Ownership mess now costing Coyotes on the ice


I have a friend, let's call him Victor. Victor has a mound of credit card debt so high that you might as well call it Snoop Dogg. Thanks to frivolous spending he can't buy anything because no one is willing -- or ridiculous enough -- to offer him a line of credit and what little money he has is going to pay off his bills.

The lack of credit and cash have cost him some great opportunities over the years like, being able to buy a house, going on vacations, letting Kim Kardashian pick out a $2 million engagement ring at his expense and continuing his education. His creditors have even threatened to sue him. Not having finances or direction hurt him more than he realized or is willing to admit.

The same could be said for the Phoenix Coyotes.

Who do you blame for Ilya Bryzgalov leaving?
The Phoenix Coyotes ownership mess
Bryzgalov himself
Don Maloney
Thanks to Jerry Moyes -- yeah, remember him? He's the reason we're in this entire mess -- the Coyotes have been scraping for money to keep the team afloat for the better part of two years and they can't get a good line of credit to save their lives franchise.

It's cost them plenty of opportunities; like adding free agents, marketing to fans and building a true identity in the Valley that isn't built around wondering if they're staying or if they're going. (It's really like a horrible relationship where one side is always threatening to pack up and go to their parents.)

On Tuesday their financial constraints, and the lawsuit the Goldwater Institute threatened to file, claimed its biggest victim, goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.

The Russian netminder and his negotiation rights were sent to Philadelphia in exchange for the NHL equivalent of the lint you find in your pockets when you empty them at the end of the day.

Even though general manager Don Maloney is doing his best Billy Mays impersonation in an attempt to sell fans on the fact that the trade had to be made and losing Bryzgalov wasn't a big deal, don't believe a word he's saying. Without Bryz stopping more shots than a bulletproof vest night after night, they never would have made the playoffs the last two seasons.

No matter how outrageous Bryzgalov's contract demands may have seemed, the pure fact that the Coyotes are the ward of the NHL took them out of the running to re-sign him from the drop of the proverbial puck. Even if the team offered him a reasonable deal, which all indications are they did, his intention in asking for said outrageous contract may have been to force his way out of town. Which also could be a byproduct of having no owner and not knowing if the team would remain in Phoenix for the duration of the deal. (He made it very clear he had no desire to move to Winnipeg, so it was no secret he didn't like the constant relocation rumors.)

Just like Victor's outrageous spending cost him in the long run, Jerry Moyes, Jim Balsillie and the Goldwater Institute have all cost the Coyotes both on and off the ice. Most of all they're bankrupting the hopes of the team's fan base.

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