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Lease agreement paves way for Coyotes sale

NHL.com @NHL
The long-awaited sale of the Phoenix Coyotes appears to be nearing completion, as the city of Glendale, Ariz., and prospective owner Matthew Hulsizer have reached an agreement on a new lease that would allow the team to remain in Arizona.

"All franchise transactions in the League go through a due diligence process, including an interview of the prospective owner by the NHL Executive Committee. The Committee then makes a recommendation to the NHL Board of Governors who must vote to approve before the proposed transaction can be finalized. The process typically takes about 6 weeks."
-- NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly

A short statement posted on the city's Web site says, "The City and the Hulsizer group have an agreement in principle on a lease which would allow the Hulsizer group to buy the team from the National Hockey League under the terms they requested."

The announcement comes hours before the Coyotes host the Detroit Red Wings in their home opener at Jobing.com Arena.

It also comes not long after NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly revealed on Friday's NHL Live! that he was optimistic a deal was close to completion.

"It's been a long process, but I believe the city (of Glendale) will be announcing today or sometime over the weekend that they have an agreement in principle with Matthew Hulsizer and his group and we have been working with the Hulsizer group on the purchase transaction aspect and I think, conceptually, we have an agreement," Daly said when asked by NHL Live! host Don LaGreca about the situation with Phoenix.

"Now, it is a process of documenting that agreement and moving into closing. But, we are hopeful that we can transition ownership in the very near future -- certainly before the end of the calendar year."

The NHL has been operating the Coyotes since purchasing the team out of bankruptcy in the spring of 2009.

The new lease agreement is one step in the process. The sale still needs formal approval by the NHL Board of Governors.
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