Agreement In Place For Hulsizer To Buy Coyotes

So maybe the third time really is the charm? With Reinsdorf and Ice Edge Holding whiffing on the open netter, Chicago rich guy Matthew Hulsizer appears to have a deal in place. Or does he?

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Agreement (Allegedly) In Place For Hulsizer To Buy Coyotes From NHL

When it comes to this story, there's absolutely no reason to believe anything until it's done. Until the ink is dried and the fat lady has sung, nothing has happened except more noise.

But at least today's noise is positive -- if you are a supporter of keeping the Coyotes NHL ice hockey team in the desert where they belong. What?

Here's the latest from around the web starting with our own Five for Howling:

Of course, the Canadian media can't get their stories straight. I blame the lack of oxygen and sunshine. They really should move to Arizona, where the climate is much more conducive to hockey ... and thinking.

  • Latest bid to buy Coyotes stalls - The Globe and Mail Good news for hockey fans in Winnipeg. Matthew Hulsizer’s bid to buy the Phoenix Coyotes from the NHL has stalled because the Chicago businessman wants a big discount on the $165-million (all currency U.S.) the league wants for the team, two sources say.
  • Coyotes staying in the desert? | Hockey | Sports | Winnipeg Sun It looks like the Phoenix Coyotes won't be coming back to their original home after all. Sources have confirmed that the NHL has reached a conceptual agreement with Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer that would keep the Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz. for the foreseeable future.

Super Rich Dude Pledges $25 Million To Glendale

New updates have come out regarding the uncertain status of the Phoenix Coyotes. According to a report out from the Arizona Republic, a potential mystery buyer had pledged to cover the $25 million the NHL charged to Glendale to cover operating losses and expenses.

It is widely believed that the mystery buyer is Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer. Hulsizer was a spectator at the Coyotes' rookie game earlier in the week.

"As the city and the prospective buyer work toward finalizing documents, in a show of good faith, the prospective buyer has deposited $25 million dollars into escrow," Glendale's statement read.

Glendale officials would not name the potential buyer, but the city has been negotiating for weeks with Matthew Hulsizer, a Chicago investor.

"This shows the city has met the NHL deadline for finding a qualified buyer, who will keep the team here, a requirement to release the City's $25 million currently in escrow," the statement said. "Glendale and the NHL will continue to move forward to work with the prospective buyer to facilitate a purchase of the team that will keep the Coyotes in Glendale for the long term."


Super Rich Chicago Dude Matthew Hulsizer Bidding On Coyotes

According to ESPN sources, the mystery shopper for the NHL-owned Coyotes is none other than Matthew Hulsizer, CEO of PEAK6 Investment.

The Coyotes have been treading water waiting for their White Knight for some time, yadda, yadda, yadda and now flash forward to the guy described being the real deal.

"He dwarfs [Jerry] Reinsdorf when it comes to personal net worth."

And really, at this point isn't that all that matters?

Head over to Five for Howling for more mystery owner news talk.


New Mystery Owner Bidding For Coyotes As Ice Edge Holdings Backs Off

As the Coyotes turn...

The latest in this never-ending game of "Who will buy the Coyotes" is news today from the Phoenix Business Journal that a mysterious rich guy is now in the running to boy the team and (allegedly) wants to keep them in Glendale.

Ice Edge, after all their big talk about having the money to pull off the deal seems resigned for taking a back seat and setting for a minor league hockey team in a minor league hockey city.

Ice Edge announced Monday it was focused on bringing an ECHL minor league hockey team to Thunder Bay, Ontario. Ice Edge CEO Keith McCullough said in a statement Monday his investment group could have some involvement with the new Coyotes ownership group.

"We understand another party that we have become acquainted with is in advanced negotiations with Glendale and an announcement could happen soon. If this occurs, we expect to continue to be involved with the Coyotes as an adviser for the foreseeable future," McCullough said.


Now we wait to find out who this mystery owner is.

For more Coyotes discussion, head over to Five for Howling.


Coyotes Ownership Situation Clouded, Season Tickets Sales Slow

According to a report from the ever reliable and never biased Canadian media, the City of Glendale is now talking to three more groups about a potential purchase of the team. Included in the potential new (old) suitors is the on-again, off-again Jerry Reinsdorf.

Ice Edge Holdings lost the right exclusively negotiate with the City of Glendale when it failed to produce proof that it had the financial firepower to buy the team.

The report from states that, "Another source close to the team said that only 1,800 season tickets have been sold for the 2010-11 season."

Wonder why fans would be unwilling to commit to an owner-less team?

Then again, the folks north of the border have been more than willing to pile on rumor and gossip regarding the Coyotes troubled situation so who knows.

Bidding for the bankrupt Texas Ranger ended up with two powerful groups driving up the price to $385 million while no one has stepped up in Phoenix to save the Coyotes. The deflated real estate market, which has always been a key driver of the local economy, certainly can't help, but there's little doubt that apathy for the fate of hockey in the desert is playing it's part as well.


