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Bettman to Arizona reps: ‘Coyotes cannot and will not remain in Glendale’

Winnipeg Jets v Arizona Coyotes

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 09: Fans line up outside of Gila River Arena before the NHL game between the Arizona Coyotes and the Winnipeg Jets on October 9, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona. The Jets defeated the Coyotes 6-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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NHL commissioner Gary Bettman wrote a letter to Arizona lawmakers pledging support for Arizona Senate Bill 1149, stating his belief that it would be key in “the NHL’s commitment to keeping the Arizona Coyotes in the Greater Phoenix market.”

The juicier stuff comes a few paragraphs later.

" ... Let me be abundantly clear: the Coyotes’ current location in Glendale at Gila River Arena is not economically capable of supporting a successful NHL franchise.”

The underline was Bettman’s emphasis, not that of PHT. The letter then puts this portion in bold, and it’s easy to see why:

The simple truth? The Arizona Coyotes must have a new arena location to succeed. The Coyotes cannot and will not remain in Glendale.

Well then.

Sportsnet’s John Shannon caught up with a league source who maybe dulls certain dreams of a more dramatic relocation, or at least delays such thoughts:

If you’ve been following along through the twists and turns of the Coyotes’ arena situation, you know that this is the discordant song that never ends. So it’s no surprise to see a prediction of a solution taking “years.” Many of us are starting to assume that it may span our lifetimes or even generations.

This follows bad news about arena financing back in late February, while Bettman echoes strongly worded messages from ownership to Arizona politicians from back in last May. Beyond that ... well, this stuff has been going on forever.

Even if some of this feels like old hat (like a beat-up baseball player’s crusty cap, honestly), it’s startling to see such resoundingly direct language used when dry legalese would normally do.

You can read more about Bettman’s reasoning, including repeated statements about things not working out with Glendale, in the letter.