Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Misinformation Flows Like A River Through Quebec City

(the following are the thoughts of the author and not those of anyone I am professionally connected with...so you know this may be good.)

Today a French Canadian translator, Fred Poulin, posted an article on TheHockeyWriters.com on the current state of the Phoenix Coyotes.  Here is the link if you would like to read it before hearing the truth.  http://thehockeywriters.com/phoenix-coyotes-the-clock-is-ticking-in-glendale/

If you are a Coyotes fan and have been following the ownership process, you know the untruths that are posted in the article.  If you need a refresher, that's what I am here for.  :)

Let's begin shall we?  I'll give Fred some credit here, the first two paragraphs are actually factual and most fans would agree with him.  That's where the credit comes to a screeching halt.

The third paragraph is where the fun begins: 

"The problem is that two months later and only NINE DAYS BEFORE THE EXPIRY OF THE PROPOSED LEASE DEAL on January 31st, 2013, Greg Jamison has yet to buy the team and disclose his investment group and the reason why he does not want to name his investors."

Hey Fred, since when does an investor HAVE to reveal who his group is?  Is it one of these unwritten rules or something you've made up.  Had you been paying attention better, you would know one investor has already made itself public.  Ice Edge.  http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/8338670/source-says-phoenix-coyotes-suitor-greg-jamison-secures-financing Oh and by the way, if the deal isn't still in play, why name investors when some of them may want to keep private?  Hmmmmm?

But, hey, let's not facts get in the way of your story shall we? 

"Heck, Jamison did not even bother to attend the Coyotes’ home opener on Sunday, game which they lost 6-4 against the Chicago Blackhawks." 

And why not Fred?  Could he have been in New York maybe?  This we don't know, but for he not to show up to the home opener might just mean he had more important business to attend to.  But hey, I have no facts to where he was so I won't mention it like a good journalist does.  That's lesson number one to you Fred, you can pay me later.  Let's continue.

"The good news is that the home opener drew a nice crowd of 17,132 hockey fans, a vast majority of them being Blackhawks fans."

That sentence is so wrong I don't know where to begin.  First, Fred..you were there?  I didn't see your name on the seating chart in the press box.  Oh...right...you weren't.  So how could you possibly know the difference in fans.  Let me refer to someone who was there and had a great look at the crowd, ME.  I, and other observers, say there was about 2K Chicago fans and actually less than last year's playoff series.  Well, the 17,363 (another missed fact) was an OVERFLOW crowd because SRO tickets were sold.  101.3% of the building.   http://espn.go.com/nhl/attendance Sorry..using facts again.  Hope you can translate that Fred. 

"The real test will be Wednesday night when the Coyotes host the lowly and Nash-less Columbus Blue Jackets at the Job. The crowd will be a good indicator of what to expect for the rest of the season in Phoenix for week-night games."

Oh sure..a real test is an 8 pm game against a team that doesn't draw flies on the road on a Wednesday.  Obviously Fred is setting up his example for other claims he will make in the future. In discussing this game with other hockey fans, some from other cities in Canada, they agree that's it's a tough sell for most markets.  Oh by the way, I have a feeling that section is setting up for the always lame Stubhub argument.  

"Tickets for this game are still widely available and you can attend this game for a ridiculous $4.00 or you can watch the game on the low concourse for $16.00 if your budget is bigger."

I was right.  For whatever reason, people in Quebec City can't grasp this simple and true concept.  Stubhub is a ticket agency that allows fans to "resell already purchased tickets."  Let me say that again so Fred can translate. It's for fans, and brokers, who ALREADY BOUGHT TICKETS TO RESELL THEM THERE.  Are we finally clear on this fact?  I hope so, because it's a lame point.  Let's move on. 

"Even if Greg Jamison manages to purchase the team in the upcoming days/weeks/months, it will be hard for his management group to ever turn a profit in Glendale with such low after-market ticket prices."

Again using the Stubhub model..I guess.  He doesn't back up his misguided opinion with anything.  Not even a mention of the new CBA, which will help owners in non-traditional hockey markets.  I'm starting to think I know more than him.  Reading does have that effect on me, something Fred obviously hasn't done much of here. 

As for tickets sold at the team’s box office, (Wow..he's using team numbers here..WAY TO GO FRED!!) the club ranks 29th among NHL teams regarding the average ticket price at $36.15 only in ahead of the Dallas Stars. The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Winnipeg Jets lead the league with an average of $123.77 and $98.27 respectively.

But no mention of other revenue streams such as naming rights, parking, suite sales and other corporate sponsorships that have been ignored since the team has been run by the NHL in this sentence as he tries to qualify the "hard to turn a profit" statement.  But, hey that's using logic and facts again.  Sorry. 

"What is even more puzzling is that the AMF paid to Greg Jamison is not even on the City Council Meeting’s agenda planned later Tuesday in Glendale, which proves that the newly-elected Mayor Jerry Weiers does not intend to address the situation before the lease expires on January 31st, 2013."

And you were expecting it would be? And what, risk possible legal action if they do something before a legal document they signed is expired.  Again, another misguided comment that he didn't research.

"What will happen next is still blurry as no one really knows what is going to happen to the NHL-owned team after the shortened NHL season."

Except we will all know something after January 31st.  Does he have editors?

"Probable scenarios for the Coyotes:
1) Current lease offering expires and the Coyotes are relocated at the end of the season.
2) Greg Jamison finally closes the deal after purchasing the team from the NHL.
3) Glendale’s City Council amends the current AMF and extends it to a later date, allowing Jamison to “gather the required funds”.
4) The NHL, Greg Jamison and Glendale keep quiet and we don’t have any updates on the situation until the end of the season while the league is paying the players and the staff month by month."

