Coyotes deal falling apart?

Matthew Hulsizer CEO of PEAK6 Investments, attends a game between the Wings and Coyotes at...

Matthew Hulsizer CEO of PEAK6 Investments, attends a game between the Wings and Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Arizona on Oct. 16, 2010. (CHRISTIAN PETERSEN/Getty Images)

TED WYMAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:55 PM ET

While Matthew Hulsizer said just this past weekend that he expects his purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes to close soon, a report Tuesday indicates the deal needs to be done within a matter of days or it could fall apart.

The Phoenix Business Journal reported Tuesday that Hulsizer could end up taking his money to another market — there are several NHL teams for sale, including the New Jersey Devils, Atlanta Thrashers and Dallas Stars — if the proposed sale of the Coyotes drags on much longer.

The sale is currently bogged down by the City of Glendale’s bond sale, which is being used to finance part of the $197 million package the city promised to Hulsizer to get him to buy the team and keep it in Arizona.

The bond sale, already hampered by poor interest rates, is also being affected by the Goldwater Institute’s threat of a lawsuit, which may in fact be driving the interest rates on the bond sale even higher.

Hulsizer said this week he just wanted the Goldwater Institute to decide whether it is going to sue so the sale can proceed one way or the other.

All this sounds promising for Winnipeg, which has an ownership group waiting in the wings for a chance to purchase the Coyotes and move them north to play out of MTS Centre.

Of course, we’ve seen these kinds of tantalizing possibilities many times before.

We all know the Coyotes deal could still close soon and Winnipeg will be left with nothing but its serviceable AHL team, but there’s a suggestion in the Phoenix Business Journal report that makes a lot of sense.

If Hulsizer really wants to own an NHL team why not buy one that’s a little more viable, like the Stars or Devils, and let this crazy idea of hockey in the desert die a merciful death.

COMPETITION FOR THRASHERS?: The Coyotes deal remains on thin ice but the hockey world’s focus seems to have shifted to Atlanta when it comes to talk of relocation.

And while talk of the Thrashers moving to Winnipeg has been circulating for years, the betting line no longer favours our city.

The chic choice for relocation nowadays is Quebec City and why not? The government there is rolling out the red carpet, funding a state-of-the-art new arena, and Tuesday agreeing on a management deal with Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau.

The deal with Peladeau ensures the potential owner of a Quebec City franchise will have control of the arena, an essential to success in this day and age.

Of course, Mark Chipman and his True North group have a similar deal here in Winnipeg and are years ahead of Quebec City in terms of leg work with the NHL, but if there’s only one team available, it will be interesting to see which Canadian market gets first dibs.

Ideally, Winnipeg would get the Coyotes and Quebec City the Thrashers.

Then all would be right with the hockey world.

REGINA DOME DOOMED?: While the powers that be in Quebec City decided to proceed with arena plans without financial involvement from the federal government, the good folks of Saskatchewan have no such intention.

No federal money

A deal to finance a new $430-million domed stadium for the Saskatchewan Roughriders has stalled and could be dead after the federal government failed to respond to a request for $100 million in funding.

The Saskatchewan government announced Tuesday that the “deal can go no further at this time.”

The Roughriders, the City of Regina and the provincial government will meet soon to decide what to do next, with options including a renovation of Mosaic Stadium or a less-ambitious outdoor stadium project.

At least we know we’re not alone in Winnipeg when it comes to having trouble getting things done.

ted.wyman@sunmedia.ca

twitter@Ted_Wyman


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