Anthony Leblanc watched and joined failed attempts to buy the Phoenix Coyotes. He had no previous connection to Arizona, but after spending years watching the situation, the businessman from Ottawa took another swing.
He got his investors and financing together, sought and received approval from the NHL and finally went to the City of Glendale to get a deal done. Together with his partners, commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy Bill Daly, they sat at a city council meeting Tuesday night saying aloud, "Well, we hope this works."
"If they voted it down, this was the end of the road," Leblanc said.
Glendale's city council voted 4-3 to approve a new arena management deal for the soon-to-be-renamed Arizona Coyotes, the final roadblock to at least five years of franchise stability. But that's just the first step for a Canadian-led ownership group to show why fans in the area should trust it and embrace hockey in the desert.
"Quite frankly, it's going to take time for people to see us in the community and believe us and know we have some work to do to get to that point, but we're dedicated and we plan to provide them with that," Leblanc said in a phone interview with The Canadian Press.