With a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators Monday night, the Phoenix Coyotes advanced to the Western Conference finals for the first in franchise history. However, that wasn’t even the best news of the day for the Coyotes fans.
Just hours before Game 5 in Glendale, Ariz., league commissioner Gary Bettman announced a group led by former San Jose Sharks chief executive Greg Jamison had a tentative deal with the league to purchase the club.
“We had a series of meetings [Monday] with Greg Jamison and the City of Glendale and basically the status of things is we have an understanding with Mr. Jamison that we are going to proceed with he and his group to reach a formal agreement with the purchase and sale of the Coyotes,” Bettman said at Jobing.com Arena. “While Greg is working on that with us, he’s also going to be simultaneously looking to conclude an agreement with the City of Glendale. If both things track as we hope they will in the not too distant future—though I won’t put a specific timeframe on it—we will be in a position, subject to board approval and council approval, to have the sale of the Coyotes finalized and effectuated.”
Just as most around the hockey world left the ‘Yotes for dead when goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov left during the offseason, nobody could have envisioned that someone would actually be willing to spend money to keep the team in the desert. But with the season the Coyotes have been having, how could it not attract a guy like Jamison to keep the club in Phoenix?
After winning their first Pacific Division title in franchise history, all the ‘Yotes have done is mow down the 2010 Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in six games and take out the Predators—who big favorites to capture the Cup this season—in five. Now the team will prepare to face off against the Los Angels Kings in the Western Conference finals.
So after years of speculation and ramped rumors that the franchise would be relocated to Seattle, or Kansas City, or Quebec, it would appear, at least for now, that the Desert Dogs are staying in the desert.