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Coyotes, Jets, and The Montreal Canadiens

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In this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, there’s one series going the distance that Bourne’s Blog hasn’t really discussed yet.

The Phoenix Coyotes vs. The Winnipeg Jets

On the one hand, you’ve got a city with about a kabillion people, but with a kavery few hockey fans.  On the other hand, if you constructed a Venn Diagram of people in Winnipeg, and people who like hockey in Winnipeg, it would literally just look like one circle.  A hockey puck, if you will.

...could it be?

Still, this will NOT be a rip on Phoenix blog.  I live in Phoenix.  I badly want the team to stay.  Let’s just talk about the options a bit.

For gross generalizations, Phoenix is an awesome city, and balmy Winnipeg rarely receieves rave reviews from it’s own residents.  Got me?  It’s ass-cold.  Could you imagine being a player, and being told you have to spend next winter in Winnipeg instead of Scottsdale?  The old guys would just retire, or maybe make the commute from Scottsdale to the ‘Peg for practice everyday.  Just sayin’.

It appears Glendale is kinda hosed.  So wait, we pay for your losses, or don’t have a team here and lose money?  This is AWESOME.  Glendale would have done better with online sports betting than actually having a sports team.  But hey, maybe that’s what they get for negotiating a deal that gave the Coyotes nothing from concessions and no parking revenue in a city you were never guaranteed great gate receipts.  (Another question is, who accepts those terms from a rink that was being built halfway to Canada anyways?  Just how bad was Moyes?)

I’m one of the folks that thinks the team can work here, for a couple reasons: One, this Ice Edge Group has their heads together, if not their wallets.  They’re attentive, and want to be involved in owning/running an NHL team, where some owners  just want to display their ownership like a Mercedes logo on the hood of their car (check my Moyes story in the comments).  And two, because this is the bandwagonniest of bandwagoner towns I’ve ever seen, and I like their roster a lot more now than I ever have (starting with Tippett).

...we all hope not.

The bandwagon remark is meant in with good intentions, and I should mention there are some diehards.  In fact, there’s a hockey community of bloggers and fans I’ve come to know and respect that deserve hockey as much as anyone (which ignores the fact that for every one of those guys here, there’s 20 in Winnipeg, but still, they’re genuine fans that found a passion that may be ripped away from them.  And really, it’s not like the diehards in Winnipeg are at a loss to find hockey to watch, especially with an AHL team in town).

The thing is, it’s time to stop bluffing, Glendale/NHL/Ice Edge/Whoever.  You’re each others only option to save face.  There can be no back-room dealings.  There needs to be a sit-down with Bettman and representatives from Ice Edge and Glendale, and it needs to be discussed quickly and with full public transparency.  You can all see each others cards, fellas.  Glendale, which way do you lose less money?  With or without the team?  Chose that option. 

It’s playoffs, and you just made me waste 500 words on you.  You’re making me angry.

*****

Pittsburgh, Montreal, Game Seven

Hmm, didn’t like my “whites of his eyes” theory, huh Pitt?  Went for the “reds of the posts” instead, I see.

Also a sick goal, by the way.

Now THIS was an exciting game.  And Montreal – whatever it is they’re doing – are doing it.  Damn.

That Cammalleri snapper to start the game was ridiculous, and immediately prompted me to tweet that it’s time we induct him into the “shots you could easily miss in slow-motion” elite, with Semin, Stamkos and Ovy.  Good gravy, he shot that thing from the tops of the circles, unscreened and Fleury was just like…. “I have to get me a Cammalleri jersey to wear when I play out in road hockey.”

I’m still saying Pittsburgh will win, as most of the people out there probably are, but I know this much – I’ll be watching.

*****

Happy Tuesday ya’ll.  Lookin forward to game six Chi/Van tonight!

Comments

21 Responses to “Coyotes, Jets, and The Montreal Canadiens”
  1. djimass says:

    Are you really sure Pittsburgh can still win it? They are experienced for sure, but the pressure is squarely on them now. Montreal has nothing to lose; heck, they’ve had nothing to lose since they backed into the playoffs a month ago. And they’re not afraid to lose; that alone makes them very dangerous. Pittsburgh certainly doesn’t want to lose, but they’re afraid of losing. that may be the difference tomorrow night…

  2. ms.conduct says:

    and Fleury was just like…. “I have to get me a Cammalleri jersey

    Hit mute on my conference call JUST in time to avoid LOLing and having to explain myself. But yeah, Squid’s a little beast. I just can’t believe how hard that team works NON. STOP. They never let up, nobody, not even Pouly, is taking shifts off. I don’t even remember now why I didn’t like the Habs.

    And this is the part where I apologize to the Habs for dooming them with my devotion. Lo siento mucho (I don’t know French).

