Avs could move to Pacific Division, says NHL plan | VailDaily.com

Avs could move to Pacific Division, says NHL plan

Adrian Dater
The Denver Post
Vail, CO Colorado

If the Phoenix Coyotes end up moving from the NHL’s Pacific Division to another city, the Avalanche would take their place by moving out of the Northwest Division.

That, according to an NHL “contingency” schedule in place should the Coyotes move. Canada’s CBC network reported today the NHL’s contingency schedule has a team from Winnipeg, Manitoba, that would play in the Northwest Division and Colorado would move to the Pacific.

The Avalanche played in the Pacific Division from 1995-98, winning three straight division titles, before moving to the Northwest for the

1998-99 season.

“It’s too early to speculate on this,” Avalanche vice president Jean Martineau said. “We have not been informed of anything official in this regard.”

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly declined comment on the matter.

The Winnipeg Jets moved to Phoenix after the 1995-96 season, but the city has clamored for a new team since building a new arena, the MTS Centre, in 2004. Despite being a playoff team this season, the Coyotes have lost tens of millions of dollars in recent years and finished last in NHL attendance again this season.

The NHL was forced to take control of the team last year and has been looking for a buyer to keep the team in Glendale, but talks with several suitors have fallen through.

The city of Glendale will hold a key city council meeting tonight to vote on several matters requested by the NHL should it continue to have to retain ownership of the team – the biggest of which may be the NHL’s desired guarantee from the city to cover any operating losses it might sustain should it continue to be the owner.

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