This column was written under protest. I didn’t want to touch it.
But the boss insisted. People will read it, he said.
And that, apparently, is the bottom line.
It’s about bottom lines, actually. Specifically, that shaky one propping up big-league hockey in Phoenix.
Wednesday saw another dire report on the plan to save the Coyotes, followed by another “there’s nothing to see here” brush off from the NHL.
This time, with a twist from Winnipeg’s True North Sports and Entertainment.
Let’s start with the dire report, from radio station the Fan 590 in Toronto, which said the deal to save the desert dogs had hit a significant snag.
You may recall how the city of Glendale was going to help new owner Matthew Hulsizer by handing him $100 million towards his $170-million purchase of the franchise from the NHL, then try to recoup the money by charging for parking at the Coyotes arena.
The Toronto radio report said Glendale’s initial effort to raise the money, through a public bond offering, had failed.
That left only a more difficult private bond offering, we were told.
Enter NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, who, in one swift e-mail to the Sun, refuted the story.
“It’s not accurate,” Daly said.
As for the status of the whole Glendale/Hulsizer deal, commissioner Gary Bettman’s right-hand man said it remained on track.
“It continues to move toward closing,” Daly said. “I don’t anticipate time will become an issue, but if it does, we’ll address it then.”
Either Daly’s a liar or someone’s sources are lousy. I tend to believe the latter.
And speaking of lousy sources, a Wednesday report in the Phoenix Business Journal, an on-line publication, may have made the most outrageous suggestion yet in this entire Coyotes fiasco, and that’s saying something.
The Journal suggested Winnipeg’s True North Sports was attempting to throw a wrench into the Glendale deal by trying to steer it into court.
The Journal actually quoted an anonymous source as saying those dastardly Canadians were working behind the scenes to convince the Goldwater Institute, Arizona’s taxpayer watchdog group, to file a lawsuit against the agreement.
“Winnipeg is gunning to get this moved out of Arizona and up there quickly,” the source was quoted as saying.
“They have hired consultants who are behind the scenes trying to quietly promote a suit by the Goldwater Institute.”
Over to you, True North.
“That is 100%, unequivocally, patently false,” True North spokesman and redundancy champion Scott Brown said via e-mail. “True North Sports and Entertainment has NEVER had any contact whatsoever with the Goldwater Institute in any way, shape or form.”
Generally, asking the folks over at True North for comment on the Coyotes saga is like trying to get maple syrup from a cactus.
Wednesday, though, the response was as swift as it was direct.
Apparently, this latest “development” was just too absurd to brush off with a “no comment.”
The whole thing causes a reasonably thinking sportswriter to shake his head. Makes me shake mine, too.
If I had a buck for every bit of misinformation or phony tip floated in this soap opera, I’d be able to buy the Coyotes, too (as long as I got that $100 million from the taxpayers of Glendale, of course).
My advice: don’t take it too seriously, Jets fans.
Consider it free entertainment.
Or, if you prefer, media bulls---, to borrow a phrase from our old friend, Professor Kelly.
Wasn’t it just last week I was saying, “Enough, already?”
Apparently, it’s not.