Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Phoenix Rises Again

This young man may actually see his wish come true. Reports out of Phoenix today have Greg Jamison finally getting his house in order to secure enough financing to buy the Phoenix Coyotes from the NHL. The price tag is a cool $170 million, a number that seems downright ridiculous considering the hefty losses this team has suffered over the last few years. But it appears that the Coyotes are on the precipice of being sold to the San Jose Sharks' former CEO, and the franchise will be run by a man who at least knows a little bit about hockey.

The Ice Edge Group, once the frontrunners in trying to acquire the Coyotes, are part of Jamison's group, but the reports today have little information to reveal who the additional investors are. Again, the hefty losses that this team posted in recent years should have set off klaxons and warning lights for investors, but it's clear that Jamison has sold someone or some group on the merits of hockey in the desert.

With Jamison now in control of the purchase, expect Shane Doan to narrow his list to one team as he will most likely re-sign with the Coyotes since he and his family have settled in Phoenix. Getting Doan back will bolster the firepower and leadership of the Coyotes next season, and the Western Conference Finalists should be one of the favorites to capture a playoff spot again next season. Could 2012-13 be their season in the same way that 2011-12 was Los Angeles' season?

What might be most important in this purchase is Jamison's experience. Jamison worked in the sunbelt for a hockey team as the San Jose Sharks became a perennial Stanley Cup favorite while he was CEO. More importantly, they actually became a profitable NHL club, and that fact can't be overlooked. While the Coyotes have a lot of work to do in terms of becoming profitable, perhaps some of the lessons that Jamison learned in San Jose can be applied to the Coyotes.

I certainly am hopeful that this deal can be completed. As we've learned in the past with these types of owners who fall short in their initial attempts to buy NHL teams, nothing is guaranteed until everything is signed, sealed, delivered, and on the ice. Mr. Jamison's track record leads me to believe that I should have faith in the man, but the same could have been said for Jim Balsillie and Jerry Reinsdorf at various points in history as well.

Here's hoping that everything goes smoothly in finalizing this deal so that the young man in the picture above can continue watching hockey in his hometown.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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