OT - In memory of the Phoenix Coyotes.

Submitted by Red_Lee on April 21st, 2011 at 7:19 PM

First, I'll say that Phoenix lost this series and possibly their current location with a lot of pride and respect for their fans and the game in general.


But it never hurts to poke fun:




April 21st, 2011 at 7:55 PM ^

Wow, they are awful. Hilarious to see all the Wing fans COMPLETELY TAKEOVER the white elephant arena of theirs.

From the puke-aztec jerseys to the Reinsdorf shenanigans to Balsile to Goldwater...well done Bettman.


April 21st, 2011 at 8:48 PM ^

I've lived in AZ for 5 years now and attended multiple Coyotes games.  If they leave it will be a tragedy because the Coyotes organization has one of the most entertaining hockey experiences i've had the pleasure of attending.  The ability to go show up early and enjoy the area surrounding the arena, to the show they put on inside during the game is just so much fun. 

I've been to a dozen Wings game's and it's a different experience then in Glendale.  When you go to a Wings game, its more of a traditional, all star like atmosphere, but sadly not much going on around the Joe (Insert sad face).  In Glendale, they put in so much effort to make hockey work.  Sadly there's just not as many people who grow up with hockey as their favorite sport out here.


April 21st, 2011 at 9:15 PM ^

In my opinion, it's all positioning and that the Coyotes will remain in Phoenix.  The problem is that it's taken a few years for Phoenix to really produce a solid product on the ice, and by the time that happened, all of this ownership stuff had come up.  It's hard to draw new fans when there might not even be a team next year.

That said, I think they'll stay in Phoenix.  The corporate support is there, and in my opinion, the fan base would be solid enough if they can replicate the success of teams like Nashville, Tampa, and Carolina.  Like the negotitations in Pittsburgh a few years ago, the team/NHL are going to "seriously" consider moving to gain leverage. 

I know everyone wants more Canadien teams, but Winnipeg and Quebec City are just NOT viable cities.  They would immediately be the two smallest markets, and they could never gain any corporate support in the past.  I see no reason to believe that has changed, and if the Canadien dollar doesn't remain strong there just isn't any viability for an NHL franchise in those cities.  The only place in Canada that could potentially support a team is Hamilton, but they won't let a team move there.  The owners want the start-up fee for a new franchise, which in Hamilton would probably be >200 million.

The Coyotes need to stay in Phoenix or the league needs to downsize.


April 21st, 2011 at 9:25 PM ^

I agree with pretty much everything you said, except the NHL doesn't want to move the team at all -- they aren't the ones trying to gain leverage. They desperately want to keep the team in Phoenix, but if a deal can't be made here, they might not have any other choice but to move it. And the only viable market that's ready to bring in a team immediately is Winnpeg.


April 21st, 2011 at 9:37 PM ^

Doesn't Kansas City have a new, empty arena? Living on Pittsburgh, I seem to remember that was the main moving threat. Supposedly, the new arena people had the suites all lined up, all they needed was a team. I don't know whether the city would be good or bad from a hockey standpoint, bit it can't be worse than at least a couple of the southern teams.


April 22nd, 2011 at 4:43 PM ^

For starters, KC had and lost an NHL team – the Scouts – who moved to Denver and became the Colorado Rockies (who then moved to NJ and became the Devils).  And despite having various minor league teams over the years, KC is not a hockey town.
The city can’t even support their baseball team.  My wife’s entire family is from KC and they are all Cardinals fans. They also lost an NBA team, the Kings.
The Chiefs run that town.  Seriously, all anyone from KC really cares about is the Chiefs, and to a lesser extent, KU basketball.

Monocle Smile

April 21st, 2011 at 9:17 PM ^

Putting on a show at sports events is fun and all, but when it comes to the Wings, folks show up to watch a goddamn hockey game. When arenas have to go outside of their sport to entertain their fans, I feel it just looks like they're trying too hard.

Not much going on around the Joe? Not in the immediate vicinity, but there are several places within People Mover range that are always alive. The Joe is just in a cramped corner up against the river.

In Glendale, they put in so much effort to make hockey work because they HAVE to. Sorry, but that's just the way the culture is in most parts of the south.

