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Glendale city councillor calls Saskatoon, other cities, ‘Canadian poachers’

Glendale city council member, Joyce Clark recently called cities in Canada chasing the Phoenix Coyotes NHL franchise “poachers,” and she say’s she’ll be glad when all is said and done concerning the struggling NHL team.

Clark tweeted on May 23, “I will be so pleased when Coyotes issue is settled. Then all of these Canadian poachers can move on to another team and another city.”

She said the message behind the tweet is simple—she wants the team to stay in Glendale.

“We get emails, we get tweets from Canadians—sometimes posed as Arizona residents—saying ‘it’s a bad deal and the city of Glendale shouldn’t be investing in a hockey team,” said Clark, adding how Glendale depends on the team to keep communities in the city healthy.

“It’s sited in a major sports and entertainment district in Glendale and we rely upon the 42 nights of hockey games to help to keep what we call Westgate healthy, so that’s a major reason for supporting keeping the Coyotes in Glendale and in Westgate.”

Clark said she has “no problem,” with Canadian cities getting hockey teams, but said she thinks it’s “ridiculous” Canadian fans want to take NHL teams out of new growing markets.

“In Canada, you have a market of people who enjoy hockey and love hockey, if you want to build new markets, you go to where there is no hockey and try to build those markets and that’s exactly what the NHL is doing,” said Clark

However, Mayor Donald Atchison said he feels the comment could be shot at a number of Canadian cities, including Saskatoon.

“It almost sounds like she’s calling the nation poachers,” said Atchison. “There are places such as Kitchener-Waterloo, Quebec City. I’m  sure Halifax would love to have a team (and) Saskatoon would love to have a team—so we’re not poaching anything from anyone.”

Atchison said he feels if support for the team has dried up in Phoenix, there is no reason not to look at other markets.

“If it seems they aren’t going to be able to stay financially viable in their community and Saskatoon is a viable option, I would think people would want to look at that,” said Atchison.

“I think she should be elated that the Coyotes will stay in Phoenix at the Glendale arena there and that it sounds like they’ve got a wonderful owner moving in."

A deal that would keep the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale for the next 20-years is in it’s final stages and could be finalized through Glendale city council by July 1st. It is a  proposal Clark said she’s in favor of.

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