NHL: Coyotes sale imminent

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman believes the Phoenix Coyotes will be sold by the 2010-11 season. ...

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman believes the Phoenix Coyotes will be sold by the 2010-11 season. (REUTERS/Shaun Best)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:01 PM ET

LOS ANGELES - The NHL expects the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes to be completed by the start of next season.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Thursday the league’s governors were briefed on the Phoenix situation during a five-hour meeting in advance of Friday night’s NHL draft.

The City of Glendale approved a memorandum of understanding with Ice Edge Holdings earlier this month for the sale of the club, which was owned and operated by the league last season after it bought the franchise out of bankruptcy, losing what is believed to be $20 million.

Ice Edge has an exclusive negotiating window for 60 days.

“We’re letting the city figure out who they want to work with,” said Bettman after the meeting.

“Everybody is completely comfortable with what’s been going on.”

The governors also gave final approval to the new rule which will see shoulder hits to the head on unsuspecting opponents called in games. The penalty will be called “illegal check to the head,” and will be punished with a five-minute major, game misconduct and the possibility of supplemental discipline.

The governors also got a look at some 3D television footage from last season’s Winter Classic in Boston and a game between the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders and several governors came away impressed.

“It needs some work...but there are some exciting possibilities for television,” said Bettman.

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca


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