clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

From the editor's desk: an empty net for the City of Glendale

A short-term victory may turn into a long-term loss.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The City of Glendale emptied the net against the Arizona Coyotes, and somehow managed to tie the game.

But what happens when the puck drops for overtime?

Glendale ended up getting almost entirely what they wanted; the City will now nominally pay the Coyotes exactly what they planned to pay someone else to manage the arena back in 2013. And with only a two-year term, this City Council should also have the ability to make the final say over any subsequent renewal down the road (should they be re-elected in 2016, of course).

However, the cost to get their way was immense. Make no mistake about it, Glendale took an extremely underhanded route to secure a new deal. They utilized a state law meant to prevent individuals from taking the advantage of cushy contracts to bully the Coyotes out of a deal the last City Council saw fit to approve.

Whether or not you believe the original deal was good for Glendale (it wasn't), and whether or not you believe this deal is better for Glendale (it is), the reality is that the City expended every ounce of political capital and leverage it had to get this far.

So what happens if the Salt River Community comes calling to the Coyotes? Or if Phoenix and Robert Sarver come up with an agreement that is either marginally beneficial or at least revenue neutral for IceArizona? If ESPN's Scott Burnside is to be believed, both parties have at least expressed interest.

Glendale has always been playing from behind because of its location relative to the wealth base of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. The city had to spend $180 million to lure the hockey team out of a bad lease situation in Downtown Phoenix, and another $121 million to snag two MLB teams for Spring Training (though funny enough, the debt on that project rarely seems to come up when talking about Glendale's budgetary woes).

Now the most compelling reason for IceArizona to stick around in the West Valley has been reduced by $8.5 million. That cut - and the trust broken in the process - comes right as Glendale's larger, more centrally located neighbor begins to explore building a newer arena in a better location.

So congratulations to the Glendale City Council. You successfully tied the game in the dying seconds. But it took everything you had to do it, and the game isn't over yet.


  • So is it possible Glendale and the Coyotes salvage their relationship? Maybe not enough to end up on good terms, but enough to at least keep the Coyotes in Glendale.
  • To me, if IceArizona ends up posting only minor financial losses (if any) this year despite the new deal, and Glendale can't find a cheaper arena manager, then maybe both sides agree to keep things as they are for a while longer.
  • And even if another arena manager is hired, it's not out of the realm of possibility that IceArizona remains at Gila River Arena either. This option, however, seems to be the least ideal for the Coyotes.
  • Lest our friends from up North get too comfortable criticizing public subsidies for hockey in America, Edmonton's city government will be spending $606.5 million by the time the Rogers Place development is completed.
  • That is of course in addition to the $97.7 million ($207 million in 2015 dollars) the City of Calgary spent on the Saddledome, and the $400 million the city and province of Quebec split to build the arena still awaiting an NHL team. Perhaps people in publicly subsidized glass arenas shouldn't throw stones?
  • Alexander Semin signing in Montreal for $1.1 million looks like a pretty darn good deal for a Habs team that is in desperate need of goal scorers.
  • A lot has been made of Semin's "character issues". I don't tend to put a whole lot of stock in the value of "character" when it comes to hockey; Alex Ovechkin has been called "lazy" by several different people, yet he is without a doubt a game changer in the NHL.
  • That being said, two different NHL teams passed on the chance to keep a guy who produced 40+ points in eight out of ten NHL seasons. There's probably some reason to worry up in Montreal, especially if Michel Therrien can't settle on a place in the lineup for him.
  • One game on NBC Sports Network for the Coyotes this season: Monday, March 7th at Colorado. That's what happens when you finish 2nd to last in the league and miss out on McEichel.
  • Lost in the mix of Glendale and IceArizona suddenly resolving their legal issues was the announcement that Michael Bunting signed a three-year entry level deal with the Coyotes.
  • After going 117th overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Bunting more than doubled his goal total (15 to 37) and increased his assist total (27 to 37) in his Draft +1 season with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
  • Bunting joins Christian Dvorak, Laurent Dauphin, and Ryan MacInnis among Coyotes' prospects who followed up okay draft seasons with solid draft +1 campaigns.
  • The Coyotes may now actually have an abundance of riches at the forward position, between Max Domi, Anthony Duclair, Brendan Perlini, and of course, Dylan Strome. In addition to the three above-mentioned prospects.
  • How do you make room for all of them? In all likelihood, you don't. You find an asset you like somewhere else, be it player or prospect, and you make a deal. Could someone like a Henrik Samuelsson or a Lucas Lessio be expendable in the search for more defensive depth? Possibly.