Rumours abound: Thomson could be the Winnipeg backup plan….either way, the NHL is feeling repentant about the injustices served to Manitoba
Apparently there is more than one billionaire in Canada.
His name is David Thomson, and he is interested in moving the Coyotes to Winnipeg if the deal with either Reinsdorf or Ice Edge falls through. He already has ties to the Manitoba Moose:
The National Hockey League is working on a backup plan with Toronto billionaire David Thomson and Winnipeg-based True North Sports and Entertainment that could send the Phoenix Coyotes back to Canada if a deal with Ice Edge Holdings or Jerry Reinsdorf to keep the team in Arizona falls through.
Two sources with knowledge of the Coyotes finances and ownership said a deal between Thomson and the NHL has been completed in principle and could have the Coyotes back in Winnipeg next season if necessary. Thomson, also considered a possible buyer of the Atlanta Thrashers, is a partner in True North and chairman of Thomson Reuters. True North owns the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League and MTS Centre in Winnipeg, which seats 15,100
In prudent fashion, Bill Daly made it known that the “rumour” that Thomson was the backup plan was false. Because if this wasn’t the party line, then the hope of finding an owner in Glendale would be a lot tougher. To find that suitor, the stands need to keep filled, as it has attracted the bushes to move, and heads to pop out.
The report, published in Monday’s online edition of the Phoenix Business Journal, said a deal with Jerry Reinsdorf to buy the Coyotes and keep them in Glendale could hinge on a clause that would allow the owner of the Chicago Bulls and White Sox to move the team if its bottom line doesn’t improve.
The report went on to say that the NHL is in negotiations with Toronto billionaire David Thomson and Winnipeg-based True North Sports and Entertainment on a backup plan which could see the Coyotes move back to Manitoba’s capital.
“At this point in time the National Hockey League has no ‘deal’ in place to move the Coyotes’ franchise to Winnipeg — or to any other city for that matter — in the event a transaction cannot be timely consummated in Glendale,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement Monday night.
I could learn to forgive and forget.
If the NHL can see the error of their ways and repent – with full regret – for taking away a franchise that a city in Canada just loved, I could find it in my heart to regain a soft spot. Heck, I might even decide to tune in and wonder like a child again.
Don Cherry’s story aired on CBC is giving me reason to long for hockey again. I can’t help but admire his fortitude and bravery enduring the trials and tribulations he went through, along with his wife Rose, in the days in the minors. But I’m willing to bet, as tough as it was, Don appreciated every memory. Would he change it? Maybe, but I would argue, why?
So, if you like me smell the smoke that has been smoldering since a politician in Glendale mentioned the team was destined back to Canada if concessions could not be granted, there has got to be a flame there somewhere.
And that same flame might just rekindle the love for a game that will always be Canadian.
I have never been to Winnipeg, but I feel impelled to go there. I feel a drive to take a trip and smell the fresh air, talk to the residents, and especially would love to take in a game of NHL hockey, savouring the atmosphere that has been waiting to return for far too long.
If the Arabs in Abu Dhabi could only understand: This game means so more than just return on investment to Canadians.
Winnipeg, I have said before, is as Canadian as maple syrup, Tim Horton’s and road hockey.
We need them and we need them to get hockey back!
I could respect the NHL if they make that move.
I really could.
More: Bobcat and Brunt discuss it with Daly