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The Puck Stops Here

Phoenix’s Conflict Of Interest Continues

The Phoenix Coyotes are under NHL control and have been for all of this season.  A potential sale was announced in December to Ice Edge Holdings an underfunded group who wants to play some of the Coyotes home games in Saskatoon.  The fact that there have been no significant further announcements about this sale, while other sales such as Tampa Bay proceeded quickly shows that there are problems with this potential sale and that there may be no end in sight to the NHL’s ownership of the Coyotes.

Meanwhile, Phoenix is in fourth seed in the West Conference with a 38-27 record (with five regulation tie points).  A team in that position might be willing to buy players to make a potential playoff run at trade deadline time.  The problem is that the rest of the NHL is paying the Phoenix Coyotes payroll.  The rest of the NHL is paying for Phoenix to bulk up their team to try to defeat them.

This is not the first time that Phoenix Coyotes moves have looked suspicious.  Their trade for Radim Vrbata from Tampa Bay looked like the NHL accepting salary from a financially struggling and soon to be sold Tampa Bay Lightning team as much as it looked like a hockey trade.

The question today is how much should the other NHL teams have to pay in salary for an opposition team to try to defeat them?  Phoenix added Derek Morris, Wojtech Wolski, Lee Stempniak, Petteri Nokelainen and Mathieu Schneider in deadline day deals.  The players they gave up were significantly less expensive or were draft picks.  These moves are unlikely to turn Phoenix into a serious Stanley Cup contender.  The problem is mostly the optics of the situation.  Why should a team that is run entirely out of NHL welfare be one of the biggest buyers on the trade deadline day?  It really looks bad that they are.

There are many problems that come from the NHL running some of its teams, while the others are run as private franchises.  The private franchises are paying for their competitors.  How much should they pay to try to be beaten?  Should the amount go up with trade deadline deals?  It doesn’t look right.

The NHL’s running of the Phoenix Coyotes does not seem to be ending soon.  They are asking teams to pay more and more money to run the team.  They are willing to buy players at the trade deadline to make a (likely failed) Stanley Cup run.  This does not look good.  It looks especially bad when you consider that the NHL had a willing buyer for the team last summer and fought hard to prevent the sale.

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About The Puck Stops Here

imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

Why am I blogging? I want to.

Why are you reading it? ???

Email: [email protected]