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BETTMAN UPDATES COYOTES' SITUATION AT STANLEY CUP FINAL

by Staff Writer / Arizona Coyotes
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman addressed the media in Chicago on Friday, one day before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final between the host Blackhawks and the Philadelphia Flyers. A reporter asked Bettman to update the situation regarding the ownership of the Coyotes. The exchange is below:


Q. Gary, can you give us a state of the Coyotes' update?

COMMISSIONER BETTMAN: "I would be happy to. The Coyotes are staying in Phoenix - Glendale. And I know there's been a lot of discussion at this point about artificial deadlines, which may or may not have been imposed. They weren't. What happened here was, it became clear that the City of Glendale could not do everything, accomplish everything that it was promising to do in time for a new buyer to close, in time for us to be comfortable for this coming season.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Photo by Getty Images.
So we went to the City of Glendale and said -- and I think people tend to forget this, we have a lot of money invested in the Coyotes as a League right now, almost as much as the city has invested in the building – we're prepared to stay for another season if we have to. But if you can't accomplish all the things that you're promising to accomplish that will enable a buyer to close, then we want to be indemnified for our losses this season, because we're going to stick around in the belief and expectation that you're going to get everything done that you're promising to get done. And the City of Glendale was prepared to do that. Their hope and expectation is that they will conclude a building arrangement with a prospective purchaser. They're talking to three groups right now. In the next few days, few weeks, and that this franchise will ultimately be able to be sold over the summer. That is my hope. That is my expectation.

There was also a lot of speculation, and I'll address it now, about what would have happened if the City of Glendale didn't step up as they were prepared to do to support the franchise for next season, and what we would have done with it. We would have been forced, we would have had no choice but to move it. There has been a lot of specuilation about Winnipeg. Winnipeg did make a bona fide offer. We never concluded a deal. That offer was made by Mark Chipman and David Thomson as partners in True North.

They are very comfortable with the process. They understood that the likelihood was that the team was going to be remaining in Phoenix. They wanted us to know of their interest, and they have told us they are prepared to be patient."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Bettman also told reporters that the 2010-11 NHL schedule would be released  on June 22.
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