A Real Life “Major League”
It was about this time last year that Jerry Moyes was debating how he could get out from under the mountain of debt that was the Phoenix Coyotes. The team was terrible, in the middle of a rebuild that seemed to be going on forever. Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky was struggling as coach of the team, and no one was showing up at the games. The future of hockey in the Arizona dessert looked bleak when the team entered bankruptcy court and Canadian billionare Jim Balsillie was in line to be the next owner.
Fast forward one year, and the Coyotes are now tied for the top spot in the Western Conference. Who saw this coming? Nobody! I was fortunate enough to see this team play the Caps in
earlier this year, and I knew then that they could be a playoff team. Ownership is still up in the air. The Coyotes are officially owned by the NHL, but there is a group that is going through the proper channels to take over the team. The Ice Edge group includes established MLB owner Jerry Reinsdorf. The team has re-worked its deal with the City of Washington , helping the team make more money, and the fans are slowly starting to return. Glendale
The Coyotes aren’t doing this with a bunch of young kids, or a ton of high prices veteran talent, but they seemed to find that “spark” between youth and experience. The chemistry on this team is clicking. Although I doubt they have a cardboard standup of the owner that they remove clothing from after each win. (see.. Major League)
I’m willing to bet that Jobing.com arena will be rocking once the post season starts. This
team isn’t just a flash in the pan either. They have a farm system chocked full of young talent, almost ready to make their mark. Phoenix
It looks like hockey is safe in the desert for the moment, so all the “non-traditional hockey market haters” can aim their venom at the Florida Panthers and Atlanta Thrashers. By the way, the Thrash are only one point out of a playoff spot, without Ilya Kovalchuck. The next few weeks should be very interesting.