– According to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, the Coyotes could be nearing a sale which would keep the team in Phoenix. Club president and COO Mike Nealy said in an interview Thursday with ESPN.com and QMI Agency of Canada
“Things are moving pretty quickly and a lot of work is being done. I wouldn’t be shocked if we saw something next week. I wouldn’t be panicked if it didn’t happen, but I’m looking for the near term.”
The Coyotes have been without an owner since 2009 and have been run by the league since. If a deal can’t be struck to sell the team locally, there is interest in Quebec City to relocate there. But Nealy believes the odds are that the Coyotes will stay in the desert.
“I’m planning for next year, we’re renewing tickets, we’re making plans for next year and, so, I fully expect it. I know it’s not a guarantee, but I would say I’d put a high probability on it.”
There have been rumours that a sale to Sharks’ executive Greg Jamison’s group is all but done, but NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly stopped short of saying that. Daly said via email Thursday,
“We are continuing to work with Greg Jamison and with the City of Glendale to move the process forward. We remain hopeful that we can get a deal done, and we can move forward from there to close the transaction and transition ownership locally. Having said that, nothing is done yet and no timeline for completion has been established.”
Nealy said the City of Glendale could discuss the situation as early next week.
“Next week is a possibility. As far as the City of Glendale, they certainly are shooting to be able to do something early next week. They have a council meeting scheduled for Tuesday and they’d like to do that. Certainly the NHL wouldn’t have anything against that. So if those three pieces can come together and that’s all in the mix, it could happen.”
– Panthers’ F Kris Versteeg (left hip cyst) underwent surgery in Nashville on Wednesday. Versteeg will be an RFA this off-season. He missed 11 games during the regular season and still established career-bests in goals (23) and points (54), while tying his season-best in assists (31) for the Southeast Division champions. Versteeg had three goals and two assists in seven playoff games for the Panthers.
– Check out this Predators’ ice girl taking a live catfish that was thrown on the ice off the rink with her bare hands. How that fan managed to smuggle it in, AND keep it alive is beyond me. Check it out:
– The San Diego County medical examiner’s office has officially ruled Junior Seau’s death a suicide. The autopsy says Seau died of a gunshot wound to the chest. The medical examiner’s office says it is awaiting a decision by the family on whether to turn over Seau’s brain to unidentified outside researchers for study. Seau died Wednesday in his home in suburban Oceanside.
– Rachel Bird, a teenage girl from Kingsley, Iowa started a “Tim Tebow Prom Date” campaign at her high school. Bird, single and in need of a senior prom date, Bird pleaded on Twitter, contacted Jets’ QB Tim Tebow’s agent, as well as the Jets organization, in order to get Tebow to be her prom date. Of course, plans fell through, but she settled for the next best thing–a cardboard cutout of Tebow. Now, rather than buying a Tebow cutout itself, Bird bought a Tebow poster, cut it out and glued it to a strip of cardboard that she and he mother found behind a hardware store. Seriously.
“He was a cheap date, and he didn’t talk much. And when I asked him to stand in a corner, he did. I don’t think it even hurt his feelings.”
– Check out this absolutely ridiculous goal by Papiss Cisse in a 2-0 Newcastle win over Chelsea:
– The Angels have acquired RHP Ernesto Frieri from the Padres for UTIL Alexi Amarista and RHP Donn Roach. Frieri, 26, has a 2.33 ERA over 105 career relief appearances, including a 2.31 ERA and 18/4 K/BB ratio over 11 2/3 innings this season, and should be a welcome sight in a Halos bullpen that entered play Thursday with a 5.08 ERA. Amarista hit .273 with12 RBIs in 18 games for Triple-A Salt Lake. He’ll be assigned to Tucson. Roach was 5-0 with a 2.16 ERA with Class-A Inland Empire.
– The Yankees have signed OF Jayson Nix. Nix was a non-roster invitee to spring training and batted .323 over 18 games, but was sidelined for two weeks with a bruised left calf. Nix has spent the past eight games at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he was hitting .233 with four RBIs.
– Lakers’ F Metta World Peace will appear on the late-night comedy show “Conan” in one-on-one interview on Monday for the first time since he elbowed the Thunder’ F James Harden the head. MWP is currently suspended for seven games, which will carry through at least late next week.