The Phoenix Coyotes of the NHL have been ownerless for three years. The previous owner put the team into bankruptcy and when no buyer could be found, the NHL bought the team so it could stay in Phoenix. I'm very grateful to the NHL for doing that. I haven't liked most things the NHL has done in recent years but this one was good. The last three years have been a roller coaster for the players and the fans. There were several interested buyers but deals could not get done. Despite all the turmoil surrounding the team, they made the playoffs the last three years. The players decided to rise above it all and play like winners. I love them. The Coyotes have, however, never made it out of the first round of the playoffs since moving from Winnipeg to Phoenix in 1996. Some called it a curse. Whatever it was...it was frustrating. But the team continued to improve and this year...they did it. They beat the Chicago Blackhawks in 6 games. Moving to the second round for only the second time in franchise history.
In the second round we met up with the Nashville Predators. Everyone picked the Preds to win. But everyone always picks the other team to win...that's just what we have to live with. With home ice advantage we felt pretty good about our chances. We won the first two games in Phoenix and split the next two in Nashville. So all this leads up to last night. Game 5, in Phoenix, in front of the White Out. Up three games to one with a chance to finish on home ice for the first time.
Yesterday morning the news agencies were all reporting that the NHL Commissioner was going to have a press conference before the start of the game to talk about a deal to sell the Coyotes. Every one was on edge...are they staying or going to another city? What does this mean for the team? And why make an announcement right before the most pivotal game in franchise history? The players don't need that distraction. But, the announcement was good. The NHL has come to an agreement with a buyer and the deal is almost done. The new owner has every intention of keeping the team in Phoenix. Now, we've all been around long enough that we don't get overly excited about these announcements. We've been burned before. But this one looks good, so we are cautiously optimistic.
|The Stanley Cup or Lord Stanley's Cup|
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
The next series will be tough. We face the LA Kings. They are hot right now and they have an awesome goalie...but so do we. We have home ice advantage again, and we are also a great road team. I like our chances. Today I am full of Coyote Love!
(Thanks for bearing with me while I professed my Coyote love :0)