- Scott Burnside, NHL
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The City of Glendale remains poised to file suit against the Goldwater Institute over what it alleges is illegal interference in the attempted sale of municipal bonds critical to keeping the Phoenix Coyotes in Arizona.
However, discussions aimed at getting the bonds sold and a lease agreement finalized with Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer continued Monday, so the city held off on filing the suit, a source told ESPN.com Monday afternoon.
The City of Glendale believes the Goldwater Institute illegally interfered with potential buyers of the municipal bonds, and its legal department is prepared to file suit against the institute and individual board members if talks run aground or if the deal falls through.
The city has said the loss of the team would cost the municipality more than $500 million in jobs, taxes and revenue.
The city needs revenue from the sale of the bonds to pay Hulsizer $100 million, which will go toward the purchase price of the team that is currently owned by the NHL.
Goldwater is claiming that the parking rights the city will receive as part of the lease agreement will not cover the monies provided Hulsizer, and therefore represent a "gift," which would make the lease agreement illegal under state law.
Multiple sources have told ESPN.com that the fate of the team in Arizona will be decided one way or another in a matter of days.
The NHL has the right to begin relocation of the team at any time, and if the bond issue drags out much longer without a resolution, or if the deal falls apart for any other reason, the NHL will move swiftly to announce the team will move to Winnipeg for the start of the 2011-12 season.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly are expected in Phoenix sometime Tuesday, a source told ESPN.com Tuesday morning.
Scott Burnside covers the NHL for ESPN.com.