Two previously unsuccessful bidders for the Phoenix Coyotes have joined efforts to explore whether to make another attempt to purchase the orphaned franchise.
Canadian marketing professional Anthony LeBlanc and Chicago financier Matthew Hulsizer, who previously came up short in efforts to buy the Coyotes, are “exploring options” about possible terms and conditions to acquire the team anew, LeBlanc told The Arizona Republic on Monday.
LeBlanc would serve as the front man for the investment group, which eventually could include five or six investors, he said.
Hulsizer confirmed his involvement in the venture but deferred further comment to LeBlanc.
Their intent would be to keep the team in Glendale, which would be a blow to possible suitors in Seattle, Quebec and elsewhere who hope to lure a National Hockey League team.
Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers said at least twice since Jan. 31 that he has been in frequent discussions with a couple of “very strong” investors, but he steadfastly has declined to identify them.
LeBlanc confirmed that his investment group is one of the potential buyers, but he stressed that his group’s efforts are still in the preliminary stages. He has been in regular contact with Weiers and NHL executives about the matter, he said.
“We continue to explore what the options are,” LeBlanc said.
“This time around, while I don’t actually know this will be the case, I think the league is going to take a much more involved role in discussions with the city. So I’m kind of seeing what the league’s coming to this time, before we really get ourselves too engaged.”