Deep Blue Sea: Bettman denies Coyotes relocation rumors

Plus Beijing Olympics update, the future of the salary cap and more from the Board of Governors meeting in today’s news and notes.

The only time the Arizona Coyotes are brought up in conversation lately is in discussions about their potential relocation, fueled by unpaid bills to the City of Glendale and a history of mismanagement.

Despite this, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has shut down all relocation rumors, stating that “the Coyotes aren’t going anywhere,” in Friday’s Board of Governors meeting, per TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.

Since the beginning, it’s been a rough go of marketing the Coyotes in the desert. It’s been especially hard since August, when Glendale announced that they will opt-out of the lease agreement for Gila River Arena following the 2021-22 campaign, leaving the Coyotes scrambling to find a new place to play in for next season.

Reports from Katie Strang of The Athletic suggest the city was set to lock the team out of Gila River Arena on Dec. 20, as they had failed to pay $1.3 million in state and city taxes. The team quickly released a statement and paid back what was owed the following morning, but the damage was already done.

I’m a big believer in hockey in the desert, especially like Arizona as a market. However, it seems as though the team is always making the news for the wrong reasons, and that might lead to their demise.

News & Notes

Blood in the Water

  • NHL commissioner Gary Bettman insists there are no issues with Coyotes, team isn’t going anywhere [The Athletic]
  • NHL BOG meetings: Olympic decision, cap expected to rise, Coyotes’ situation [NBC Sports]
  • Ottawa goaltender Matt Murray getting a reminder of life on the road in the AHL [Ottawa Sun]
  • Blue Jackets’ Adam Boqvist: shifts to IR [CBS Sports]
  • Canucks place Travis Hamonic on injured reserve, recall Noah Juulsen [Sportsnet]
  • Oilers place defenseman Kris Russell on injured reserve [Sportsnet]
  • Michael Del Zotto placed on waivers [The Fourth Period]
  • Whoopee! The salary is not going open [Blue Line Station]
  • Crosby, McDavid urged to boycott Beijing by NBA veteran and vocal China critic [Bardown]
  • Testing NHL assumptions: Rick Tocchet to the Flyers, Marc-Andre Fleury to a contender, Sedins taking over the Canucks [ESPN+]
  • Snoop Dogg announces lineup, gives ice-level commentary at Kings game []/

Scores & Recaps

  • Pittsburgh Penguins 4, Washington Capitals 2
  • New York Rangers 2, Buffalo Sabres 1
  • Nashville Predators 3, New Jersey Devils 2
  • Detroit Red Wings 3, Colorado Avalanche 7
  • Florida Panthers 3, Arizona Coyotes 1
  • Philadelphia Flyers 4, Vegas Golden Knights 3
  • Winnipeg Jets 3, Vancouver Canucks 4 (SO)/

Click on a team name to find a recap on their SB Nation site!

On the Schedule

  • Tampa Bay Lightning at Ottawa Senators, 10 p.m. PT/1 p.m. ET on TSN5, RDS, BSSUN, ESPN+
  • Washington Capitals at Buffalo Sabres, 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET on MSG-B, NBCS-DC+, ESPN+
  • Montreal Canadiens at St. Louis Blues, 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET on CITY, TVAS, BSMW, SNE, ESPN+
  • Chicago Blackhawks at Toronto Maple Leafs, 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET on NHLN, CBC, SN, SNO, SNW, SNP, NBCS-CHI
  • Anaheim Ducks at Pittsburgh Penguins, 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET on SNPT, BSSC, BSSD, ESPN+
  • New Jersey Devils at New York Islanders, 4:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. ET on MSG+, MSG, ESPN+
  • Philadelphia Flyers at Arizona Coyotes, 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET on BSAZ, NBCS-PH, ESPN+
  • Carolina Hurricanes at Edmonton Oilers, 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET on CBC, SN1, SNO, BSSO, ESPN+
  • Columbus Blue Jackets at Seattle Kraken, 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET on RSNW, BSOH, ESPN+
  • Boston Bruins at Calgary Flames, 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET on SN, CITY, NESN, ESPN+
  • Minnesota Wild at Los Angeles Kings, 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET on BSW, BSN, BSWI, ESPN+
  • Dallas Stars at San Jose Sharks, 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET on NBCS-CA, BSSW, ESPN+/