Updated Jan 24, 2012 - 2:20 pm
Off the Ice: Glendale vs. NHL is beginning of end
The stuff, as they say, has just hit the fan.
The City of Glendale is now going after the NHL, claiming that the reason the Phoenix Coyotes have not been sold is because the league has over-valued the team and is scaring off potential buyers.
In addition to that, Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs basically said the NHL is waiting for the right price and is more than happy to let Glendale take the heat.
"We are not in control and quite honestly, I'm kind of tired of everybody pointing to us and making comments that the city of Glendale can't get the job done. We have no control over it and I think probably the NHL is very happy that writers and reporters continue to point to the city of Glendale for not getting the job done because it takes the attention directly off them."
My dad owns a rental house in Tempe. Thanks to the lazy tenants not paying their rent, he had to evict them. Little did he know, they stayed in the house, living rent free. In the end, he had to turn off the power to the house to get them to move out. That didn't go over well. He didn't handle the situation well and neither did the tenants.
If what's coming out of Glendale is true, the NHL becomes the lazy tenants in the aforementioned situation. They're merely leeching off of a city who is trying to keep a team because they know Glendale will lose even more if Jobing.com Arena doesn't entertain hockey fans for a minimum of 41 nights per year. The NHL is paying some of the bills, much like my dad's former tenants, but living rent free and holding out as long as they can to get the best deal for themselves, everyone else be damned.
Now, all this is assuming, like I said, that what Scruggs said is accurate. The entire ownership situation has become a joke -- not a talking point as it should be -- in both the local and national media. Cities are salivating over an available franchise that could mark the first NHL team or return of professional hockey to their fans.
The sale of the team, as we all remember, was killed by the third-party Goldwater Institute. Prospective buyer Matthew Hulsizer asked Glendale to sell bonds to aid his purchase of the team and the Institute threatened a lawsuit. If I were considering investing millions into a good team with a struggling fan base, the entire situation in Glendale would be enough of a put-off to make me take my business elsewhere.
When I tweeted about the news, many followers responded placing blame in numerous areas. @rdbolan said he blames Glendale for not discussing a new lease, @mcszymanski said Glendale is merely shoveling the stuff elsewhere when everything blows up and @gregdunaway echoed Scruggs' sentiments of the team being overpriced. But @Why_Zee had the most interesting idea: If the Coyotes leave, he expects Glendale to sue the NHL.
I'm not going to delve into that right now, because that's a column in and of itself. But anytime the word "lawsuit" comes to mind in a sale situation, it's generally the beginning of the end.