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The Sin Bin


May 13, 2010 2:40 PM

Winnipeg still ready, willing and able...

Here is a really nice story that I found in today's Face off. I still think the NHL will end up in Winnipeg and ground work is being laid right now as we speak. There are too many NHL teams in places that aren't hockey markets bleeding money.
Still, few were willing to concede defeat following Glendale city council's decision to pay up to US$25- million to the NHL to run the team out of Jobing.comArena for another season, if a buyer for the struggling franchise is not secured by then. Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz said there was still a good chance the city would have a team in the next three years.

"There are still several markets in the NHL in the United States that are bleeding and I don't think they'll be able to stop the bleeding," he told reporters in Winnipeg yesterday. "It's important for us to be ready, willing and able when the time comes."

Rumours that the time has come have washed over the prairies in ebbs and flows ever since the Jets moved to Phoenix in 1996. This week, it was reported the NHL had a contingency schedule for next season that included Winnipeg.

Darren Ford, who runs JetsOwner.com,a website championing the Jets' return, said this week's smoke was as close as he has seen to fire. "I think we are very close. I still remain having a very good vibe," Ford said. "I know the moods remains positive and whether that means [a team will move to Winnipeg] for next season or not, I don't know. But there are so many other teams bleeding red ink, this could be the domino effect we've all been waiting for."

A source close to NHL officials told the National Post that the Coyotes would be moving to Winnipeg if an arena lease was not successfully negotiated with the city of Glendale.

Commissioner Gary Bettman, appearing on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada on Monday night to dispel some of the rumours surrounding the Coyotes soap opera, said the league has been in discussion with Winnipeg for some time
[Faceoff.com]

Links

The case for Winnipeg; [the Globe and Mail]

Watchdog on trail of money transfer to NHL; [the Globe and Mail]

Glendale follows one bad decision with another; [the Globe and Mail]

There's still a fighting chance Coyotes may yet wind up in 'Peg; [Winnipeg Free Press]

Clock's ticking on Coyotes; [Winnipeg Free Press]

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