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Breaking News: NHL Prefers the Coyotes in Winnipeg over Hamilton

From The Globe and Mail

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told officials with Phoenix Coyotes in early April that the NHL would consider moving the team to Winnipeg but not Hamilton, court filings show.

Earl Scudder, a lawyer who works with Coyotes majority owner Jerry Moyes, said in an affidavit filed last night that he told Bettman on April 3 that there was interest “by a purchaser from Canada that wanted to move the team to Southern Ontario.”

Bettman replied that the league would not approve relocating the Coyotes to Hamilton because Copps Coliseum was over 30 years old, according to the affidavit. However, he added that “if the team did return to Canada, it would be to Winnipeg,” Scudder alleged.

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Instant analysis: Wow. Talk about things coming full circle. Who would have thought that Gary Bettman would be in favour of an NHL return to Winnipeg? This is a testament to the great job that Manitoba Moose owner Mark Chipman has been doing in dealing with the NHL in a professional, quiet, under the radar, respectful manner. (Are you listening Jim-bo?) Is this the first domino that will lead the NHL to habitating the new arena at Portage and Hargrave? Only time will tell, but confirmation of mutual interest is a crucial first step.

Winnipeg criminal lawyer.