Gary Bettman says the NHL is still committed to keeping Arizona Coyotes in Phoenix area despite hurdles

In May, a $2.1 billion Tempe proposal, which included a 16,000-seat arena for the Arizona Coyotes, hotels, a shopping district, restaurants, and real estate, was rejected by the city’s voters. Still, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman stated that the league is still committed to keeping the Coyotes in the Phoenix area and is continuing to look for alternative spots to build a new arena.

“It’s a good market, and if we can make it work, we’ll make it work,” Bettman said during a Stanley Cup Final media availability in Las Vegas.

“The Arizona Coyotes are going to explore what their other options are in the greater Phoenix area and we’re going to monitor that closely,” Bettman added. “Our hope is that one of the options that is being explored and considered will come to fruition.”

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly also revealed that there have been conversations with Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith regarding having a potential NHL franchise in Salt Lake City.

Last month, Bettman said that he was “terribly disappointed by the results of the public referenda regarding the Coyotes’ arena project in Tempe” in a statement.

The Coyotes were attempting to move to Tempe after the franchise lost its home in Glendale — the Desert Diamond Arena — at the conclusion of the 2021-22 NHL season. The team had called that arena home for 18 years. The franchise then relocated to the 5,000-seat Mullett Arena on the campus of Arizona State University, as they have shared the arena with the school’s men’s hockey team.

The Coyotes are scheduled to call Mullett Arena home for the next two seasons with an option for a fourth year. The 2022-23 season marked the first for the Coyotes at Mullett Arena.

The franchise originally began playing in Phoenix after relocating from Winnipeg in 1996.

Panthers vs. Golden Knights odds, NHL picks, Game 4 predictions from hockey model

A pivotal contest in the 2023 Stanley Cup Final features the Vegas Golden Knights traveling to take on the Florida Panthers on Saturday night. The Golden Knights have a chance to secure a commanding 3-1 series lead before heading back to Vegas. The Panthers notched a clutch 3-2 win over the Knights in overtime in Game 3. Florida has won seven overtime games during the 2023 NHL playoffs.

Opening faceoff at FLA Live Arena is set for 8 p.m. ET. Vegas is the -120 favorite (risk $120 to win $100) in the latest Golden Knights vs. Panthers odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total goals scored is 5.5. Before making any Panthers vs. Golden Knights picks, be sure to check out the NHL predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.

This model simulates every NHL game 10,000 times, taking into account factors like current form, individual matchups, injuries and short- and long-term trends when making NHL picks. The model seeks the best values on the money line, puck line and total.

Now, the model has its sights on Golden Knights vs. Panthers and just locked in its picks and Stanley Cup Final predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see the model’s picks. Here are the NHL odds from Caesars Sportsbook and trends for Panthers vs. Golden Knights:

Golden Knights vs. Panthers money line: Florida +100, Vegas -120
Golden Knights vs. Panthers over/under: 5.5 goals
Golden Knights vs. Panthers puck line: Vegas +1.5 (-285)
FLA: The Panthers are 8-1 in their last nine games playing on one days rest
VGK: The Golden Knights are 6-1 in their last seven vs. Eastern Conference
Golden Knights vs. Panthers picks: See picks at SportsLine
Featured Game

Why the Golden Knights can cover
Right-wing Mark Stone is a smooth two-way attacking force for Vegas. Stone excels at creating takeaways due to his quick hands and active stick. The 31-year-old is third on the team in total points (19) with eight goals and 11 assists in the playoffs. He’s scored a goal in two of his last three games, including in his last outing when he finished with one goal and one assist.

Center Chandler Stephenson impacts the game the most as a facilitator. Stephenson has great speed and quickness to create space for his teammates. The 29-year-old can also finish plays around the goal and is tied for fourth on the squad in points (17) this postseason with eight goals and nine assists. In Game 3, Stephenson recorded two assists. See which team to pick here.

Why the Panthers can cover
Center Sam Bennett can line up at multiple spots on the ice due to his versatility. Bennett plays with high energy on both offense and defense as the 26-year-old can create offense for himself while owning good vision. Bennett has recorded 13 total points along with four goals and nine assists in the postseason. In Game 3, he posted two hits, an assist, and three shots on goal.

Center Aleksander Barkov is the complete package for the Panthers. Barkov has great size (6-foot-3, 215 pounds) and moves well on the ice. The 27-year-old generates plenty of velocity with his shots on goal and has amassed 14 total points with four goals and 10 assists during the postseason. On May 24 against the Carolina Hurricanes, Barkov finished with two assists. See which team to pick here.

How to make Golden Knights vs. Panthers picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning Over on the goal total, as the simulations have the teams combining for 6.5 goals. It also says one side of the money line has all the value. You can only get the model’s Game 4 picks at SportsLine.

‘I’d love to convince him to stay’

Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris has weighed in on the James Harden situation. While speaking during a press conference ahead of a Washington Commanders — another team he recently purchased — preseason NFL game, Harris gave his insight on Harden’s trade request, and how he wishes to convince the All-Star guard to stay in Philadelphia.

“Listen, we’re hard at work,” Harris said. “I respect James. I want to, obviously, accommodate what he wants. At the same time, I have to think about a championship-contending team, what we can get back. I’d love to convince him to stay. I understand that that’s not what he wants to do right now.”

Harris’ remarks came a day before Harden was fined $100,000 by the NBA for comments “indicating that he would not perform the services called for under his player contract unless traded to another team.”

Harris’ comments echo what Sixers president Daryl Morey has said recently in wanting to get the best return if the team trades Harden. However, the timeline of that trade is certainly taking longer than Harden would like, which is what reportedly led him to call Morey “a liar.” Harden told the league office — which opened an investigation into Harden’s comments — that those comments stemmed from Morey telling him that he would be traded “quickly” after he requested the trade. That obviously hasn’t happened, which resulted in Harden saying during an event in China that he would never play for a team ran by Morey.

The Sixers and Harden are now in a standoff, with Philadelphia calling off trade talks with the Clippers with the intention of bringing the disgruntled star into training camp. But given Harden’s comments, which more recently includes saying that his relationship with the team is beyond repair, that isn’t the ideal situation for either side. Despite no trade being on the horizon at the moment, Harris said that he will work to find the best solution for everyone involved.

“I’m going to keep working to resolve it in a way that everyone can live with and is positive for everyone, whatever that resolution is,” Harris said. “… I respect him as a basketball player, and as a person. It’s back to, these are, you’re dealing with people, right? And you’ve got to be there. We’ll see where it comes out.”

Time will tell if Harris is able to change Harden’s mind, but right now it doesn’t seem like he wants to go down that route. But with training camp opening Oct. 3, the Sixers still have a good chunk of time to resolve this situation before things get really uncomfortable.