The news just continues to get worse for hockey fans across the country.
A week after the NHL cancelled all games through the month of November, it’s been reported that the league also plans to announce shortly that the Winter Classic won’t be a part of anyone’s New Year’s plans in 2013.
For the Phoenix Coyotes and captain Shane Doan, the news is even harder to swallow. As ESPN.com’s Scott Burnside pointed out Thursday, the on-going lockout may represent a league in turmoil to most fans, but to Doan and those passionate about the puck in the Valley, it represents a whole lot more.
Being locked out and unsure of when they’ll be able to resume their NHL livelihood is stressful enough, then add in the fact the perpetual ownership saga in Phoenix remains unresolved, and you’ve got one lousy situation altogether.
Between a clash with the owners and the players and the uncertainty still surrounding potential buyer Greg Jamison’s purchase of the team, the face of the Coyotes is trying keep calm, but it isn’t easy.
Part of the labor talks between the owners and NHLPA in recent weeks has revolved around the sustainability of lower-revenue markets such as Phoenix.
But Doan believes the argument on sustainability could be a moot point if Jamison can close the deal in Glendale. If the organization actually has a legitimate ownership group in place, the two-time All-Star feels the team might finally be able to profit off their recent on-ice performance.
“If the ownership was in a stable situation, I believe that we wouldn’t be one of the bottom revenue teams, I believe that we’d be in the middle of the pack and we’d be fine,” Doan told Burnside. “But being the way it is right now, you understand. I just wouldn’t want to give up on this city without giving us a real shot of having a stable owner and having the ability to make things work here. Because I do think it would work, as much as people may chuckle at that.”
At this point, nothing is a laughing matter. When Doan signed a four-year deal to remain in Phoenix back in September, it looked like a storybook ending might play out in Phoenix.
Now, it’s playing out more like a bad nightmare for the 36-year-old and his franchise.
While it was reported in mid-October that Jamison and Glendale were making strides towards completing a new arena deal, nothing new has been brought before the city’s council members.
As with the league itself, both NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr and NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly have stated that neither side has any plans moving forward to meet with each other.