For the record, I was in AZ for two weeks a few years back and it was awesome. This is in no way a hate-on-Arizona comment.


April 21st, 2011 at 9:24 PM ^

I can understand people who don't want to participate in extra events, but I don't see how its a bad thing that businesses in the area have created an attractive area for not JUST hockey but also enjoying a good time before and after the event.  If all you want is hockey, then that's all you partake in.  But personally, I prefer some good food beforehand and a few beers afterwards.  If all I have to do is cross the street from the arena to be filled with a plethora of opportunities to do this, then awesome.


April 21st, 2011 at 8:49 PM ^

I'm from Buffalo so I'm a huge Sabres (and Eastern Conference) fan, but after watching a couple of the Wings games this series, I have no doubt that the Wings are the best team in the NHL.


April 21st, 2011 at 9:22 PM ^

Because the small market Canadien strategy worked so well the first time...

There is a reason that teams left Winnipeg and Quebec City.  They would immediately be the two smallest markets in the NHL, and they could NEVER get corporate support for the teams in the past.  They failed before, and I have no reason to believe that a repeat performace would fare much better.

Also, there are several southern teams that have had plenty of success on and off the ice.  Nashville with their new ownership group has fielded many competitive teams.  Also, they're the 29th smallest market in the NHL but were 21st in average attendance.  Carolina, one of the teams you want to move, is probably the most successful southern franchise.  They have a strong brand, have won a Cup, and have a very passionate fan base.  Tampa, though struggling somewhat in recent years, has had periods of sustained success and with Yzerman running things I think that will continue. 

Not all southern markets are successful (i.e. Atlanta, Florida), but neither are all northern markets (NY islanders).  There are certainly more challenges in southern markets, but there are several that are successful and a lot of it has to do with strong ownership groups, good front office staff, and responsible spending. 


April 21st, 2011 at 11:01 PM ^

I never knew that Bill Daly posted as mstier on MGoBlog. Perhaps I could insert a bit of reality...(+/- 30 percent of all ticket revenue and far more television revenue is generated in Canada)...this revenue does nothing but subsidize weak markets in the United States.

FYI, Per Forbes 2010 operating income:

Carolina loses 7.3 million; Columbus loses 7.3 million; NYI loses 4.3 million; Nashville lose 5.5 million; Tampa loses 7. 9 million; Atlanta loses 8.0 million; Phoenix loses 20.1 million. As a reference, the Leafs made 82.5 million and the Wings 15. 3 million. Franchise valuations, as you might imagine, are quitre reflective of the list above.

2009 - An internal NHL report shows 31 percent of $1.1 billion in ticket revenue comes from Canada's six teams and 11 of the 24 U.S. teams aren't making money.

Present Day - Study: Canada can Support 12 NHL Teams


The study also found that hockey mad Canadians are also helping to subsidize the sport south of the border. Canadian teams accounts for only one-fifth of the league, but generate one-third of the revenue.

"A good chunk of those dollars end up in the U.S. through revenue sharing," it said. "The primary beneficiaries of this scheme are American hockey team owners and a smattering of American fans attending games below cost. The primary victims are Canadian hockey fans, particularly those in cities that could support a team but are deprived from having one or two by the NHL."


Clarence Beeks

April 22nd, 2011 at 1:31 AM ^

For what it's worth, regarding Tampa Bay's loss, that number reflects a year in which (1) the team was awful, (2) they drastically raised ticket prices, (3) ownership was a mess and (4) attendance was at its lowest point in years.  I would bet that, the next time those numbers are run, they don't have a loss.


April 22nd, 2011 at 7:19 PM ^

No one is saying that the Predators for instance will make $82 million a year and be a better franchise financially than Toronto.  The problem is that there aren't 30 Torontos.  Teams like Nashville and Tampa have had sustained periods of success and profits.  Over the course of many years, these teams are profitable.  Certainly not as profitable as Toronto or Detroit, but they're viable franchises.

