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How Close Were The Phoenix Coyotes To Moving Back To Winnipeg?

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Just when you thought the saga of the Phoenix Coyotes' imminent move was a thing of the past, for now, The Globe and Mail took it upon themselves to remind everyone just how close they were to leaving the desert earlier this year.

We all know the story. Despite objections from various politicians, none louder than those within the Goldwater Institute, the Coyotes were granted the funds from the city of Glendale to stay one more year, unless an agreement can be reached with a potential new owner.

Unfortunately for the Atlanta Thrashers, they were not so lucky. True North was awarded the struggling Atlanta franchise and they were almost instantly moved to Winnipeg, where they have become the new Winnipeg Jets, though the Coyotes still carry all of the old Jets' history.

But just how close were the Coyotes to moving back to Winnipeg?

10 minutes. According to the report, the NHL was just 10 minutes away from reporting the sale of the Coyotes to True North, and Mark Chipman had even been waiting in the NHL offices in New York right up until the deadline that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman had set for Glendale to decide whether or not to put up those funds.

Luckily, for the Coyotes, Glendale approved the $25 million necessary to keep the team for one year. Pending some sort of ownership before the end of this calender year, it's very likely that this could be the final season for the Coyotes in Phoenix.

Of course, there still is plenty of hope for the Coyotes. There are several candidates rumored to have interest in buying the embattled franchise, including Chicago Bulls/White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf (whose name has appeared off and on), and part owner of the San Jose Sharks, Greg Jamison.

Even still, with those names being thrown around as potential buyers, it's going to be hard to ignore the dark cloud of the ownership situation as the Coyotes prepare to head into the 2011-12 season.