(center) and the Coyotes
could be leaving the desert behind as early as the end of this season. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
By Allan Muir
Stories of the Coyotes leaving Phoenix are like tales of Bigfoot: everyone's heard them, and no one's believing anything until they see it for themselves.
Get ready to believe.
TSN's Darren Dreger reported during tonight's Boston-Montreal game that while the NHL is continuing efforts to keep the team in place, a decision to relocate the team could come before the start of the playoffs.
Dreger said the league will continue to meet with prospective buyers, but time is running out on the market. To be honest, time ran out years ago, but the league has kept the team on life support far beyond the point of common sense.
It's notable that the news is coming from Dreger, a reporter whose close connections to the league are well known. If he's breaking this, someone in the home office wants it out there.
Quebec City, Seattle and Kansas City would appear to be the most likely destinations, with Quebec City considered the early favorite. Of course, if that happens, it reopens the league's realignment plans for next season, which means Columbus could possibly be headed back to the Western Conference.
It's all speculation at this point, of course. We'll have more information as it becomes available.