BOCA RATON, Fla. -- In spite of advanced rhetoric from the Goldwater Institute, there remain signs that the municipal bonds crucial to the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes to Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer are edging closer to completion.
Multiple sources told ESPN.com Wednesday that the bonds, needed to generate $100 million that will go toward the purchase price of the team from the NHL, were moving forward, in spite of a press release issued late Tuesday by the Goldwater Institute saying the public watchdog group would file a lawsuit against the City of Glendale if the deal does close. The Goldwater Institute has claimed for weeks that the lease agreement with Hulsizer breaches state law while the City of Glendale and Hulsizer insist the deal is legal.
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said at the completion of the NHL general managers' meetings in Florida he hopes the bond sale will go through.
"I think it's too early to tell. I hope so," he said.
As for the latest press release from the Goldwater Institute, Daly said it contained nothing new.
"I think it's more of the same from Goldwater," Daly said. "I don't think it's really a big change of position. They've been trying to chill this deal from the start."
Multiple sources told ESPN.com that the Goldwater Institute has actually been in a position to file suit against the City of Glendale since the council approved the lease agreement with Hulsizer but has not. It has tried to scuttle the sale of the bonds by approaching potential investors, which prompted the City of Glendale to threaten to file suit against the Goldwater Institute for its interference if the team leaves Glendale.
The same sources tell ESPN.com that if the bond sales do go through, the formal sale of the team from the NHL to Hulsizer will happen very quickly, within a matter of days.
If the bonds aren't sold in a timely fashion it's expected the NHL will exercise its right to relocate the team to Winnipeg.
Scott Burnside covers the NHL for ESPN.com.