Earlier this month Katie Strang of The Athletic reported that the Arizona Coyotes had been late on making bonus payments to "at least a few" of their players.
Check it out:
According to multiple sources, the Arizona Coyotes have been late on paying at least a few players their contractually-stipulated signing bonuses on time. My understanding is these have since been resolved, but it has raised some concerns.
Coyotes insider Craig Morgan indeed confirmed the news and dug a little deeper finding that Oliver Ekman Larsson was due $4 million, Antti Raanta was due $2 million, Jason Demers was due $1 million and Tyler Steenbergen was due approximately $45,000.
Check it out:
Multiple sources have confirmed that the Coyotes were late on multiple player signing bonuses: OEL ($4M due Sept. 1), Antti Raanta ($2M due Sept. 1), Jason Demers ($1M due Sept. 1), Tyler Steenbergen ($43,750 due on July 15). All have since been paid.
A spokesman for the Coyotes confirmed that the players have no been paid in full and that no grievance was filed with the NHLPA.
Regardless of the matter being resolved, you just KNOW that this news is going to travel amongst the NHL players themselves. Imagine you're a pending free agent... I dunno... maybe someone like Taylor Hall... and then you see this kind of news? Do you think for a moment that Taylor Hall is going to lock himself into a long-term, big money deal with the Coyotes after learning that they can't even pay their annual bonuses on time? Fat chance.
Well... buckle up, because less than a month later and there are more financial problems in the Arizona desert.
Again from Stang:
To be frank, how long is the NHL going to continue to prop up this dying franchise? What is it going to take? The NHL has cut bait on markets like Quebec, Winnipeg and Atlanta with relative ease, but they've pulled the Coyotes out of the fire literally a dozen times. How much longer can they keep taking losses before something is done and this team is finally relocated to a more stable hockey market?