Cross Checks: Anthony Lanza

In many quarters, this will be portrayed as, at long last, an ending.

The good folks on Glendale’s city council late Tuesday night agreed by a 4-3 vote to accept a lease agreement with a group of buyers that will allow the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes by the NHL to go forward and allow the team to remain in Arizona.

For anyone who has followed this tortured saga the past four years, a great and loud “hallelujah” rose up when the council finally tallied its votes and decided it was better to have an NHL team in its building even if it’s going to cost the city $15 million a year in management fees over the course of the 15-year lease to do so.

For a league that has had its share of ownership missteps and miscreants, this four-year horror story takes the cake, and so, yes, Tuesday on at least one level brings an end to the perpetual to-ing and fro-ing over who, if anyone, would own the team and whether and where it would go if there was no owner.

And so, yes, in some ways, an ending. And for that, hallelujah.

But for Anthony LeBlanc, the Thunder Bay, Ontario, native and former RIM executive who along with some of his business associates hung in until Tuesday night’s vote, this is nothing but the beginning.

And for the Coyotes, it’s at long last a beginning. Because now we’re all going to find out whether this will work.

(Read full post)