If you had told Wayne Gretzky when he was 17 years old and already playing professional hockey, that he would some day be going to court over a hockey team in Phoenix, he probably would have looked puzzled and asked: "Where?"
But, here we are, and here he is. Phoenix has a hockey team (for the moment), the greatest hockey player of all time is coaching it, and it was announced today that the city of Glendale will be hauling old Number 99 into court to talk aboot the Canadian-born phenoms finances.
With his playing days long over and after going out on top (Brett Favre: Write that down), Gretzky, who owns a small part of the Phoenix Coyotes, will have to turn over tax records and give a deposition in the team's bankruptcy case to determine how much money he would get back on his investment in the team several years ago.
This is the begining of an uncertain future for hockey in Arizona.
On May 5, the Coyotoes filed for bankruptcy and were nearly bought by Canadien Blackberry mogul Jim Balsillie, who wanted to move the team to Canada, where people might actually go watch them play. That deal was struck down by Glendale Judge Redfield T. Baum, because in case you forgot, and judging by Coyotes attendence records, you probably have, there is a fairly large hockey stadium in Glendale that Baum and city officials have absolutely no idea what to do with.
A new deal is currently in the works that could potentially keep the team in the area.
Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of baseball's Chicago White Sox and the NBA's Chicago Bulls, told the NHL he wants to buy the team and keep them in Arizona and has until July 24th to submit an offer to the court.
Reinsdorf offered the team $148 million, which raises the question: What is the best way to piss away $148 million? Investing it with Bernie Madoff or buying the Phoenix Coyotes?
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.