With the deadline for the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes to Greg Jamison passing yesterday without the team being purchased, so many fans are wondering when in the world this saga will end. "End" can mean a lot of things — to most Canadian fans, "end" might mean relocation to Quebec City or Markham. For Phoenix fans, "end" obviously means for their team to be sold to a stable owner and to remain in Glendale.
Part of the problem here isn't that someone hasn't been found, or at the people who have been bandied about as potential owners can't get the capital together — the problem here is the fact that those who are potential owners have been trotted out by the NHL too often as the next hope for the Coyotes. Oh, Matthew Hulsizer? He'll buy the team! This'll be awesome! The league has total faith in… oh, never mind.
Wait, Greg Jamison's buying the team! This is going to be so awesome — as a matter of fact, let's trot him out for an interview in the middle of the Stanley Cup Playoffs so everyone'll see the press conference. And then, well, let's wait nine months for him to not actually buy the team because investors have been pulling out. But we won't know which ones, because no one knows who his investors are to begin with. Everything's totally fine though! No worries, Phoenix fans!
I think by now everyone knows that things aren't fine, and that the two emperors (or guys who have tried to buy the team) have no clothes. The constant waiting and watching is understandable, but the level to which it is fixated on is totally the fault of the league. It's understandable to make the public aware of the fact that there is a strong possibility their team will be sold to someone. What is not understandable is the dog and pony show that the NHL uses to consistently get everyone's hopes up.
This whole thing needs to stop. Stop dragging the Coyotes along from potential ownership mess to potential ownership mess. Stop making the fans of the team go on this absurd roller coaster ride. Stop giving fans in Canadian cities as well as Seattle a bunch of false hope. Just find a competent owner (more on the NHL's track record on that in a later post), sell the team, and then have the fanfare afterwards. If the team actually manages to be sold, that'll be worth all of the hyperbole in the world.