A spokesman for Jerry Reinsdorf told the Arizona Republic on Thursday what those close to the agonizing sale of the Phoenix Coyotes have been saying for months – he is back in the picture.
Reinsdorf's caddy, Republican political rainmaker John Kaites, is handling sales talks with the NHL and arena-lease negotiations with the city of Glendale. Something else those close to the sale have said all along is that Reinsdorf was always the NHL's preferred bidder. We're sure the fact the NHL hired Kaites as some sort of consultant a while back is merely a coincidence.
Also part of the group is veteran NHL executive Tony Tavares. He is currently the caretaker president of the Dallas Stars but will be leaving that post once Tom Gaglardi buys the NHL team.
Pardon us for losing count of Reinsdorf's latest comeback, as he is the Brett Favre of hockey-team buyers, but the Republic has all of the grisly details.
As always, it is not clear who will be picking up the annual losses on the Coyotes, which are north of $20-million (all currency U.S.) in a good year but it is a sure bet it won't be Reinsdorf. He's only shown interest in the past when the city agreed to cover the losses in some fashion or another.
However, Glendale officials assured the Republic the latest go-round with the owner of the NBA's Chicago Bulls and Major League Baseball's Chicago White Sox will not involve the sale of municipal bonds. That was what prompted the Goldwater Institute, a public watchdog group, to sink a deal with Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer.
Glendale is also negotiating with a group led by Greg Jamison, who was once president of the San Jose Sharks. The only problem is, if that group has someone with real money it is being kept secret.
The NHL has a deadline of Dec. 31 for someone who is willing to keep the Coyotes in Glendale to buy the team from the league. Otherwise, the league will allow a buyer to move it to another city.