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NHL sends memo to BOG on speculation surrounding Coyotes, Salt Lake City

Delta Center Delta Center - The Canadian Press

The National Hockey League sent a status report memo to its Board of Governors on Wednesday amid media speculation surrounding the Arizona Coyotes and a potential move to Salt Lake City, according to TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun.

LeBrun adds that a couple of sources who read the memo said there is still nothing done, as there are still moving parts to the whole situation.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly commented on Wednesday's speculation.

"The League is continuing to work on a solution to what has been a challenging and difficult situation. But we are not in a position to comment beyond that," said Daly.

According to LeBrun's report, Salt Lake Group (SEG) is communicating directly with the NHL on the possibility of being a solution on the Coyotes front, there have been no direct talks between the Coyotes ownership and SEG.

The Coyotes last week said that they're committed to winning an auction for a plot of land in Phoenix that would house a 17,000-seat arena and entertainment district. The Arizona State Land Department set the auction for June 27 with a starting bid of $68.5 million.

The City of Glendale chose not to renew its arena lease with the Coyotes in the summer of 2021, leaving the team without a home building. Early the next year, the Coyotes reached an agreement on a three-year lease with Arizona State University to play in their 5,000-seat capacity Mullett Arena in Tempe.

Utah Jazz owners Ryan and Ashley Smith announced in January that they have the immediate ability to bring an NHL team to Salt Lake City and requested the initiation of an expansion process. The Smith Entertainment Group (SEG) said in a news release at the time that it would use the Jazz’s arena, the Delta Center, as an interim home for an NHL franchise. Ryan Smith added that the company is, "100 per cent focused on making this happen as soon as possible.”

The NHL has said it has no current plans to expand beyond 32 teams, despite speculation over potential additions in Salt Lake City, Atlanta and Houston.