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Ice Edge Holdings chairman Keith McCullough, second from right, laughs while joking with partners, from left to right, CEO Anthony LeBlanc, COO Daryl Jones, and CFO Todd Jordan in a suite at the ACC during NHL regular season action between the Phoenix Coyotes and Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday, December 16, 2009. Darren Calabrese for The Globe and Mail

Darren Calabrese

Ice Edge Holdings is once again negotiating a deal to buy the Phoenix Coyotes.

A source confirmed Friday that the group of Canadian and American businessmen has started exclusive negotiations with the City of Glendale on an arena deal for the team. "There is no deal yet," said Daryl Jones, an Ice Edge investor.

Last month, the NHL and Glendale, the Phoenix suburb that owns the arena where the club plays, hashed out the terms of a deal under which the city will cover up to $25-million (all currency U.S.) of the team's operating losses next season if the league cannot find a buyer for the financially crippled franchise. The league was forced to buy the Coyotes in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court auction last October for $140-million.

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The NHL has been trying to work out a deal with Ice Edge or Jerry Reinsdorf, the owner of the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls. Reinsdorf was the preferred buyer for Glendale city council, but talks hit a snag and Glendale has returned to Ice Edge.

The city of Glendale issued a statement Friday saying it always anticipated "forwarding multiple potential agreements to the NHL by June 30," the day the league can legally sell the team to someone who wants to move it. The statement added that "the NHL will ultimately decide who buys the team."

Glendale council will consider the agreement with Ice Edge at its meeting on Tuesday.

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Hockey columnist

A native of Wainfleet, Ont., David Shoalts joined The Globe in 1984 after working at the Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun and Toronto Sun. He graduated in 1978 from Conestoga College and also attended the University of Waterloo. More

European Correspondent

Paul Waldie has been an award-winning journalist with The Globe and Mail for more than 10 years. He has won three National Newspaper Awards for business coverage and been nominated for a Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism. He has also won a Sports Media Canada award for sports writing and authored a best-selling biography of the McCain family. More

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