Coyotes grossly overvalued

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:47 PM ET

It was a short and simple quote from would-be NHL owner Matthew Hulsizer — yet it says so much about the state of the Phoenix Coyotes.

Commenting the other day on the possibility of reworking the deal so as to appease the Goldwater Institute, Hulsizer said he wasn’t prepared to put one more dime into the transaction.

The Chicago investor obviously feels the $70 million cheque he was prepared to write — the City of Glendale is supposed to raise the other $100 million — is more than enough to take over a team that routinely loses $20 million to $30 million a season.

And you can’t really blame the guy.

That’s the best deal the NHL has been able to find since it bought the team out of bankruptcy court in the fall of 2009, not including those (hello, Jim Balsillie) who’d only buy the team to move it.

Which brings us to another multimillionaire who’d buy the team only if he can move it: Winnipegger Mark Chipman.

If the true market value for the Coyotes in Arizona is just $70 million — and even that’s a stretch, when you consider Glendale was also going to pay Hulsizer $97 million to manage the Jobing.com Arena for the next five years — what’s the market value for a move to southern Manitoba?

Forbes Magazine, in its most recent rankings, hung a $134-million price tag on the ’Yotes, which recent events have proven to be wildly inflated, at least in Phoenix.

For a move to Winnipeg, though, that sounds like a lot fairer number than the $170 million the NHL claims it must receive.

Seems to me the longer the league waits and the closer it gets to any real deadline for next season, the more desperate it becomes — and the more leverage Chipman and Co. have at the bargaining table.

How can’t the Coyotes be worth less today than they were at this time a year ago?

Which means Gary Bettman may regret putting up such a fight to keep the team where it is.

PARKING ZONE: As we wait for the next shoe to drop in the desert, there’s one other thing I can’t get out of my head about the doomed Glendale deal.

All Hulsizer had to do in order to get Goldwater to back off was promise to cover any shortfall in Glendale’s attempt to recoup its $100 million through parking fees.

If those parking spots were really worth that much, why wouldn’t he?

The fact he hasn’t adds a ton of weight to Goldwater’s argument that the $100 million-for-parking-rights deal was a sham (aka an illegal subsidy) all along.

FEEDING FRENZY: The outcry over the Zdeno Chara hit on Max Pacioretty is astonishing.

And then you realize it happened to a member of the hallowed Montreal Canadiens, where everyone from politicians to prosecutors are looking through bleu, blanc et rouge coloured glasses — and you shrug it off.

My two cents: the incident was a freak accident, and shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same breath as deliberate head shots.

Clean hit, horrible result.

THE BUCKS STOP HERE?: It’s about the head of Air Canada threatening to end the company’s sponsorship of the NHL because of all the violence.

At first, you’re tempted to take shots at the guy, tell somebody to hand him a bag of pretzels and go back to his seat, being sure to keep his opinion to himself and his tray table in the upright position.

Then you start to wonder if maybe this is the only way to get through to the powers that be.

Whatever side of the Chara play you’re on, the NHL has a growing problem.

And what better way to make sure the league acts on it than by hitting it where it hurts the most.

That’s a shot the league would take seriously.


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