CHICAGO – NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Monday night that a deal to sell the Phoenix Coyotes to a group headed by Jerry Reinsdorf would be beneficial to the franchise and the league.
“It will be great for this league and that franchise if Jerry is able, with his partners, to consummate that transaction,” Bettman said Monday night before Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals between the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks.
Reinsdorf already owns the Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox.
Bettman said the sale of the Coyotes was getting closer to completion, but didn’t give a timetable. The NHL bought the team out of bankruptcy in November. Reinsdorf’s group has said it intends to keep the team in Glendale, Ariz., just outside of Phoenix.
“There is much that has to be done with the city of Glendale, both with the league and the prospective owners,” Bettman said.
Bettman also said the league will study the impact the Olympic break had on the league. He added that he has asked each general manager to give him a report on what effect the disruption had on their teams and how the clubs performed once players returned.