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One last chance to save Coyotes may be in the works

The sale of the Phoenix Coyotes to Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer is in peril, and a last-ditch effort to save the team may be in the works.

According to the Phoenix Business Journal, if the plan fails the team could ultimately be sold to a Canadian group who will move the team back to Winnipeg.

According to sources close to the inner-workings of the deal, the new Coyotes sale plan could entail:

• Reducing the amount of City of Glendale bonds for Hulsizer and the Coyotes from $100 million down to $70 million.

• Having the National Hockey League discount its estimated $170 million asking price for the team, plus this year’s $25 million to $30 million in losses it wants covered by Glendale or Hulsizer.

• Asking Hulsizer to contribute more than the current estimated $70 million he is putting into the transaction.

• Possibly leveraging $25 million Glendale previously allocated to help cover the Coyotes losses this season.

• Hoping the reduced bonds amount and financial changes lessen legal opposition to the deal from the Goldwater Institute watchdog group.

The plan to sell to Hulsizer has been questioned by the Goldwater Institute, who has said the bond sale to the businessman is not allowed under state law. That, in turn, has scared off some investors, driving up the interest rate on the bond.

Other options to help the sale could be to have the NHL reduce how much the city is bonding for Hulsizer, though the league’s commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly were reportedly flying to Glendale to try to hammer out an agreement.

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