For more than one reason, tonight is a big one for the Coyotes
Tonight in Glendale, the city council is expected to approve a preliminary budget that would earmark a $17 million arena-management fee payable to prospective Phoenix Coyotes owner Greg Jamison.
Also tonight in Glendale, the Coyotes will be at Jobing.com Arena trying to stay alive in the Western Conference finals.
Whether or not it’s the last time the franchise plays a game in the city-owned rink is still up in the air.
“We are putting $17 million in as a placeholder,” said Glendale spokeswoman Julie Frisoni. “There is not an agreement yet for an owner of the Coyotes or a management agreement with the arena, but we know that, moving forward, the city is going to be responsible for all of the expenses of that facility.”
One person who’s hoping an agreement is reached is Coyotes captain Shane Doan.
“I’ve been here for 16 years this August,” Doan said today. “It’s been great to my family and I.
“I have a 13-year-old daughter that this is home to. She has never lived anywhere else. All her friends, their families are all here. This is home for us. We enjoy it. It’s something that we hope gets settled.”
Doan also enjoys his low-profile life in the desert.
“You’re fortunate when you live here and play here. You get all the benefits of playing professional sports. I get to go down and meet the Diamondbacks, do the fun things you enjoy, get great tickets to fun things.
“At the same time you have the amenity of being just a regular dad, a regular husband. You go out and do the normal things with your wife and the normal things with your kids.”
If the Coyotes remain in Glendale, Doan will surely be back with the franchise he’s spent his entire career with.
But if the sale to Jamison falls through and the Coyotes are forced to relocated, Doan wouldn’t necessarily go along with them. The 35-year-old has the right to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and there would be plenty of interest in his services if he were available.