NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 17, 2023

by | May 17, 2023 | News, NHL | 20 comments

Coyotes’ arena proposal rejected by Tempe voters, Connor McDavid believes it’s “Cup or bust” for the Oilers, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Arizona Coyotes face an uncertain future after Tempe voters rejected a proposal for a privately-funded sports and entertainment district that would’ve featured a 16,000-seat arena.

Arizona Coyotes (NHL.com).

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and Coyotes president and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez released statements expressing their disappointment over the results of the public vote. Both indicated they will be examining options for the club going forward.

The Coyotes are currently playing at the 5,000-seat Mullett Arena at Arizona State University.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The reaction on social media was a mixture of sympathy for Coyotes fans and speculation over the franchise’s future. After over 25 years in Arizona, relocation could be in the cards if no other viable option can be found.

This is also a significant blow for Bettman. He’s been the driving force in keeping the Coyotes in Arizona despite multiple ownership changes and the club’s mounting debt. The commissioner’s next step could be trying to find a new owner in a new city.

A lot of fans (me included) would love to see the Coyotes relocate to Quebec City where they would pack the 18,000-seat Videotron Centre. However, Houston could be the more likely destination.

Houston is the fourth-largest US city in population and can easily support an NHL franchise. It has a suitable arena (Toyota Center) that can hold 17,800 fans for hockey and a possible buyer in Tilman Fertitta, owner of the NBA’s Houston Rockets. Moving the Coyotes to Houston ensures the franchise remains in the Western Conference.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Connor McDavid believes it’s “Cup or bust” for his Oilers. Speaking in his exit interview with the media on Tuesday, the Oilers captain said that his club still has time to win the Cup. Despite the Oilers’ second-round elimination, he still feels they’re making progress and were a better team this season compared to 2021-22.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid isn’t wrong about his club’s progress. Their 109 points this season was the fourth-highest in franchise history.

Speaking of the Oilers, TSN 1260’s Jason Gregor reported winger Warren Foegele played since February with a wrist injury. He’s undergone an MRI and will see if surgery is required.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Golden Knights will be starting Adin Hill in goal with Jonathan Quick as his backup when their Western Conference Finals series with the Dallas Stars begins on Friday. Laurent Brossoit remains sidelined by a lower-body injury suffered during Game 3 of their second-round series with the Oilers.

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander and defenseman Timothy Liljegren are reportedly set to join Sweden for the 2023 IIHF World Championship.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning head coach Jon Cooper will serve as an in-studio guest analyst for TNT during their coverage of the Eastern Conference Finals.

LA KINGS INSIDER: The Kings have promoted longtime goaltending coach Bill Ranford to Director of Goaltending. This is a new role and a new position within the club’s executive hierarchy as they expand their resources invested in the goalie position.

THE SCORE:The Columbus Blue Jackets have reportedly spoken to former NHL coaches Mike Babcock and Peter Laviolette regarding their vacant head-coaching position. They’ve also reportedly interviewed Pascal Vincent, who spent the past two seasons as an associate coach to former Jackets bench boss Brad Larsen.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Former NHL great Jaromir Jagr paid tribute to fellow Czech Petr Klima, who was buried on Tuesday after recently passing away on May 4 at age 58. “In terms of talent, he had the most talent of any of our players,” said Jagr. When asked if that also meant himself, Jagr replied, “I think so.”


  1. Welp… Gary can officially say he tried his best but the people have spoken. Hello Houston.

    I do wonder if the vote goes differently if the would have been getting bedard?

    • I find it refreshing that taxpayers are finally getting fed up with paying for billionaire’s playthings.

      You want an arena – you pay for it. It doesn’t seem that difficult a concept.

      I would love for other people to pay for my stuff, but that seems unlikely. I can’t ever imagine even asking for such a thing. Doesn’t seem to faze billionaire’s though.

      Funny how they have no plan to actually share any profits back to the taxpayers. “If it goes well, I’m rich; and if it goes poorly, they’re poor”

      (rant over)

      • Except that the Tempe arena, etc WAS to be privately funded.

      • Paul – thanks for the correction on the payment structure. Still, it would result in heavy tax breaks for the Coyote ownership which I guess the public didn’t care for.

        So that makes me at least partly right, but admittedly mostly wrong.

        Dang, I hate to ruin a perfectly good rant.

        Maybe it has nothing to do with the payment structure at all. It could just be that the area has tired of the Coyote drama. I can’t say I blame them.

