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Report: Group bidding on Coyotes plan to bring games to Canada

TSN.ca Staff

7/27/2009 1:43:31 PM

According to a report in the Globe and Mail a group that is intending to bid on the Phoenix Coyotes wants to bring five of the team's regular season games to Saskatoon or Halifax.

The Globe is reporting that the group known as Ice Edge Holdings has been in discussion with both Canadian cities so that the Coyotes could play "home games" in either Saskatoons Credit Union Centre or likely the Halifax Metro Centre.  The group also stated that should the Coyotes make the playoffs they would hold some of the team's post-season contests in the above-mentioned Canadian cities as well.

"Canada is obviously a tremendous hockey market, yet there are currently 6,000 kilometres of Canadian soil that have no exposure to the NHL in their home market," Ice Edge partner Daryl Jones told the Globe. "Our plan from the outset was to work with a Canadian city that doesn't have NHL territorial rights issues, and also one that wouldn't be considered a threat to the fans in Phoenix."

"It's a great opportunity to bring regular season NHL hockey to a Canadian city that otherwise would never have the opportunity. It is a great way to ensure the team stays in Phoenix for the long run, but partners with a Canadian city in the process."

The proposal, named "grassroots Canadian hockey strategy" will be presented to the NHL's executive board on Wednesday in Chicago.  The group reportedly has no plans to relocate the team if their bid is successful and sees the games as an opportunity to generate additional revenue.

"Ultimately this is a plan to revitalize NHL hockey in Arizona and the southwestern United States," Jones told the Globe.

The Coyotes filed for Chapter 11 protection in May and an Arizona bankruptcy court will hold an auction for the club on August 5th. The auction is only for bidders interested in keeping the Coyotes in Phoenix.

If the court determines the bids are too low, another auction for those who want to relocate the team will be held September 10th at which time it is expected that Research In Motion CEO Jim Balsillie will make an additional bid in his ongoing attempt to bring a team to Hamilton.