Again, nothing sourced and more brain dead theories by a wannabee "journalist" In George Carlin fashion, from his take on the "Ten Commandments."  Let's just scratch 4) off the list because it's just plain dumb.  I left the vulgarities out because I am trying to keep this clean.  It's a family blog.  1) and 2) are still in play as of today, but those closer to the situation than Fred is, are still very confident 2) will win.  3) isn't going to happen and the new mayor has said as much last week.  Another fact Fred forgot to source. 

"Finally, with the ongoing construction of a new arena in Quebec City (which at last check was a giant pile of dirt somewhere in QC) and the sale of the Sacramento Kings of the NBA to a Seattle-based group led by Chris Hansen, (still not final, but hey there are those facts again) the NHL now has at least two short-term options if it were to relocate the struggling franchise."

Time to blow Fred up even more here.  For argument sake, let's say the 31st goes by and nothing is done.  What's stopping Greg Jamison from buying the team and moving them at season's end? Answer: Nothing.  I'll give you a hint Fred, if that happens, the Coyotes aren't moving to Quebec City for MANY reasons.  Seattle would be a good bet, BUT Key Arena is not built for hockey and is so bad the WHL won't play there. http://sciencewitness.com/news/687.html  Notice he mentions the problems with playing in the old building in the QC too. 

So there it is.  Another failed attempt by someone not qualified to comment on the current situation involving the Phoenix Coyotes.  Sure, it's his right to do it, but when you do it lazily and with very little effort, I also have the right to correct and call you out on your BS.  Don't quit your day job Fred and go translate the Bible or something.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

This Time..With FEELING!!!

Well, I've been inspired to write my first blog in 2013. Hopefully this will be an ongoing thing. My motivation is the end of the NHL lockout and the impending completion of the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes to Greg Jamison. First, let's look at the lockout. The NHL and NHLPA met for over 14 hours yesterday and reached an agreement on a new CBA at 3 a.m. AZ time Sunday. The season will either start on the 15th or 19th, more than likely home games for the Coyotes. Either way, hockey is back and I couldn't be happier.

Now ownership news. Now that the lockout is off the NHL's plate, the league can focus on closing the deal with Greg Jamison. Jamison said today that he expects to meet with the league later this week or early next week and begin the legalities to close the deal. It would be great if he could get the keys to the team before the puck drops on the season, but we'll see. The big point is Coyotes fans can finally put to bed constant ownership crap, from Deal or No Deal news, to Glendale City Council goofiness, to misguided pot shots from the mental midgets in Winnipeg and Quebec City and trust me, there's quite a few of them. This fan base has been tested more than any other fan base in Phoenix. They deserve to celebrate a happy ending more than most fans here. Oh, by the way, the name will be changed to the Arizona Coyotes with a new on-ice look. Probably next year, but we will see on that.

Now we get to the impending season. The Coyotes are structured very well for a short season. In my opinion, if a team wants to make the playoffs they must have solid defense and goaltending from the start. The Coyotes have that. Not only is the defense strong, but they have their best shot blocker coming back after a stint in Pittsburgh in Zybenak Michalek.

Here are my thoughts on the strengths of the Pacific Division and where the Coyotes play into all of this:


1. Anaheim
2. San Jose
3. LA
4. Phoenix
5. Dallas

Anaheim has always had a strong offense, but has had horrendous defense, which leaves Jonas Hiller exposed a lot. If they can get just average defense, they will be a better team. Until then, light the lamp. San Jose is similar, but with a better blue line now. Their biggest problem in my opinion is in net. LA is another team, strong and big up front, but lack the fire power of Anaheim and SJ. Phoenix, it is what it is and it has worked. They will need guys like David Moss and Lauri Korpikoski to step up the production.


1. Phoenix
2. LA
3. San Jose
4. Dallas
5. Anaheim

Like I stated, the Coyotes have a very strong blueline and goaltending. This will carry them far this shortened season. LA is good on the back end, but I'm still not sold on John Quick in net. The Sharks are better, but not as deep as the top two.


1. Phoenix
2. LA
3. Dallas
4. Anaheim
5. San Jose

Again, Mike Smith is one of the best in the league and the Coyotes will need a big effort this season. Quick will have to equal his play in LA and if Dallas gets any kind of improvement on its blue line, they could be good.

Pacific Prediction:

1. Phoenix (by a game over LA
2. LA
3. San Jose
4. Anaheim
5. Dallas

There it is. Now, let's get back on the ice and in the arenas and lets play some hockey.

Now, for the other sports in the valley. We know about the Cardinals. Coming off a 5-11 season, the team cleaned house for the most part. President Michael Bidwill has to hire a new GM and head coach and is in the process of interviews. We'll see what happens with the Redbirds when the draft comes and training camp begins. As for the Suns, well...it's a transition year. This one is tough because the longest history I have as a fan is with the Suns. The roots are deep with this team, so it hurts to see this season play out. The sports cliché is you have to be bad before you can be good. Well, the Suns are bad. We will have to see if this franchise can get back to playoff basketball fans are accustomed to.

That's about it for now. I do want to make this one suggestion. If you are looking for a place to spend your sports dollar, try the Coyotes. Sure, I understand the point it's hard to watch on TV for Joe Q sports fan. Go to Jobing.com Arena and give the team a try. They are the best team in town right now and look to make their fourth straight playoff appearance. Give them a try.
Happy New Year to everyone reading this. I hope 2013 is the best year ever.