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Report: NHL approves sale of league-owned Phoenix Coyotes

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images) NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has agreed to sell the Coyotes to Renaissance Sports & Entertainment, and the two sides now reportedly need to reach a lease agreement with the city of Glendale. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The NHL has approved the sale of the league-owned Phoenix Coyotes to a group of Canadian-led investors, according to the Associated Press.

The deal is contingent on reaching a lease agreement with the city of Glendale, the report states.

Renaissance Sports & Entertainment, headed by George Gosbee, Anthony LeBlanc and Daryl Jones, has purchased the team, which the NHL bought out of U.S. Bankruptcy Court in 2009.

The prospective buyers, along with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly, will meet with Glendale officials on Tuesday to discuss a lease.

From the report:

LeBlanc and some of this group's partners, among them Daryl Jones, were part of a previous effort to buy the team under the name Ice Edge, Inc. Gosbee, a banker and financier, is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Alberta-based AltaCorp Capital Inc.

The lease with Glendale has always been a sticking point in the sale of the team. Glendale owns Jobing.com Arena, where the Coyotes play and the city has spent tens of millions of dollars to help cover the franchise's operating losses under the NHL's nearly four-year ownership of the team. Any lease deal also likely will cost the financially-strapped city, but losing the team as an anchor tenant may cost much more.

If this effort falls through, Bettman could finally give up on his insistence on keeping the team in Arizona and agree to a move of the franchise, which has lost money since it moved to the desert from Winnipeg in 1996.
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