Day of reckoning nears for Coyotes?

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:24 AM ET

Tuesday could be a significant day surrounding the future of the Phoenix Coyotes franchise.

As the buzz about the potential return of the NHL franchise to Winnipeg hit a fever pitch over the past few days, the Satellite Hot Stove panel of experts on Hockey Night in Canada seemed encouraged about the prospects.

The City of Glendale is holding a council meeting on Tuesday night where it’s expected they’ll vote on a proposal regarding an insurance policy that would cover losses moving forward and buy additional time for the city before the threat of relocation is considered.

“If they vote yes to cover the losses, the team is probably in Phoenix for at least another year. If they vote no — and there might be a lot of pressure for them to vote no — the team is probably gone and it’s probably going to be relocated,” said Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com.

One of the biggest issues working in Winnipeg’s favour is that it’s illegal to use public funds for matters like this in the state of Arizona.

“It’s against the law and the constitution of Arizona and if they do vote yes, I smell a lawsuit,” said CBC analyst Glenn Healy. “In Winnipeg, you have an owner that’s rich, you have the building (the MTS Centre), you have the fan base. It’s time to say the square peg, round hole ­— didn’t work and it’s time to move on.”

LeBrun said while there is no written agreement in place with True North Sports and Entertainment should the new deal with Ice Edge fall through, Winnipeg is considered the favourite for relocation.

Quebec City and Kansas City are also considered candidates.

LeBrun also reported that Ice Edge is close to signing an exclusivity agreement with the City of Glendale before Tuesday’s council meeting.

Folks on the Hot Stove panel weren’t the only ones speaking in favour of an NHL return to Winnipeg.

“They love the Jets more than anything,” Don Cherry said during Coach’s Corner on Saturday. “They will eventually be there. These (Ice) Edge guys are going to get their brains knocked out there.

“They’ll be in Winnipeg and remember the guy who told you first.”


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