Another bizarre twist in the Coyotes relocation saga.
Thomas Hawthorne  

Another bizarre twist in the Coyotes relocation saga.

Things keep getting weirder and weirder as more details leak out about a relocation to Salt Lake City.

Jonathan Larivee

The situation surrounding the relocation of the Arizona Coyotes appears to become more and more bizarre by the day.

On Saturday we learned that, in spite of the fact that Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo is selling the team for a reported $1 billion to the National Hockey League, there are some contingencies in place that are extremely unusual when it comes to the sale of an NHL franchise.

The foremost of those is a guarantee from the NHL itself that, should Meruelo secure an arena, he will be able to trigger an expansion draft to bring a team back to Arizona within the next 5 years. In the event that this comes to pass, Meruelo would be required to reimburse the NHL as it pertains to the sale of the Coyotes.

That was bizarre enough but thanks to more solid reporting from John Gambadoro on this topic we have learned of another bizarre twist in this story.

In his latest report, Gambadoro has revealed that Meruelo will remain a member of the NHL's board of governors in spite of the fact that he will no longer be an NHL owner. According to Gambadoro, Meruelo will only be able to act as an "observer" in his role with the board of governors.

Although there has been no indication as to why these concessions have been made, I strongly suspect that the NHL is bending over backwards here in an effort to get the franchise out of Meruelo's hands and into the hands of billionaire Ryan Smith, who is expected to relocate the team to Salt Lake City.

Gambadoro has indicated he believes this may be why the 5 year clause regarding an expansion into Arizona exists in the first place.

Stay tuned as there may still be more to come on this developing story.