      • Regarding public funding I guess it depends on how you view the tax breaks to the owner/developer. But ya, compared to the previous deal ARI has made for arenas, this one was way better.

        I think the previous bad arena deals made folks wary of this one, and perhaps didn’t know everything involved in this one and made some assumptions?

        Or maybe it’s because the owner does not have a good reputation in the area, part stemming from stiffing the city of Glendale, which in part led to them getting punted.

        Or they just don’t give a crap about hockey.

        I suppose different people vote for different reasons.

        I think what we all know is; time to move on from Phoenix.

        I’m not convinced Houston will take a shine to hockey either if they don’t have success quickly.

      • We had this same argument, here in Columbus, before the Jackets came to town. An outside agitator, whining about not spending public money to support millionaires, was able to convince enough of the public that the vote to raise sales tax temporarily to pay for building an arena failed.
        Fortunately, Nationwide stepped in and built the arena.
        Now, here’s the important part. The arena started a revitalization of the neighborhood, including building Huntington Park for the AAA Clippers, which raised so much money in property, business, sales and income taxes that, had Nationwide Arena been built by public funds, the expense would have been repaid in a little over five years. In the 22 years since the Jackets played their first game, the Arena District is responsible for over $2 billion in various taxes collected. Does that sound like the sole purpose for Nationwide Arena is to subsidize millionaires?

      • The exact same thing happened in Edmonton Paul, except the Oilers owner, Katz, is from here. The added tax is on tickets to both NHL games and events like concerts vs a general sales tax. It included a commitment for other development by Katz. Plus he forked over a bunch of his own $ for the arena.

        Same result, a net positive for the city and it’s tax base. Pretty sure Katz is doing good on the deal as well.

        Win win.

  2. Just wondering … if a small market Canadian-based team located in a city where it’s 6 months of winter and 6 of tough sledding can sell for close to one billion dollars, what would they be asking for the Coyotes?

    • Wrong question George. The question to all the potential bidders of the Sens is — why would I pay a billion for this tiny small market, tax and land leasing headache team….? When for a third of the price I can get a building built for me and woo’d to a place like Houston, Sacramento or wherever.

      • Well, since you put it that way …. 🙂

        Yep – avoid the small-minded Carp-mentality, parochial bureaucrats like the proverbial plague.

  3. A strongly recommended trade

    BC Fan to the Hockey Buzz

    Perfect fit for a donkey

    • I always knew that feller was a democrat.

  4. Sorry, Lyle and anyone else hoping for a team in Quebec City, but it ain’t gonna happen. Bettman, and the league, are determined to expand hockey fandom. Placing another team in Canada does not accomplish that. If there wasn’t a team in Buffalo already, there would be zero chance of a team there, in the current thinking. Buffalo is too close to Toronto. When the Coyotes move, they’ll go to Houston, Kansas City or Portland, Oregon.

  5. 1 billion for the Sens is crazy the team is only worth 655 m
    Why is there a pricing war?
    The downtown deal isnt happening unless an owner is willing to pay the cost to clean the dirt
    OMG Melly didnt want to pay for it!

    This team really needs big change
    They dont need a new building its in pretty good condition I was there this year
    What they need to do is focus in getting the traffic to move smoothly
    Me and a co working walked to our work about 15 minute walk away from the sens building
    Nothing to walk on a nice night
    But imagine if you shut down this road to traffic when hockey games are going on and bus systems brought people in OMG traffic jam done

    • I agree with most of all that. The NCC did propose to give the winning bidders 200million to decontaminate the land.

  6. A billion dollars for a small market team is crazy but keeping a team in Arizona that is obviously NHL subsidized is crazier!

  7. .
    The Arizona Coyotes
    Are now out after Tempe voters rejected a proposal
    all all 3 proposels for there New Area in Tempe

    Houston we have a hockey team….
    Move them now for the 2023/2024 season..👍
    Sorry Gary they are gone…

  8. The question of the day for me: Will Bettman finally move the Coyotes or will he hang on two more years with the lease agreement and see if he can move the team in Scottsdale.

    • Why not San Diego? Hell half of Canada spends their winters here. San Diego was screwed by Disney back in the day when the Ducks appeared. San Diego has a great fan base and can draw from Mexico too. Lets GO!

  9. Aside from enjoying the imperious and just plain repugnant Bettman taking one in the mellon, the Arizona fiasco should be good for the NHL. Specifically, it should lead to greater revenue and help raising the cap.

    And in retrospect isn’t the NHL glad that Arizona didn’t win the # 1 pick. Imagine having Bedard go to the dumpster fire that is currently there.