Montreal Gazette: Saskatoon Still On The Radar For Ice Edge

The Montreal Gazette has done some investigative reporting: will there be some future Coyotes “home games” in Saskatoon?

Ice Edge has not abandoned the idea, a group spokesperson confirmed Monday.

“The proposal to play a handful of games in Saskatoon is still in the Ice Edge proposal,” said Robert Johnson, a consultant with High Ground, a Phoenix-based public relations firm representing Ice Edge. “But as you know, it would have to be approved by the NHL.”


Ice Edge Shows Glendale The Money

Ice Edge Holdings has shown Glendale the money, proving they have the financial backing to buy the Coyotes.

It wasn’t so much a bag full of dollar dollar bilz, but it was some form of letter from some kind of banker.

Next step -- actually buying the team from the NHL.


Ice Edge Holdings Approved By Glendale To Buy Team

This is big news.

GLENDALE, Ariz.- The Glendale City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve a memorandum of understanding from Ice Edge Holdings toward purchasing the Phoenix Coyotes and keeping the NHL team at Arena.

The memorandum gives Ice Edge, a group of Canadian and American investors, exclusive negotiating rights for a new arena lease over the next 60 days. A new lease is a necessary step toward buying the team from the NHL. Glendale officials say the memorandum will be forwarded to league officials for a final decision.

Of course, there's a long way from approval from Glendale, who desperately wants a buyer that will keep the team in their fancy building, and Ice Edge Holdings is the only bachelor left standing. But that doesn't mean that IEH has the dowry.

Step 1 of the agreement calls for Ice Edge to provide a bank term sheet within the next 10 days showing it may be able to find appropriate financing to purchase the team. Getting that financing, along with negotiating a new lease for Arena, is believed to be one of the group’s major remaining hurdles leading up to being vetted as potential owners by the NHL.

“It’s hard to gauge the probability of this deal closing,” Ice Edge chief operating officer Daryl Jones told the Winnipeg Free Press on Tuesday.

“Realistically, there has been a great deal of financial turmoil in the world over the last 45 days, sovereign-debt issues and stock market corrections, which are going to make it harder for us, or any group, to close this transaction. That being said, we do remain optimistic.”

Our own Five for Howling crew was on-site at the Glendale meeting and spoke with IEH CEO Anthony Leblanc who disputes the quote:

I spoke with Ice Edge CEO Anthony Leblanc prior to the meeting and he assured me that the quote was taken a bit out of context and run with (as we have grown used to with the Winnipeg Free Press and other Canadian media sources).  And really, based on the structure of the MOU and the provision that requires IEH to provide a term sheet within 10 days or lose its exclusivity, it doesn't make much sense for IEH to push this vote if they don't have that term sheet pretty much ready to go.  And from what Leblanc said during the meeting itself, he expects that IEH will present the term sheet before the end of the week.

Something tells me this story isn't over yet.


Ice Edge Admits They Might Be Pretending To Be Serious In Bid To Buy Coyotes

Oh, you need actual money? Well, in that case, Ice Edge Holdings' bid to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes might be in jeopardy. Via Winnipeg Free Press:

Daryl Jones, CEO of Ice Edge Holdings, the lone group in discussions with the City of Glendale to buy and keep the Phoenix Coyotes at Arena, is not sure his team will be able to put together a financing package to purchase the team.
“It’s hard to gauge the probability of this deal closing,” said Jones.
“Realistically, there has been a great deal of financial turmoil in the world over the last 45 days, sovereign-debt issues and stock market corrections, which are going to make it harder for us, or any group, to close this transaction. That being said, we do remain optimistic.”


As always, visit Five for Howling on the latest twists and turns of this telenovela.


Reinsdorf Group Drops Out Of Coyotes' Process, Cites OMG! Drama As Reason

Cue soap opera music: Jerry Reinsdorf’s group has removed itself from the saga to buy the Phoenix Coyotes, leaving Ice Edge Holdings as the only potential buyer. via The Canadian Press: (I’m sure they know hockey, and whatnot)

Reinsdorf, owner of the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls, issued a statement Monday night saying “it was time to move on.”

The Reinsdorf group once was the front-runner to buy the team but had fallen out of favour in recent weeks while Glendale officials worked out a memorandum of understanding with Ice Edge, a group of Canadian and American investors.

In the statement, the Reinsdorf group, known as Glendale Hockey, called the decision to pull out “a difficult one because of our respect for the mayor, the council and management of the city.”

“Ultimately we came to the conclusion it was time to move on,” Reinsdorf said. “We were happy to serve a critical role for the City to keep the team in Glendale and we look forward to assisting the city in the future on other projects both as a company and individually.”

The statement concluded with the Reinsdorf group wishing “Glendale, its citizens and the fans of the Coyotes the best.”

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