The' situation was going to be front-and-centre anyway, even before Ice Edge Investment Group – fronted by Bassano, Alta., native Daryl Jones – entered into a tentative purchase agreement late last week. Jones confirmed in an interview yesterday that his operating plan still involves playing a handful of games in Saskatoon and getting former coach Wayne Gretzky back involved with the franchise, but not likely on the hockey operations' side, where he's pleased with the work of general manager Don Maloney and coach Dave Tippett.
Gary Bettman has reportedly agreed to the games in Saskatchewan, but this purchase still has to go through the board of governors, and we've already heard rumblings some are skeptical these guys have the dough.
What I think is clear is that this was the only option in terms of a group looking to make a go of things in Glendale, which would seem to leave the governors with an easy choice — especially if this offer truly is mostly cash as Elliotte Friedman reported on the weekend. There is also talk from Ice Edge that they have as yet unnamed local investors "worth billions" involved, which is perhaps where this coin comes from.
It's hard for me to fathom, however, how they can jump into this while keeping the existing lease term. Maybe there's been some major give from the city that we've yet to hear about?
The league has covered the Coyotes' losses via a line of credit to this point, but there'll have to be a cash call to the other 29 owners down the line. My guess is the governors opt to unload this thing while they can and deal with the consequences later.
We've seen it before.