  3. zyllyx says:

    Here’s my hockey history in brief: The first game I ever went to was an Indianapolis Racers game where Gretzky was playing. The second was Joe Thornton’s first game as a Boston Bruin. The third was the first Coyotes game at Jobing.com Arena. I HAVE NOT MISSED A HOCKEY GAME SINCE THEN.

    I was aware of hockey in the ’90s mostly because I worked at a video game company and spent most of my downtime playing NHL 97. But I became a hockey fanatic by being a Coyotes’ season-ticket holder after the lockout. Now, I live, breathe, eat, make love to, and occasionally directly inject hockey.

    I’ve never played the game on ice. I’ve spent exactly one day in Canada. So I’m definitely not the traditional hockey fan. But I’m a fan every bit as much as those mewling tinfoil-headed green-body-sock-wearing monkeys in Vancouver or those anthem-booing tools in Montreal.

    I am passionately enraged by the NHL, the City of Glendale, Jerry Moyes, and the Canadian media for making my life a living hell for the past year and a half. Most of them believe the world will be set right when the Coyotes move to Winnipeg.

    I told all of the haters I knew – and I know a LOT of them by now – that all we needed here in Phoenix was a good owner, a good coach, a good GM, a good team, and a shot at the playoffs to restore the faith in this franchise. We got four out of five of those this season, and after people realized that the team wasn’t going to disappear in the middle of the night in December people started coming back just like I repeatedly said they would. AND NOW WE’RE PROBABLY GOING TO LOSE THE TEAM ANYWAY.

    I’m so far gone as a hockey fan that I’ll never stop loving the game. But if the Coyotes move, I may be done with the NHL as a sport. At least I will never have to read another Globe and Mail ass-ripping or watch another minute of “Shit On The Coyotes!” on Hotstove. One can only take so much repeated bludgeoning before the will to resist it is worn away.

    But I promise you, Justin, I’ll still keep your site in my bookmarks.

  4. jtbourne says:

    djimass – I think it has a lot more to do with how guys are physically feeling and systems changes than it does psychological reasons like “afraid to lose I think”… Aint game one anymore!

    Zyllyx – thanks so much man. I know it’s been hard to be a Coyotes fan the last little bit (forever?), but kudos to you for your perserverance. I pray you’re rewarded…. but hey, wanna be more angry? Lets talk more Moyes – check out my comment farther down!

  5. Amy Jo says:

    Being a Coyotes fan is a test of wherewithal. You have to want it….bad. You have a losing team. Then when you start to not suck, you get to deal with ownership/relocation drama.

    Oy.

    Maybe all the players will stay in Phx to form a rogue team?

  6. RewskiUVA says:

    As a diehard caps fan this Pitt/Habs series is really confusing. I just sit there…watching every play with a blank stair, jaw dropped, with drool dripping down my chin. I don’t know when to cheer, I don’t know when to yell, I just sit there. Sometimes I cheer when both teams score, sometimes I cry when either team scores. I wish there was a way for both teams to lose. All I know is, I can’t wait for it to be over so I the team I’m supposed to hate is obvious.

  7. Sherry says:

    Hey Yotes fans – you have my sincere empathy in dealing with the ownership rollercoaster you’ve been on. I’m a similar-to-zyllyx Pens fan in my fervor and the whole the-Pens-will-leave-town-without-a-new-arena saga just about killed me. When I heard the news that the Gaming Commission awarded the new Pgh casino license to someone other than the group who pledged TO PAY FOR A NEW ARENA I wanted to throw up. And until Mario announced that a new arena deal had finally gotten done and the Pens would be staying in Pgh I was beyond stressed (for years – becaues it went on for years!).

    I’ve been following the Yotes ownership story and am pulling so hard for a deal to get done with Ice Edge. I live in San Diego, and (normally) love traveling to AZ (I am peeved about the new anti-immigration law tho’), and have contemplated making the trip to Phx to see the Pens play as one of my cities of choice when the Pens make a west coast swing. There were times when it seemd VERY bleak for the Pens staying in Pgh, and it happened, so keep the faith – I believe they will get a deal done.

    Now, if the Pens could just pull it together and beat the Habs on Wed (why can’t they get that done? WHY?!?!)… Talk about stress!

  8. Sherry says:

    Made me smile Rewski – I have wondered if I’d be able to root for the plucky Habs if they prevail. Normally I love a story like that, but gawd, I don’t think I can this time.

    If it isn’t the Pens, it’s gonna be the Sharks for me.

  9. Dave says:

    I’m rooting for Montreal as they are one of the original six teams before the ’67 expansion as were the Blackhawks. There you go-my nod to the past for you. What I meant in yesterdays post was not that the past history doesn’t matter, but that it’s possible for a rookie goalie to take a team to win the cup-Cam Ward, Ken Dryden, and Patrick Roy. Just sayin. I think it’s always tough for a hockey team to be a big hit in a warm climate area. You will have some great fans and a following, but too many warm climate residents avoid anthing remotely tied to ice and snow like the plague. Sad but true. They are missing out on a great sport.

