Yeah… Richmond only lost one hockey team this season.
Phoenix is about to lose its second.
The ECHL Roadrunners folded at the end of the 2008-09 season.
The NHL Coyotes filed for bankruptcy today – apparently a stealth move in conjunction with Jim Balsillie’s ongoing efforts to get an NHL team for Hamilton, Ontario – which could have the Coyotes sold and moved by June 30.
The NHL has retaliated by “removing” the owner of the Coyotes – considering that the NHL has paid the rent for most of the Coyotes’ 2008-09 season in Glendale’s jobing.com Arena, they probably can – which may make this very interesting indeed.
Will the NHL revoke the franchise and find an owner to keep it in Phoenix… or will they be forced by a bankruptcy court to allow the sale to Balsillie, who would no doubt immediately move the team to Hamilton?
And if Balsillie does move the team – would the NHL retaliate by not realigning, forcing a Hamilton franchise to play the bulk of its schedule in the western half of the continent?
Of course, the NHL could be in for a frantic few years – Nashville is shaky… the New York Islanders are well on their way to Kansas City… Atlanta drew less than 80% of capacity this season… and while Tampa Bay seems to be holding out, things don’t look so good in Miami.
Then again, Phoenix does have baseball this season. We have to wait until the Defenders move here next season. 🙂