Gary Bettman (Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)
A day after Glendale, Ariz., city council dissolved the lease agreement with Gila River Arena & the Arizona Coyotes, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman continued to speak out harshly. In exclusive comments to THN Thursday, Bettman said Glendale's actions were "outrageous, irrational & cannot be condoned."
A day after the city of Glendale, Ariz., voted to dissolve its arena lease agreement with Gila River Arena and the NHL's Arizona Coyotes, league commissioner Gary Bettman continued speaking out strongly against the decision. And, speaking to THN via phone Thursday afternoon, he wanted to nip one particular rumor in the bud.
"I've seen some speculation we should be taking over the team, and that isn't going to happen," Bettman said. "We've been in touch with the team and we're fully supportive of all of the actions they either have or will be taking to vindicate their rights under this lease."
Bettman reaffirmed his support for Anthony LeBlanc's ownership group in Arizona, and once again took square aim at the city council that Wednesday voted 5-2 to kill the 15-year, $225-million lease agreement finalized in 2013. LeBlanc has stated the franchise will "exhaust any and all legal remedies against the city of Glendale for this blatant violation of its contractual obligations to us,” and Bettman's comments were equally pointed.
"What Glendale did is outrageous, irrational and cannot be condoned," Bettman said.
With LeBlanc promising a lawsuit against the municipality, he and his fellow co-owners can expect the full backing of the league.