Clarity on Arizona Coyotes may take a bit more time

In this edition of Saturday Headlines, Elliotte Friedman discusses a potential deal between the Flames and Devils for Jacob Markstrom, a couple players holding up the trade market, and why clarity on the Coyotes arena situation may take time.

The seemingly never-ending saga of the Arizona Coyotes likely will not have an imminent resolution.

While there was some talk the league or Coyotes may be nearing an announcement on the team’s future this weekend, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported on Hockey Night in Canada that we figure to have to wait a little longer before learning what comes next for the franchise.

“There was a lot of noise this week about the Coyotes, no question about it, and some of us thought, and I was one of them, that we might get an announcement this weekend about where things are going with their next potential building or any kind of future of the team,” Friedman said.

“Now I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think that it might be a little bit of time before we get any clarification from the team, which did discuss the potential of a new building with the state this week.”

The Coyotes’ arena situation has been in flux since their lease expired at Gila River Arena at the end of the 2021-22 season, prompting a temporary arrangement to be made with Arizona State University to play at its 5,000-seat Mullett Arena. A public vote to build an arena and entertainment complex in Tempe, Ariz., was defeated last May.

While the Coyotes maintain they are looking at several arena options, they did confirm last week they applied to buy “state trust land” in north Phoenix as a potential site for a new facility. That would create an open auction where owner Alex Meruelo can try to post the highest bid. But there are zero guarantees.

The Arizona State Land Department controls the process.

Meanwhile, Friedman reported Meruelo has told employees he will address them about current developments next week.

At All-Star Weekend last week in Toronto, NHLPA executive director Marty Walsh called the uncertainty around the Coyotes’ arena “unacceptable.”

When NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was asked during his media conference beforehand about the situation, he offered a lukewarm vote of confidence that the Coyotes will deliver on an arena plan.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.