Does the NHL vet its owners?

The Arizona Coyotes ownership group still owes the state 1.3M in unpaid taxes

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Yet another banner day for the Yotes.
Yet another banner day for the Yotes.
Image: Shutterstock

I wish I could write stuff like this as fiction. But unless you wrote it as Mel Brooks-ian farce, I don’t know how you’d make it believable. And I have to say that I really want to see the city of Glendale actually chain up the doors to Gila River Arena when Coyotes players attempt to show up for a morning skate in a couple of weeks. I want the Coyotes’ ownership to have to figure out where to move a game within hours. Or put up signs that say “Tonight’s Game Is Postponed” and then a picture of Uncle Pennybags with his pockets turned out under it. None of this will happen, but it’s what I want.

In case you missed it, last night word broke that the Arizona Coyotes very well may be locked out of their building come December 20th. The Yotes owners owe the state of Arizona $1.3 million in unpaid taxes and fees, and they owe Glendale $250K in city taxes.

The startling thing here is that some $1.5 million should be next to nothing for any sports franchise. It’s a pittance. The Yotes are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Even the current dolt, Alex Mureulo, bought them for $300 million. And he can’t float this?

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And yet he and his group couldn’t find the couch-change that would have kept these unpaid tax bills from becoming public and put yet another embarrassment on the team and league? And if so, how did this group that clearly was always a stiff breeze or one unsold beer away from being in serious trouble ever get approved by the NHL to buy the team? When Meruelo bought the team, did the NHL get anything more than a “Don’t worry about it” when it asked how much money he actually had?

The answer, of course, is the same as it always is when talking about this fercockt organization. It’s the NHL.

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The Coyotes have been an overturned clown car for more than a decade, but this latest ownership group has done its best to somehow stick only its ass out of said car farther than anyone else. The team’s fortunes certainly haven’t improved, the city of Glendale kicked its ass out following this season, and they’re apparently horrible people to work for. And now it turns out all they had in their wallet was a Ralph’s card.

So how did they pass whatever test the NHL put in front of them? The answer is likely that the NHL didn’t administer any kind of test, or that the league and IceArizona (the ownership group) will use the pandemic as an excuse. But it’s not like the Yotes were drawing 18k a game before the pandemic. Surely, a proper vetting of any ownership group that was going to take on this cipher of a team would have been how much loss can it soak up. Apparently, the league just took its word for it?

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You can see how this will end. The league and its other 29 owners will either secretly slip the Yotes a couple of million to pay off the rest, while also secretly, finally, looking for a way out of Arizona. Or for the second time, the league will just have to take control of this fetid water of an organization, and not so secretly look for an ownership group to take the team somewhere it has a chance of being successful.

It’s over in Arizona, which it was 10 years ago when this whole kabuki theater for the bewildered started. I know there are good hockey fans in Arizona, I’ve actually met a couple. But there are good hockey fans in Topeka or Bangor. That doesn’t mean they get a team. And when your owners, seemingly the 67th in the past decade, can’t even cover $1.5 million, that’s it. Ring the bell, wave the white flag, sound the horn, whatever it is. Houston, Quebec City, whatever. For the first time, Gary Bettman has to admit he was wrong.

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Kerr-fect!

Sam Kerr is the best striker in the world of women’s soccer. I only need to show you this goal to prove it from last weekend’s FA Cup Final. The Chelsea star also might be playing linebacker in her free time soon, too as she went all Mike Curtis on this fool:

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It’s rare we get to see one of these field invaders get exactly what they deserve, and this prick seems especially ripe for the kind of takedown that he got (though Kerr should have gotten a thank you from the refs, but instead received a yellow card). I don’t know anything about this fuckstick and I’m not going to give him the benefit of even bothering to find out. This could be the place for a rant about social media making him think that it was worth committing this crime, and that’s what it is, because he thought enough people were paying attention to his stream to make it worth it. Let’s leave that for another time.

Let’s also be happy his intentions weren’t any more menacing than just calling attention to himself, whether or not he was mocking the event itself. And let’s be delighted that he got exactly what was coming to him.

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It’s a shame he actually got up, but you get the feeling if Kerr really wanted to lay him out, she could have. Never piss off an Aussie if you don’t have to. I’d like to think he ran off because he was completely embarrassed in a way he never expected to be. It feels like he’s the exact type of guy who never thought a woman could lay him out, and now will struggle to come to terms with that for a while. So good.

Also, after the discussion on Jacob Trouba last night, let us highlight that Kerr catches him flush with shoulder-to-chest, keeps her arms down, doesn’t leave her feet, so this is fucking textbook. Use this as your prime example, NHL.