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Last chance to catch Coyotes?/The Red Line

April 14, 2011
By Brandon Veale - DMG Sports Editor ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

Desperate times call for desperate measures. The Winnipeg Sun and numerous other Canadian media outlets are reporting that a deal to find a buyer for the Phoenix Coyotes that will keep the team in the desert is "on its last legs" and that the team will return from whence it came: Manitoba.

Of course, I have been trying for the last two years to purchase the franchise myself and move it to the Copper Country. However, that process has been stalled by 'financing issues,' namely, that I did not find a large nugget of copper or gold in front of the Daily Mining Gazette during the city of Houghton's 2009 streetscape project.

The chief financier of the group trying to bring the NHL back to Winnipeg is David Thomson, the man who owns the Reuters news wire service. He has a net worth of $23 billion and is the richest man in Canada and the 17th richest man in the world, according to Forbes.

I have read articles on the Reuters news wire and have a net worth of ... less than $23 billion.

They tell me that College Ave. is coming up soon, and my hope is that we can resume our search for treasure then.

But if that doesn't work out, we're going to have to find alternate sources of fundraising: corporate sponsorship.

Of course, we'd be selling the naming rights to our new arena, whether it's in Laurium or Liminga.

The Carolina Hurricanes play in the RBC Center. The Coyotes could play in the KBC Center. I'd even design a special third jersey in Lift Bridge Brown, Red Jacket Amber and Widowmaker Black.

Louie's Super Foods Arena? The Auto Pro Pavilion? The Mariner North South? Can't be any stupider than the Arena.

Slots are open now, and they're going to be valuable now that the Coyotes are a two-time playoff participant. Unfortunately for them, the Red Wings looked solid last night and appear poised to send them out of Phoenix the same way they went in, as losers to Detroit.

As for the rest of the West, the Canucks certainly look like this may be their year and I like their chances of dumping the defending champs from Chicago in the first round, but a surprisingly plucky Nashville team will take enough out of them in round two that Detroit will win a seven-game thriller in the conference finals (after taking out San Jose).

In the East, things get crazy as the Sabres, Habs and Lightning pull first-round upsets. No. 1 Washington survives only until round two, as Ryan Miller steals the series for Buffalo. In a East match-up no one could predict, Miller outduels Montreal's Carey Price to set up a Great Lakes series won by Detroit in five.

I figure having two Great Lakes teams in the finals can only increase the fervor for hockey in this region, not that it needed any help. Hockey is meaningful around here. We may not have the people to fill an 18,000-seat arena, but if we can get folks to walk through the turnstiles enough times, we'll have enough to convince Bettman to make it two in Michigan.

You may have heard that Michael H. Babcock is leaving the DMG. That's because I'm dispatching him to the big city to solicit investors in our ownership group.

His hard work and creativity in the area's gyms and rinks will be sorely missed. But time is of the essence.

If we can't get something together, and soon, there may not be another chance to be NHL owners.

I suppose there's always the NBA. Chassell Kings, anyone?



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