By Nate Hanson, Sports Radio KJR
Relocation and Seattle are being mentioned in the same sentence again. This time it’s the NHL. The fate of the Phoenix Coyotes rests in the hands of the NHL, the city of Glendale and Commissioner Gary Bettman. Paul Bissonnette of the Coyotes joined The Furness Show to discuss what the precarious situation has been like for the players.
““Guys gotta worry about where they’re going to put their kids in school and worry about their families,” he said. “Until something’s done, I won’t believe what I hear.”
The NHL has owned the Coyotes since 2009. While the situation is hard for the players off the ice, it also has negative impact for the team on the ice.
“As far as a competing standpoint where we don’t have an owner, the league owns us, we can’t maybe pick up some free agents because we can’t spend the couple extra millions of dollars on a lineup that makes a difference and scores a couple of big goals in a season, which leads to the playoffs,” Bissonnette said. “That’s probably the most frustrating part.”
Seattle fans know from experience that a successful sports franchise needs a dedicated owner. Bissonnette believes the team could have long-term success in Phoenix if someone committed to building a winning franchise steps up to buy the team.
“I think it will work. You just need an owner that shows he cares,” he said. “If you don’t have that it’s hard, right? It’s hard for people to trust it.”
Seattle makes sense geographically for the NHL, which is going through conference realignment, as compared to other East Coast options, like Quebec City. If the Coyotes are relocated to Seattle, they would likely play in Key Arena for a few years before moving into a new arena in the SoDo area. Bissonnette made it clear that playing in Key Arena for a brief period of time would not influence his decision to sign with the team if he was a free agent.
“Money usually talks,” he said.
Bissonnette appeared more concerned about the women in Seattle rather than where he would play hockey games. He introduced Furness and Puckett to an app called “Tinder,” which is for people that want to get “whacked” as Bissonnette said.
“Whatever your city you’re in, within like a 20 mile radius, it finds other girls that are on this Tinder thing and basically they’re just on it because they want to get whacked, right?”
A decision from the NHL is expected within a month. It’s a decision that will determine if Bissonnette is forced to update his zip code on Tinder.
You can listen to the whole interview, Tinder included, below: