I don't get it. I'll never understand why Gary Bettman is so committed to keeping the Coyotes in Arizona. They've never been good with consistency. They're never popular in the market because of that. They've had a dozen or so different owners. The league ran them for four years while they looked for a buyer and the team was in bankruptcy. I mean...what are we doing here? The League and the team can say they're not moving and dig their heals in as they issue strong denials. They are moving though. Not by choice, but because they're literally getting evicted by the City of Glendale. So they're moving somewhere. Maybe it'll be another location in Arizona, but they're moving.
Where there's smoke there's usually fire and the NHL should just finally admit that moving Winnipeg to Arizona was a failure. That is better than having a deadbeat team perpetually at the bottom of the standings that can't pay their rent even after several ownership changes and payment restructuring. It's time to just say "hey...we need to move and we need to move fast. If you want an NHL team, come on down". Start a bidding war.
I don't understand why Bettman is so committed to this market in a way that he wasn't committed to Quebec City, Winnipeg, and Minnesota in the 1990s. It can't be their tradition. It can't be loyalty to an ownership group because they have a new one every 18 months. Does he really just love going down in the winter to get some sun and that dry desert air? Why Arizona? This is a team that is dragging the league down financially and embarrassing the NHL in the headlines. I understand a commissioner wanting the league to be stable, but how does having a deadbeat, evicted, bankrupt, loser franchise give the league stability? Wouldn't you rather be growing and healthy than stable? Don't you want all 32 franchises to be financially solvent? Bettman should be actively seeking solutions wherever they may be. It doesn't appear that those solutions are in Arizona so they should start looking at other locations.
Houston is basically turnkey. Bettman should be driving the UHaul from AZ to Houston himself. A new market and it is a GIANT. Houston is the 4th largest city in America. They have the 7th highest GDP. It's a good pro sports town. They have a ton of Fortune 500 companies there that could get on board for suites and sponsorships. They have a building. They have an owner in the market who has said for years that he would like to bring the NHL to Houston. It doesn't get any better than that.
The league won't need to realign or anything because Arizona is already in the Central Division and now they'd be in the Central time zone with natural in-state rival, Dallas.
Quebec City has an ownership group, a building, a passionate (albeit small) market, history, and a natural rival. Bettman fucking hates the French though. HATES them and their weak currency. Quebec probably not an option unfortunately.
Kansas City has a building
For whatever reason none of those options appear to be on the table for Bettman and the NHL. Houston Aeros 2.0 make a lot more sense than ANOTHER building and ANOTHER ownership group and ANOTHER penny pinching team at the bottom of the standings in a state that has never embraced the team. At some point you got to just cut your losses.