Ice Edge Holdings is once again negotiating a deal to buy the Phoenix Coyotes.
A source confirmed Friday that the group of Canadian and American businessmen has started exclusive negotiations with the City of Glendale on an arena deal for the team. "There is no deal yet," said Daryl Jones, an Ice Edge investor.
Last month, the NHL and Glendale, the Phoenix suburb that owns the arena where the club plays, hashed out the terms of a deal under which the city will cover up to $25-million (all currency U.S.) of the team's operating losses next season if the league cannot find a buyer for the financially crippled franchise. The league was forced to buy the Coyotes in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court auction last October for $140-million.
The NHL has been trying to work out a deal with Ice Edge or Jerry Reinsdorf, the owner of the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls. Reinsdorf was the preferred buyer for Glendale city council, but talks hit a snag and Glendale has returned to Ice Edge.
The city of Glendale issued a statement Friday saying it always anticipated "forwarding multiple potential agreements to the NHL by June 30," the day the league can legally sell the team to someone who wants to move it. The statement added that "the NHL will ultimately decide who buys the team."
Glendale council will consider the agreement with Ice Edge at its meeting on Tuesday.