Here is the verbatim transcript of an April 29, 2013 interview with Deputy NHL Commissioner Bill Daly regarding Coyotes’ ownership from Sportsnet.com. I do not know the names of the two gentlemen that anchored the show on Hockey Central. I will refer to one as Anchor 1 (A1) and the other as Anchor 2 (A2). I refer to Bill Daly as BD. The link for the video is http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/bill-daly-on-hc-noon/ . It starts at about the 8 minute mark and the Phoenix Coyotes discussion lasts for about 3 minutes. My commentary follows the remarks made.
A1: “Couple of things we have to get to…Phoenix. Are you any closer?”
BD: “Yep. Look, it’s still a work in progress. There’s still a lot of work to be done. Um, but it’s still something that we’re diligent about trying to complete.”
A1: “Is it safe to say it’s not going to be a deal that’s ideal for you but it will be the best case scenario to keep the team in Phoenix?”
BD: “If we can get it done.”
A1: “It’s something…”
BD: “Again, we’re still trying to get it done and there’s a big, a big question mark still out there. We still have to deal with the City of Glendale.
This is an understatement. In the city council’s budget workshop of April 26, 2013 the figure that will be used in the approved Fiscal Year 2013-14 budget is $6M annually. There is still considerable doubt that this figure will be acceptable to any prospective buyer of the team.
A2: “This big notion that the team is essentially almost given to these people and they’re allowed to give it back in three years time. Is there any truth?”
BD: “Well, they’ll buy it.”
A2: “Yeah, they’ll buy it for peanuts.”
BD: “No. They don’t have the ability to give it back.”
The idea that the team would be given back has never surfaced. The question unasked is what is the NHL’s position on relocation of the team?
A2: “So, is this team going to be in excess of $150M, sold for?”
A2: “It will be sold for?”
A1: “Is there a guarantee that they play in Phoenix next year?”
BD: “Uh, no. There’s no guarantees.”
A2: “If this deal is done would they be in Phoenix?”
BD: “Yes. I mean, again, and I should clarify this. I mean, there’s no doubt that we’re dealing with Mr. Gosbee and Mr. LeBlanc and trying to work through and get to a deal with them but there are other interested people who continue, we’re working with at the same time as well. Nobody has exclusivity here. Um, but obviously we’re getting close to having to make some decisions and sign some documentation and you know, we’ve got to work on it. I was on a conference call again last night. It’s something we’re working on”.
The rumor that LeBlanc/Gosbee has a deal sewn up is just that, a rumor perpetuated by Mr. LeBlanc. Mr. Daly indicates that the NHL is talking to various groups and there is no exclusivity for anyone.
A1: “Are you ahead of where you were a few years ago when it looked like Phoenix was going to Winnipeg? I mean that was all but done. Are you ahead of that pace or about the same?”
BD: “I’m not sure how I answer that question. I mean, the, uh, I think, uh, we were very close to selling this team a couple of times and some unforeseen circumstances, uh, kept it from happening. Uh, that’s why I’m the first person who can’t give any guarantees on any result here. Um, you know and at some point in time, you beat your head against the wall enough times you have to try a different hole. You know I used to be a running back. I used to beat my head against the line a couple of time and then I had to try a different hole.”
That “different hole” that Mr. Daly is referring to appears to be consummating a sale with the NHL and then presenting it to Glendale, to accept or reject.
A1: “What happens first? The Olympics or Phoenix? Resolved?”
BD: “Um, well, the final resolution? Uh, I think we’ll in a position to make a recommendation to our Board before, on the Olympics, you know, before we have a closed transaction in Phoenix. That’s not to say there could be some announcements saying this is what we’re trying to get done in Phoenix before then.”
It appears that the NHL still has a long way to go before any announcement of sale is made.
A2: “How much money has the League invested in Phoenix to this point? Like what would you have to sell that team for to break even? On what you’ve lost on this transaction?”
BD: “It’s a complicated question. I can probably take you through it and get to an answer.
A1: “The $25M a year from Glendale has helped.”
BD: “But I don’t intent to (referring to how much has been lost). Of course (in response to the $25M from Glendale).”
Glendale’s infusion of $25M annually for 2 years has virtually guaranteed that the NHL did not lose money in attempting to secure an owner.
Interview then moved on the Stanley Cup….