  10. Travelchic59 says:

    The Habs are a great story, but I just can’t bring myself to root for them knowing that Kirk Muller is one of their coaches. UGH!! It’s an Islander thing.

  11. jtbourne says:

    My story on the old Coyotes ownership:

    When I was contemplating moving here, I was feeling around for work, and the then head of Coyotes marketing, Mike Bucek, agreed to meet with me. At the end of our meeting, I asked him about a really neat painting of an aerial shot of the first puck drop at Jobing.com arena, and why it wasn’t hung up. He told me this:

    “When I first got this job, (insert important local artists name) made this and donated it to the organization. There’s a 100 prints of it, and this is the orignial – you can see there, it says ’1′ on it. So, I saved it to give to Mr. Moyes the very first time he comes to the team office here. I’ve had it for three years, on that spot on the floor. He’s never been here once.”

  12. Sherry says:

    Wow, ouch. And just wrong.

  13. Richie says:

    Not being resident in the US or Canada (born and bred in Ireland) I’ve never been to a game but it hasn’t stopped me being a dedicated coyotes fan since near inception largely due to my hero worship or Khabibulin. After thousands of hours playing NHL 97 – 09 (99% of the time as phoenix ) I feel like I have a real attachment to the franchaise. It’s for these reasons I’ll never understand why people with an NHL team in their city won’t turn up to games (financial constraints permitting). Hopefully with the successes this year there will be an upswing in attendance next season.

    Come on Bettman etc, get the deal done and give this team a fighting chance. A team’s importance can’t always be measured in revenue dollars.

  14. nightfly says:

    JB – that’s a horrible story. I know he gets a lot of grief, but Charles Wang cares about the Isles and wants to make a go of it. Considering the dog and pony show with Hempstead and the arena, he has no reason to still care, which is why we get all sorts of fun “going to (circle one) KC/Queens/Brooklyn/Quebec/Hamilton” rumors.

    Phoenix, this Isles fan feels for you. Since 1993 we’ve had owners go to jail for fraud more often than we’ve gotten out of the first round. Our original lease on what is soon to be the oldest building in the NHL is just as bad as your deal (I think it finally ended and the team gets a share of the parking and concessions). The NHL is more dependent on gate receipts than the other major leagues so a bad lease can hamsting a franchise.

    Just do us a favor… I know it’s hella hot and all, but the whiteout makes no sense. It looks like the entire arena is cheering for the visiting team. Next year go with a “Seeing Red” motif, or if you must keep the whiteout, hand out brick-red towels or something to wave. It will make the whole arena look like a giant red light over the goalie’s head when the Yotes score, and the color will really pop.

  15. zyllyx says:

    Personally, I’d like to do a “Sunstroke” – but that would mean that Ice Edge would have to add yellow to the team’s colors.

  16. FidelAstro says:

    The white-out is a Winnipeg tradition. I still have a white mesh cap from the late 1980s with the Jets logo and “Good Guys Wear White” on it (signed by Dale Hawerchuk!). If the team does stay in Phoenix, as a Winnipegger, I would respectfully ask the Phoenix fans to come up with their own tradition, instead of stealing ours like they stole our team.

    Thank you.

  17. jtbourne says:

    …stealing ours like they stole our…. beat it dude, get out of here. Being ridiculous isn’t welcome on my blog. That started so personal and happy too… I had high hopes.

  18. FidelAstro says:

    OK, that’s fair.

    How about “I think the Phoenix Coyotes organization and its fans should come up with an original playoff tradition instead of co-opting something that was practiced by the franchise in its former location.”

    Better?

    I realize the Phoenix fans are not responsible for the departure of the Jets and I sympathize with them in their current plight, since I know what they’re going through.

    …but ask anyone in Winnipeg about the Jets and they’ll tell you the same. We wuz robbed.

  19. jtbourne says:

    Fidel – nice save, I like it. “I’m Justin Bourne, and I approve this message.”

  20. Seawolf Fan says:

    Well, it’s goodbye to Sidney and his Penguins while our Alaskan NHL’er Scotty Gomez is still on track to bring the Cup back to Anchorage again. The last time Scotty brought the Cup to our main downtown Fire Station and let everyone get close enough to actually read and touch it, can’t wait until he does it this year.

  21. Jammer says:

    Hey man! Great article on the Jets

    I came across this article today on the web and it totally blew my mind. I think you’d find it interesting. Today is 15 years to the date that the Jets were sold to the American ownership. It’s crazy how fast time flies!

    http://onthisday.goodnewsweekly.ca/2010/10/october-18-winnipeg-jets-are-sold.html

    Hope you enjoy

    JK

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