NHL includes Winnipeg in schedule: reports

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:07 PM ET

Reports indicate the NHL has drawn up a tentative schedule that includes a team in Winnipeg.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, reached by the Sun Tuesday, wouldn’t confirm or deny those reports, which have Winnipeg joining the Northwest Division, alongside Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Minnesota.

The stories, one by the CBC, another by the Toronto Star, say the Colorado Avalanche would move to the Pacific Division.

Considering the shaky state of the Phoenix Coyotes, it wouldn’t be unusual for the NHL to be looking at contingency plans.

NHL teams typically get a very rough draft of the schedule in May, after which it’s adjusted several times until a final version is released in July.

“We have not seen a preliminary schedule, yet,” Bob Hunter, executive vice-president of venues and entertainment for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs, told Sun Media, Tuesday. “We just heard about this story flying around the internet.”

The future of the Coyotes may become somewhat clearer at a city council meeting in Glendale, Ariz., tonight.

Councillors will vote on a plan that would allow the city to agree to cover the team’s losses next season, should the NHL not find a suitable buyer.

The NHL bought the team out of bankruptcy last fall, absorbing reported losses of between $20 and $30 million this season.


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