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Glendale not filing lawsuit over Coyotes - for now

No lawsuit was filed against the Goldwater Institute on Monday by the City of Glendale because the suburban Phoenix community decided to hold off for the time being, according to a source familiar with the situation.

The source said there are still hopes a legal war can be averted between Glendale and Goldwater, a public watchdog group, over a municipal bond issue that is crucial to the future of the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes.

Goldwater lawyers say the bond issue, the proceeds of which are to pay Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer $100-million (all currency U.S.) toward the purchase of the Coyotes from the NHL, violates the state of Arizona's gift laws which prohibit excessive public subsidies of private enterprises. While Goldwater has successfully sued other Arizona communities to block such subsidies, it has not yet done so with Glendale, although it has taken the city to court repeatedly over access to public information about the Coyotes sale.

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Darcy Olsen, the president and CEO of Goldwater, said Monday that "We have not been served [by Glendale]but neither have we received word that the city plans to hold off."

Glendale officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Rumours were flying around the NHL in the wake of weekend reports Glendale was planning to sue Goldwater for more than $500-million, which is what city officials are said to believe would be the cost to the city if the Coyotes move to Winnipeg. The time is drawing closer for the NHL to make a decision to stay in Glendale or sell the Coyotes to a group that will move them back to Winnipeg next season.

However, at this point the NHL is still monitoring the situation. Bill Daly, the deputy commissioner of the NHL, told no deadlines have been issued to Glendale to get the bond issue moving. Daly also told the website he does not think a lawsuit by Glendale against Goldwater will affect the future of the Coyotes.

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Hockey columnist

A native of Wainfleet, Ont., David Shoalts joined The Globe in 1984 after working at the Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun and Toronto Sun. He graduated in 1978 from Conestoga College and also attended the University of Waterloo. More

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