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NHL to continue operating Phoenix Coyotes

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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Greg Jamison was unable to pull together the funds and investors he needed to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes before a deadline with the city of Glendale expired.

His bid to buy the team from the NHL may not be over, though.

More complicated, yes, but not necessarily finished.

"We remain hopeful the Coyotes sale process will be resolved successfully and we will continue to work with the City of Glendale to move the process forward," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement on Friday.

Jamison was unable to complete his purchase of the Coyotes before midnight Thursday, the deadline set in a 20-year, $308 million lease agreement he reached with Glendale for Jobing.com Arena last year.

In a statement released Thursday night, Jamison said he will continue to work toward buying the team, but that the lease agreement with the city would have to be renegotiated.

Despite the disappointment for the Coyotes and their fans, nothing much changes - the team has been run by the NHL for over three years and will continue to be.

"Mr. Jamison will continue to work with the NHL and the City of Glendale to close a deal that will keep the Coyotes in the Valley," Coyotes chief operating officer Mike Nealy said in a statement. "Although there is no set timetable, hopefully it will be soon. The Coyotes will continue to be owned by the NHL and nothing changes for our organization. We will work hard on and off the ice to provide our fans with a winning team that they can be proud of. We would like to thank all of our great fans and corporate partners for their incredible patience and loyalty throughout this process. We know it's been difficult and we appreciate their support."

Jamison's failure to meet the deadline in the lease agreement could shake things up.

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He'll continue to work toward buying the team, but will have to work out a new deal with Glendale. The previous City Council approved the initial agreement with Jamison - it was reworked in November - but Glendale has a new mayor and three new council members, so getting another deal done isn't a sure thing.

The expired deal also opens up the possibility that Jamison could face competition from new bidders to buy the team.

"The city and the current owner of the Coyotes, the National Hockey League, will continue to work together on a solution that is in the best interest of Glendale and our citizens," the city of Glendale said in a statement. "The next step involves seeking direction from the City Council to determine how to move forward with this process. The arena was built to serve as a catalyst for the economic growth that has occurred in Glendale's Sport & Entertainment District, and its success remains a priority for the city."

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