WINNIPEG - Here’s a twist in the Phoenix Coyotes saga nobody saw coming.
The NHL and the city of Glendale have agreed to prolong the agony for another season while negotiations to find a new owner continue.
The agreement must gain the support of Glendale city council, which meets next Tuesday.
"We think it is the best alternative to ensure the club's future in Glendale, which has always been our objective," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Winnipeg Sun in an e-mail, Friday night. "Obviously, nothing is done yet."
Under the deal, Glendale taxpayers would be on the hook for another $25 million in losses next season, just like they were this past season.
If passed, the agreement would allow Glendale, the league and Matt Hulsizer more time to work out a long-term plan to keep the team in Arizona.
However, if Glendale politicians balk, all bets are off.
One source with knowledge of the deal says this is it, that Winnipeg’s NHL hopes hang in the balance.
“Definitely a big day,” he said. “If it fails, you have your team.”