An hour before the Coyotes took the ice for their biggest game in franchise history, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman stood in front of a room filled with local and national reporters and said negotiations are getting closer to keep the Coyotes in Glendale, but nothing is official.
Flanked by former San Jose Sharks CEO and investor Greg Jamison, Commissioner Bettman said the sale of the team to Jamison and his unnamed group is moving forward, but nothing is complete.
“We think things are on track,” the Commissioner explained. “We see light at the end of the tunnel. With the right ownership, we think [the Coyotes] can be successful here.”
The team, who have been run by the NHL since 2009, has lost money in Arizona but Jamison is confident hockey can be profitable in the desert. Reports say the ‘Yotes lose an average of $20-25 million per year.
Many hoped the press conference, which was called earlier Monday afternoon, would unveil an official announcement of the Coyotes staying in Arizona, but that wasn’t the case as Commissioner Bettman simply “updated” a timeline many were already of.
“I can hope it can be counted in weeks, instead of months.”
Jamison, who expressed interest in buying the franchise last year, preached patience during the process and said fans need to realize how special this playoff run has been by Dave Tippett’s team.
“These [negotiations] always take time and there’s a lot of things to work through,” Jamison explained. “At the end of the day we didn’t want this to be a distraction. It’s all about the game now.”