Toronto Billionaire Ready to Whisk Phoenix Coyotes to Canada as Latest Deal to Keep Team in Glendale Falls Through

Categories: Sports?
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www.canadianbusiness.com
Canadian billionaire David Thomson is trying to steal the Phoenix Coyotes from the desert.
Following an improbable, storybook season, there's still no guarantee that the Phoenix Coyotes will stay in the Valley. And now -- after talks to keep the Coyotes in Glendale have stalled -- a familiar, Canadian billionaire hell-bent on moving them to Canada has again joined the conversation.

David Thomson and Winnipeg-based True North Sports and Entertainment are rumored to still be lurking in the shadows, waiting to move the team to Winnipeg as soon as the NHL fails to find a buyer willing to keep them in Glendale.

Thomson has been part of the Coyotes quagmire for months but was pushed aside when the NHL expressed its desire to keep the team in Arizona -- something Thomson isn't likely to do.

Thomson may not have to wait too long to strike, either. Negotiations with Ice Edge Holdings, a group of investors willing to buy the Coyotes and keep them in the desert, have apparently fallen through.

Ice Edge reportedly had been on the verge of securing an exclusivity deal that would make the group the only contender to keep the team in Arizona but, last night, the city of Glendale refused to agree to the exclusivity deal, causing Ice Edge to end negotiations with the city.

The deal isn't dead, but without an exclusivity agreement, things aren't looking good.

Any deal to keep the team in Arizona could be dead, however, if the Glendale City Council denies a request by the NHL -- the entity that currently owns the team -- to cover the Coyotes' financial losses for next season if it can't find a new owner.

Without that guarantee from the city, the league may be less inclined to find a buyer willing to keep the team in Arizona and strike a deal with Thomson, who's made it no secret that he would move the team to Winnipeg.

The Glendale City Council will discuss the NHL's request at a meeting tonight. 

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