The Nicker

April 23rd, 2011 at 4:07 PM ^

Canadian teams make up such a larger part of their revenue share because there are only 6 teams in Canada, and 2 of them are the two biggest markets in the league. Edmonton, Calgary, and Ottawa are stable franchises but not they are not doing as well as many of the teams in the US (including the southern US). Toronto and Montreal are behemoths, and Vancouver is the best team in the league, so yeah the Canadien teams are pwning the market share. It's not really accurate to say that because of this there should be a bunch more teams in Canada.


April 21st, 2011 at 11:05 PM ^

Not sure if you're trying to be funny, ironic or whatever, but if you're not, Canadien is the French spelling.  Canadian is the English spelling.  

The Montreal franchise is always spelled the French way because its official name is in French (Le Club de Hockey Canadien).  


April 21st, 2011 at 10:09 PM ^

Bettman's only responsible for two southern teams: the Preds and Thrashers.  Owners put teams in Phoenix and Carolina, not Bettman, and Tampa and Florida predate Bettman.

And you're nucking futs if you think places like Hartford can actually support a team.  Fact: attendance in Carolina and Phoenix has been much better than attendance was in Hartford and Winnipeg.


April 21st, 2011 at 11:14 PM ^

Srsly. Your fact statement is laughable and ridiculous. Also, the numbers identify it to be far from factual.

PHX averaged 11989 last year and 69 percent capacity...in the last year in Winnipeg before the move the team averaged 11316 and 72 percent of capacity...IN THE YEAR BEFORE THE TEAM MOVED. The year prior to that Winnipeg averaged 83 percent capacity which is, interestingly enough, two points higher than Carolina last year.

K, thanks.


April 22nd, 2011 at 12:07 AM ^

You, sir, are fail.

The Winnipeg Jets averaged 13,144 attendance in five of their last six years - and just to be nice I didn't include their actual last season.

The Coyotes averaged 13,776 in the last five years.  I think it's funny how you only went as far back as last year, because if you had bothered to go before that you'd have had to include numbers in the high 14,000s and that would've been a problem for your point, wouldn't it?  In the previous five years, they averaged 14,333.  For every thousand fans per game, that's about $15 million in revenue, so it ain't chump change.

Now for the Whalers.  In their final five years in Hartford, they averaged 11,621.  Pathetic.  The Hurricanes, in their last five years, have drawn 16,530.  Based on that you'd have to be insane to think the Hurricanes would be better off back in Hartford.

Here's the link to the numbers.

Let me ask you something: do you think Michigan should have a varsity lacrosse team?


April 22nd, 2011 at 12:30 AM ^

You conveniently ignore the capacity numbers on the Jets, Canes and Coyotes...of course you do...You might have a point with Hartford but are you really arguing that hockey is a better economic fit in PHX? or Carolina? or Tampa? etc.

Look up a little bit and read my response to Bill Daly; it's clear that the Canadian market via the Leats principally does nothing but subsidize Bettman's southern NHL fantasies. Canada could easily support 3 teams in greater Toronto alone...and that's just Toronto.

Nothing more humourous than people defending the Bettman/Daly vision. I'm sure you probably think Nick Lidstrom is the best defenseman of all time also.

Don't hate reality.

Clarence Beeks

April 22nd, 2011 at 1:20 AM ^

I'm always hesitant to lump Tampa Bay into that discussion.  Ever since they finally got their act together (yes, it took a few years, but that's been over a decade ago now), they've generally put up pretty good attendance numbers (in one of the largest buildings in the league) and have done the best job of developing a local hockey culture of any of the "southern" franchises (seriously, youth hockey in the Tampa area is booming).


April 22nd, 2011 at 2:30 PM ^

Best of all time....eh...that is not correct and i am huge wings homer. Best of the modern era, that is a valid assertion.

I think it is hilarious people are defending Bettman. Everything Bettman does regarding expansion goes against demographic studies. It is noble goal of expanding the sport of hockey to new markets. However, the franchises must also earn a profit since that is the very basic goal of business. Earning a profit is the fatal flaw of southern pro hockey. 


April 22nd, 2011 at 10:02 AM ^

You don't get extra points or extra cash for capacity percentages.  If your arena seats 80,000 and you average 40,000, you're doing a hell of a lot better than someone who sells out a 20,000 seat arena every time.

