1 is a deadline the city has provided in their RFP, it coincides with their fiscal year. It also coincides with Coyotes contracts that are expiring. Three VERY important ones I’m aware of are Don Maloney, Dave Tippett and Stan Wilson (and his staff). Losing any of the three would be foolhardy for the new owners, impacting the bottom line financially and psychically for the entire organization.