PHOENIX — After the city of Glendale voted to cancel its lease with the Arizona Coyotes, the discussion began as to what the future holds for this franchise.
“I expect the Coyotes are going to be vindicated,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said on Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM on Monday.
According to Daly, Phoenix is a good area for hockey, where it can be successful, especially with all the transplants who come to this place to spend their winters.
“The reason it hasn’t been an overwhelming success is because of all the extracurricular challenges we’ve had to deal with and they’ve had to deal with over time,” Daly said.
The current ownership group has taken a huge part in the league’s continued support and commitment of the Coyotes in the Valley.
“We’re very much behind the Coyotes,” Daly said. “We’re there to assist and there to help. We certainly made our legal team and outside lawyers available to the Coyotes, but this is their lease and a lease they negotiated.”
With independent ownership the NHL league office won’t be actively involved in the legal action.
“People feel strongly about this team, they’re tired of being abused in the process and that’s unfortunate and as I said we’ll try to do what we can to remedy that,” Daly said.
Members of the league office have spent a lot of time in the Phoenix-area over the last six years on Coyotes matters, at times front and center in the legal battles.
“Its been a lot of personal work from a lot of people in the league office, not just myself, spending a lot of time in Glendale, spending a lot of time in the Valley with the Coyotes and you kind of wish for better for this franchise,” Daly said. “It deserves better and that’s the unfortunate part about this.”
According to Daly, the situation does make you frustrated, probably a little bit of anger, but also some hurt with respect for what this fanbase has to go through.
“It certainly is gratifying to hear the news that the city of Phoenix may have an interest in being home to the Coyotes someday, but I think it’s far too early to speculate how this will play out exactly.”