And your Canadian numbers don't tell the whole story.  Of course not - they're presented by a Canadian paper.  If Canada is an automatic money machine, why do the Senators also lose money?  If being a "southern" team is what costs money, why do the teams in Pittsburgh, Washington, Minnesota (Minnesota!), Buffalo, St. Louis, and New York also lose money?  Why are the Stars and Kings profitable?  Your "Bettman's southern fantasies" are nothing but windmills to tilt at and it's counterproductive because it ignores the larger financial reality facing the league.  As I said before, Bettman has placed exactly two teams in the South: Atlanta and Nashville.  The Coyotes, Hurricanes, and Stars were moved there by their owners.  The Lightning and Panthers existed before Bettman was commissioner.  But you seem to be following the Canadian party line of Bettman the boogeyman - it's very convenient and ignores the fact that Canada didn't give proper support to two of its franchises and that's why they booked it for the States - and oh if only he weren't commissioner Canada would get its precious NHL back.  Sorry, but it wasn't Gary Bettman that moved the Jets and Nordiques.


April 22nd, 2011 at 10:56 AM ^

If you're looking at what teams receive NHL subsidy and revenue sharing they are overwhelmingly (current and historical data) in dollar figures American based teams based south of Pittsburgh. That is fact. Realistically, if the Leafs stopped existing the league would not be viable. 

What puzzles me here is the ridiculous and ongoing defense of the Bettman southern strategy; I would be careful in stating "owners moved teams south" as this was the direction the league office had encouraged (and encouraged by the Board of Governors). A quick look at the amount of subsidy provided to American markets by Canadian teams clearly identifies the conceptual failure of that model. 

We've lived this before in Canada...the Flames of Calgary once belonged to Atlanta. You might have noticed they are a high revenue team here in the GWN. The end game is that the southern strategy won't work; it's not a case of getting the NHL back but rather a case of longer term viability for 4 - 6 teams.


April 22nd, 2011 at 11:14 AM ^

How quickly it's forgotten that it wasn't that long ago that Canadian teams were the ones in need of a bailout.  That the Canadian government was being asked to provide a subsidy to Canadian teams not named the Leafs and Habs.  Remember that?  That was the topic of discussion for several years.  The league was in no financial shape to help subsidize the struggling small-market Canadian teams and the teams had to ask the government, which refused.

Now it's supposedly the other way around.  Could Canada support 12 teams?  Maybe for a while.  What if the Canadian dollar goes back to where it was in 2000?  Most of those teams would fly right back across the border.

It's not so much a defense of the "southern strategy" as trying to point out to you that there is no overarching southern strategy.  The teams that moved weren't "encouraged" southward except as far as it took to get them out of a country whose dollar was too weak to support them.  That's why I say you're tilting at windmills.  If Bettman wanted teams to move south as a first option, he'd have pushed the Penguins to Kansas City where they had everything all set up and ready to go.  He's trying to keep teams where they are, which is smart, rather than use moving a team as the first option when it should be the last.


April 22nd, 2011 at 6:43 PM ^

You forget that the southern strategy was 1990's era expansion...and KC was nothing more than a bargaining chip for Lemieux. Hockey was tried there before and moves to Denver and moves to NJ. He's trying to keep teams where they are to satisfy a ridiculous tv deal and maintain market presence in those spots in the US that could give a rat's ass about hockey.


April 22nd, 2011 at 8:43 PM ^

No, I know exactly how 1990's expansion went down and the vast majority of it was pre-Bettman.  I keep telling you this.  Bettman expansion is nothing but the four turn of the century teams, and two of them are in the north.

And please tell me you're not simultaneously arguing for a return to Winnipeg and pulling the failed-once-already card with KC.

And what's wrong with "satisfying a ridiculous TV deal"?  I'm not sure I follow, because it sounds like you're complaining about the TV money.  TV money is a good thing for the league.  The new deal is $200 million a year, which kind of outweighs (by a LOT) whatever money the Maple Leafs put into the system for revenue sharing.  If it takes market presence in Phoenix to make that happen, then I'm all for it.