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Is Reinsdorf back in the Coyotes picture?

Christian Petersen/2011 Getty Images

The silence around the municipal bond sale that is to finance the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes has those close to the deal wondering if a previous bidder is being courted again.

Jerry Reinsdorf pulled away at least twice from previous attempts to buy a team but the latest chatter is that desperation on the part of the suburban city of Glendale or the NHL prompted yet another trip down that tired old road.

There is speculation Glendale is talking to another potential buyer aside from Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer and some believe the person is Reinsdorf or his representative. It should be noted that John Kaites, the Phoenix lawyer and noted political fixer who was Reinsdorf's point man in his previous attempts to buy the team, was recently brought in to try and find a compromise between Glendale and the Goldwater Institute over the legality of the bond deal.

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Goldwater says it will sue to stop the bond sale if it ever gets to the market. It says handing over $100-million (all currency U.S.) from the bond sale to Hulsizer so he can buy the team violates Arizona's law against excessive public subsidies of private businesses. This cast a pall over potential bond buyers so the sale is up in the air.

There was no response to a request for comment from Glendale and NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly also did not immediately respond. Hulsizer declined to comment.

The problem with all this is that Reinsdorf's previous agreements with Glendale to buy the Coyotes also involved enormous public subsidies. Those deals were also unpalatable to Goldwater and Reinsdorf has never shown any willingness to put his own money at risk to keep the Coyotes from moving to Winnipeg.

There is also a theory that Glendale, or even the NHL, might be letting Hulsizer think Reinsdorf or someone else is back in the picture in an attempt to get him to sweeten his $210-million offer (which includes the purchase price and covering this season's losses) enough to get Goldwater to back off.

Like so much else in this story, at this point it's just more smoke to go with precious little fire.

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