GLENDALE, AZ - MAY 07: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman (R) speaks at a press conference to discuss the potential sale of the Phoenix Coyotes to Greg Jamison (L), former CEO of the San Jose Sharks, before the start of Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals between the Phoenix Coyotes and the Nashville Predators during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Jobing.com Arena on May 7, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Unlike a lot of fan bases, being a fan of the Phoenix Coyotes requires you to be knowledgeable about a lot of different things and get your news from lots of different sources. Not only do you wonder when Shane Doan will re-sign but you wonder what the outcome will be of a sales tax petition lawsuit. Not only do you need to know the rules of hockey it's good to know the rules regarding local governments, and not only do you check out Fox Sports Arizona and listen to Roc and Manuch for radio updates but you also spend time reading the Phoenix Business Journal for ownership news. Because of that a lot of Coyotes fans, in fact a lot of hockey fans in general who keep up with the Coyotes ownership saga, are aware of Mike Sunnucks at the Phoenix Business Journal.
Mike Sunnucks according to his blurb at the bottom of his articles writes about politics, law, airlines, sports business, and the economy and he actually writes some good articles. I want to start off giving him some credit, he has written some very informative pieces, although a few of stories I have found lacking, and it's not just because I didn't like the main topic. He is also well respected and his articles typically show up on sites like Puck Daddy and Pro Hockey Talk where they get a lot of attention, perhaps more then I enjoy.
Last month Sunnucks wrote an article "Jamison $20M short in Coyotes bid, courting investors." When this article came out it spread like crazy, appearing or being linked on almost every hockey blog I go to for news and was ammo for commenters everywhere including FFH. The problem that I know a lot of people had with this article, myself included, is that Jamison being short $20 million stated in the first paragraph like it is fact, there is no "sources say" or anything like that. In fact the word "source" doesn't appear in the entire article. For all we know Sunnucks could have been using the older Forbes article, which had a similar claim, to base his claims, and it's important to note that that article did not really release sources either. Jaime Eisner did a great piece on this article on Rant Sports so I really don't feel the need to further dissect it.
Cut to yesterday when Mike Sunnucks published this article "Phoenix Coyotes sale back on track as Greg Jamison secures investors." I enjoyed this article a lot more, not just because it's a happier topic but because Mike gives some more info about his sources while keeping them anonymous. He mentions "two sources with knowledge of the three-year-old Coyotes ownership saga" as opposed to just throwing the info out there, he even goes back to say that "multiple sources" informed his article last month, and although I may not necessarily believe those sources at least I know now that he wasn't just recycling the same info from the Forbes article, which is what a lot of journalists were doing last month.
Personally I cannot vouch for the validity of any of his sources, they may have been right a month ago and they may be right now, but they also could be wrong last month. Hell they could be wrong now and Jamison may not have the money. I really hope they are right this time. Sunnuck's name carries a lot of weight on sports blogs and I think we have a responsibility to be critical of his work because of that, and I think that the inclusion of sources makes this article a lot stronger and believable, even if the sources are anonymous. You can also bet that this article is going to spread, and to a certain level already has, but not nearly as much as the last one about the team leaving.
Hopefully this all gets resolved soon though and the papers get signed. Everyone should stay cautiously optimistic about ownership and resigning Shane Doan.