In the fictional 1977 Federal League season, Charlestown Chiefs goalie Denis Lemieux (Yvon Barrette) famously asked his GM, Joe McGrath, “Who own the Chiefs?” in a thick Quebec accent.
He didn’t get an answer, but by Wednesday of this week, Ilya Bryzgalov should be able to ask the same question to Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney with more success.
On Tuesday a judge will decide who owns the ‘Yotes – is it Gary Bettman and the NHL, or is it transportation magnate Jerry Moyes?
Blackberry boss Jim Balsillie, who is trying for the third time to become an NHL owner, says it really doesn’t matter who owns the team, because either way – they’re still broke.
Balsillie’s bid for the team is conditional on the franchise’s relocation to southern Ontario, but according to court papers that’s not where the NHL sees the next relocation happening.
Now, he might just be saying this to make Balsillie mad, but Gary Bettman has apparently told a lawyer that works for the Coyotes that he would prefer a move back to…Winnipeg!
The reason? Copps Coliseum in Hamilton is over 30 years old.
Hamilton city council has approved an option on a long-term lease on the rink if Balsillie managed to buy the Coyotes, and he’s vowed to make $5-million worth of upgrades, but…
What does $5-million really get you these days? Perhaps not enough.
Try not to get too excited though, Winnipeg fans, there’s a long way to go still!