John McCain is a closet hockey fan? Who knew?
Like NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, the Arizona senator is hopeful that a buyer will come forward to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes and keep them at Jobing.com Arena.
"I hope they can stay," McCain told the Arizona Republic. "I hope that the fans will come out. We're going to have to increase the fan base, that's all there is to it. I think winning takes us a long way."
The Coyotes have slipped a bit in recent weeks, but they are much improved with a 12-9-0 record and are looking like a team that could compete for a playoff position in the tightly-contested Western Conference.
Yet the fans haven't exactly been coming out in droves.
The Coyotes have drawn fewer than 10,000 fans in six of their 11 home games and have had embarrassing crowds of 5,855 (against Los Angeles), 6,495 (Anaheim), 6,899 (St. Louis) and 7,968 (L.A.).
"If I would ask our citizenry to do anything, I would ask them to consider coming out to a game and watch this team play," McCain said.
The Coyotes deserve better, but the fan apathy is understandable. The franchise was in bankruptcy before the NHL purchased it, and there are no guarantees it will stay in Arizona.
But my guess is, if these guys continue to win, the fans will come back.
Most everybody does love a winner.