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Mayor on Coyotes issue: It’s up to NHL, negotiators

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George Witkowski

Posted: Thursday, December 8, 2011 3:30 am

With all the happenings surrounding the Phoenix Coyotes, Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs is hopeful a settlement can be reached to keep the Coyotes, but she said the National Hockey League has the ultimate say in dealing with the buyer or buyers.

The name being tossed about in the negotiation process is San Jose Sharks President and CEO Greg Jamison, although Jerry Reinsdorf's name still comes up in conversation. Scruggs said the city has heard proposals and discussions from the league and Jamison, and it is up to them to settle the matter, since the city has decided to keep the Coyotes.

With expenses accrued over the years, the NHL is looking to sell the Coyotes for $170 million and, according to the latest issue of Forbes, the Coyotes are worth $134 million, the same as last year.

"The matter really rests in the hands of the NHL," Scruggs said. "We've made our decision and it's up to the NHL, and we don't have anything to talk about until a potential buyer proposes a change.

"We, as a council, have discussed the arrangement with the potential bidders, and we know what would work for us and what won't work for us. We have reviewed the proposed terms of the agreement, heard the terms of the agreement and considered these. Mr. Jamison is trying to finalize a deal, and he's extremely serious, and knows what he's doing. He's diligently working to put a proposal together, and I have not heard one statement, except from the Canadian press."

"I wish people would understand when they say, ‘Oh, that Glendale.' But it's not, we're just waiting." -- Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs

She also said it is also imperative the NHL and the potential bidder decide what does and does not work for them as well. There is also another matter, she said.

"We have to figure out a way if the team is sold to the right person," Scruggs said. "It is hard to sell the team without certainty."

The element of the unknown is something everyone knows they must deal with.

"We have the NHL, the potential buyers (and Glendale) and all three have to come to the same place," Scruggs said. "The situation is really a matter of all three entities coming together for Glendale to vote on something. We can't do anything until then, and nothing has changed for us."

Scruggs said it looks to people like the city is dragging its feet.

"I wish people would understand when they say, ‘Oh, that Glendale,' she said. "But it's not, we're just waiting."

According to the mayor, City Manager Ed Beasley handles the negotiating with the NHL. While he could not be reached for comment, Julie Frisoni, executive communications director for Glendale, chose to hold the city's position in the matter.

"The city is engaged in ongoing negotiations," Frisoni said. "It would be inappropriate for us to comment."

Forbes Magazine contributed to this story.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • chucksterj posted at 5:34 pm on Fri, Dec 16, 2011.

    chucksterj Posts: 2

    I wish people would understand that if the Coyotes leave,then jobs would be lost. The Coyotes are having a great season at the Jobing.comArena.

  • az_geo posted at 3:39 pm on Sun, Dec 11, 2011.

    az_geo Posts: 61

    Leave it to Mayor Scruggs to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory once again.