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Glendale mayor talks tough on NHL


Guest Irishjim
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Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs is hopping mad at the NHL over the $25-million (all currency U.S.) that is due from the city May 2 to cover part of the Phoenix Coyotes losses this season and wants to play tough with the league.

In addition to blasting the NHL during a budget meeting Tuesday, the mayor asked her colleagues on city council to petition NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to return most of the $20-million that is currently in an escrow account for the May 2 payment. The city did not have enough money to put all of the $25-million it promised the NHL in the account and Scruggs indicated it still does not have the shortfall of $5-million.

The money is desperately needed to help cover a potential budget deficit of $30-million. In any event, Scruggs said, the money should be the NHL’s problem because the league did not play straight with the city about its prospects of selling the Coyotes.

“It’s their problem, they misled us and they can’t do this to our city,” Scruggs said, adding later that, “They have been in control of this process for the entire time. They have led us to this terrible point we’re at today.”

Originally, Scruggs wanted to simply withdraw the $20-million from the account but she was not aware until recently that the city did not have control of the escrow account. It needs the NHL’s permission to take the money out. This also fuelled the mayor’s anger and she now wants to ask Bettman to take $5-million from the account, give the $15-million balance back to the city and work out a repayment plan.

After much prodding from Scruggs, Glendale city manager Ed Beasley passed on Scruggs’s request to Bettman. Beasley told Scruggs Bettman took the request “under advisement.”

But if the NHL rejects the request, which Scruggs wants to be made formally in a letter signed by herself and the six council members, it could mean the Coyotes will finally move to another city. While Bettman has said the league, which owns the Coyotes, are negotiating with more than one prospective buyer, Scruggs said in Tuesday’s meeting that no deal is in sight.

The mayor said her anger at the NHL springs from several years of negotiations over the Coyotes, which the league bought out of bankruptcy in October, 2009. Scruggs said she isn’t sure the NHL will agree to her request to return Glendale’s money but wondered if it might because she thinks the league is poised to move the team.

“Is there any reason they feel sorry for little Glendale?” Scruggs said. “Maybe not but maybe there is because they want to take the team someplace else.

“Maybe some places should know what they’re getting involved in when they get involved with the NHL. This is what I know based on how long we’ve been fiddling around with [the NHL].”

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said recently the league’s priority is to keep the Coyotes in Glendale. However, he admitted the time is coming for a decision since a 2012-13 schedule needs to be released and whoever buys the Coyotes will need time to make the move.

One year ago, the NHL told city council it was close to selling the Coyotes to Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer. Mayor Scruggs said the only reason she and the majority of the council members voted one year ago to provide $25-million to the NHL for a second consecutive year to cover part of the team’s losses was that NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told council the city’s money would not be at risk because the new owner would eventually cover all the losses.

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Typical back room BS. This team needs to be sold and moved.

Is Gary Bettman so proud that he cannot admit that he made a mistake with placing a franchise is an area that cannot support the team? Now the tax payers who couldn't give a rip about this team have to flip the bill?

Let is get dragged through the legal system and maybe the result would end in Gary Bettman collecting unemployment.

Sell the team and move the franchise to an area that can support a professional team. Both financially and fanatically. Cough, cough, Quebec City Cough, Cough!

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Typical back room BS. This team needs to be sold and moved.

Is Gary Bettman so proud that he cannot admit that he made a mistake with placing a franchise is an area that cannot support the team? Now the tax payers who couldn't give a rip about this team have to flip the bill?

Let is get dragged through the legal system and maybe the result would end in Gary Bettman collecting unemployment.

Sell the team and move the franchise to an area that can support a professional team. Both financially and fanatically. Cough, cough, Quebec City Cough, Cough!

I do not know but recently on Center Ice the place has been packed. The fans have supported the Coyotes. Its Dallas that is a joke. They win and cant sell. same for the Devils and Florida. Empty seats more than in Glendale. I do not get it. But if they are to move I have heard Quebec City being in the lead. But Kansas City and Portland and Seattle keep getting mention too. I just do not know the answer. I know one thing, Bettman, NO GOAL-SKATE IN THE CREASE FELLA!!!!!!!!LOL

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@Miller Time

I hope either Seattle or Quebec. I noticed that on Center Ice as well regarding the cities in consideration. I think Seattle will have a stadium completed before Quebec, but Quebec has the old Pepsi Le Colosseum (SP) that can house about 15k fans.

Logistically I think Seattle makes a lot of sense and the Pacific division can get re-formatted to:

LAK

ANA

SJ

VAN

SEATTLE

Not too sure how big of a hockey bed Seattle is. Then again I wasn't aware that the Yotes were selling seats. I am basing this off of a article that I read stating that the Coyotes were last in the league for attendance.

http://espn.go.com/nhl/attendance

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@Miller Time

I hope either Seattle or Quebec. I noticed that on Center Ice as well regarding the cities in consideration. I think Seattle will have a stadium completed before Quebec, but Quebec has the old Pepsi Le Colosseum (SP) that can house about 15k fans.

Logistically I think Seattle makes a lot of sense and the Pacific division can get re-formatted to:

LAK

ANA

SJ

VAN

SEATTLE

Not too sure how big of a hockey bed Seattle is. Then again I wasn't aware that the Yotes were selling seats. I am basing this off of a article that I read stating that the Coyotes were last in the league for attendance.

http://espn.go.com/nhl/attendance

There will be lots of whining in Canada if this does happen. I believe Seattle could draw from Portland as well. And some Vancouver fans would make the trip too. I do not know how far it is from Seattle to Portland But I do not think its very far. KC also is in the mix I would assume. But I think the northwest is a better draw. They have the Blues in Missouri and they are very sound.

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