The Coyotes are not mentioned in the lawsuit or statement.
“The Phoenix Aviation Department does not object to a sports arena, restaurants, shops, and other compatible uses related to the proposed Tempe Entertainment District,” Phoenix director of aviation services Chad Makovsky said in a press release. “Today’s action is about ensuring Tempe lives up to its commitments to protecting our state’s largest economic engine – Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the more than 57,000 employees and 44 million annual travelers who depend on the Airport, and the communities surrounding the Airport who depend on the long-standing agreement between our two cities.”
The lawsuit doesn't mention the Coyotes...just seeks to kill their seemingly last possible lifeline to keep the NHL in Arizona. I honestly feel bad for the true fans of the Coyotes. They've never really had a chance. 27 years, three different stadiums, multiple owners, a bankruptcy, defaulting on leases and debts, and just a single Conference Final appearance. It's been a car wreck and now this stadium deal in Tempe might be nothing more than a mirage. For whatever reason Gary Bettman refuses to admit defeat in the desert and has done everything in his power to make the Coyotes a viable franchise even if it comes to the detriment of the other 31 league partners.
If this Stadium deal gets killed you'd have to think that the Coyotes future in Arizona also dies. Maybe Bettman finally sees the writing on the wall because I don't think this is a coincidence
Salt Lake City can be officially added to the list of potential suitors along with turnkey options Houston, Quebec City, and Atlanta. Apparently the Jazz stadium can't easily accommodate hockey so Salt Lake City might not be the first choice, but Bettman has to shake every tree to get this resolved as soon as possible should the stadium deal fall through. I've heard rumblings that there is increasing pressure from the other owners to end the experiment in Arizona because the 31 other teams essentially have to float the Coyotes millions of dollars per year to keep the lights on. I am sure the owners are definitely interested in a little relocation fee from a new ownership group and a franchise that doesn't drag down the rest of the league.
One way or another the NHL needs a concrete resolution to the Arizona problem and quickly. I am sad for the good people of Arizona. If this is a failure and a relocation, that is not a failure on the fans. It's hard to get emotionally invested in an organization that has had virtually zero on-ice success, no tradition, and has been under constant threat of relocation for like 15 years. I do believe that the right owner could've made it work in Arizona, but the organization never got out of first gear. At some point you need to cut your losses for the good of the league overall.
PS: My vote is for Atlanta or QC and for the league to put the Wings back in the Blackhawks division where they belong.