Groups in talks about Coyotes' situation

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:20 PM ET

It’s the annual deadline, it seems.

Ownership for the Phoenix Coyotes always seems to be a moving target, but the hope - again - is that the NHL board of governors will get news on the situation when they meet in California in the first week of December and that maybe this time the Phoenix situation can be resolved.

That’s important because the long-term prospects for the Coyotes in the desert affect the various realignment scenarios being contemplated by the governors.

One club executive told QMI Agency that he is hopeful both the Coyotes situation and the realignment debate - which is expected to be bloody - could be all tied up in a neat package at the December meetings.

It’s believed there are two groups talking to the NHL about the Phoenix situation. Reports last month had Chicago sports honcho Jerry Reinsdorf again in the picture, but as one insider put it, he doesn’t expect that to get done unless the NHL and the city of Glendale are willing to accept Reinsdorf’s deal.

A group involving former San Jose Sharks executive Greg Jamison has also been linked to Phoenix.

“I’m sure the league would like to get everything tied up,” said one interested party. “But I remain highly skeptical anything is going to be done by December.”

Given what’s happened before, that would have to be the default position.

HEAR AND THERE

If anybody was doubting the value of Ryan Kelser to the Vancouver Canucks, you’re seeing it now. The Canucks were 1-2-1 going into Saturday night’s game against the Edmonton Oilers and there is the usual angst over the play of goalender Roberto Luongo, who is off to another of his typically slow starts. Whatever. Kesler does it all for the Canucks. The good news is Kesler, who had off-season hip surgery, is expected back sometime next week...Of course, it wouldn’t hurt if the Canucks were a little more disciplined. They took nine first-period penalties in their first three games...The Detroit Red Wings have made no secret of their desire to move to the Eastern Conference and the realignment of the NHL is going to be one big negotiation. Apparently the Wings might be willing to stay in the West if the schedule is remade (read more balanced) and they have a couple of Western swings eliminated. When you think about it, what the Wings have been able to accomplish is all the more remarkable given their travel burden...

JUST WONDERING

I’m writing this before the Philadelphia Flyers-Los Angeles Kings game Saturday night which features the return of former Flyers captain Mike Richards. When former Flyer Simon Gagne returned with the Tampa Lightning last year, he got a video tribute. Will Richards get the same treatment? Maybe a video tribute to Dry Island?...What exactly are the St. Louis Blues worth? There is apparently a verbal agreement for Matthew Hulsizer to buy the club and Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting the deal is worth $190 million, according to sources. But the deal also includes the Peoria Rivermen of the AHL, the lease at the Scottrade Center and the Peabody Opera House in St. Louis...Who wants to be the first Pittsburgh Penguin to hit Sidney Crosby in practice?

GO FIGURE

Speaking of the Blues, goaltender Jaroslav Halak is off to a slow start. The Blues had outshot the opposition 106-57 in their first three games, but were 1-2. Halak gave up eight goals on those 57 shots...Hey, guess what? The Boston Bruins power play is struggling. It’s 1-for-18 in four games. Of course, the B’s went 10-for-88 in the playoffs last spring (11.4%) and still won the Cup, so maybe it’s not that big a deal. But you have to wonder how a team with a Cup-winning group struggles so much to score with the man advantage...If the Minnesota Wild goes to the shootout and Nik Backstrom is in net, well, bet on the other guys. Backstrom gave up goals to all three shooters Tuesday night against the Ottawa Senators and is now 12-25 in shootouts with a .568 save percentage. He’s stopped only two of the last 14 shooters in the breakaway portion of your programming.

JUST SAYING

There was all kinds of talk about the air needing changing in the Philadelphia Flyers dressing room in the wake of Richards and Jeff Carter getting traded in the summer. The Flyers slogan this year is “It’s all about chemistry.”

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/CJ_Stevenson


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