The Maple Leafs are in silent running this week as Kyle Dubas makes his Big Decision: will he stay as GM, or will he choose to step away from hockey for a while? When or how he will pop up again to let us know isn't even clear at this point, though he implied it would be pretty quick, perhaps a few days at most.
The path forward for the team hinges on it and this is the largest time of uncertainty for the Leafs in recent memory. They should totally make the reveal into a TV show like The Decision.
Speaking of teams looking for a path forward, that brings me to the topic of today's FTB and what went down last night and you'll never guess which franchise it was to make headlines for having another debacle on their business side.
It's the Arizona Coyotes!
The voters of the City of Tempe rejected supporting the Coyotes new arena and development proposal last night, and it was a pretty solid "no" too.
There were actually three propositions and the 56/44 split against was about the same for all three.
I haven't followed the lead up to vote for this, but I recall when the referendum was announced there was a lot of optimism from those in and around the team and the media that it would be an easy victory.
I don't think calling it the "best sports deal in Arizona history" was a great slogan to engender support, because the average voter will default to the "very best deal ever" still being a terrible deal, and they're probably right.
Many of those around the team seem to be quite taken aback by last night's results.
Finding a path forward for the franchise in that City seems nearly impossible now, though I cannot count how many times I've heard that before, but having a team stuck in a 5,000-seat arena designed for college hockey cannot possibly be acceptable to the league. This all comes at a time where there is clearly big money floating around to purchase new franchises, and there's very large cities in the US with existing facilities available. We may very well be at the point where the only viable way to fix this is for the team go somewhere else.
It's all funny timing for this to be happening at the same time as the release of the BlackBerry biographical film which covers the rise and fall of the company, including scenes involving the founder Jim Balsillie in 2009 where he attempted to buy the Coyotes and move them to Hamilton; that's how long the Coyotes have been an unstable franchise. If it's on your favourite streaming service you should check it out, if only for the nostalgia of that device at the height of its popularity and ubiquity in Toronto in the early 2000's. It's an easy quick watch at an even two hours long.