cy11234566
Nov 6

surprised by the outpouring and the thank yous coming

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Growing up in Calgary, George Gosbee had a dream. "Every boy wants to play in the NHL," he said. "Once you realize thats not possible, you change your focus and you start to think about owning a team." Not every boy goes right from thinking about being on the ice to overseeing all aspects of a hockey team as an owner, but Gosbee spent decades honing his business acumen and last week finalized the purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes with his IceArizona group. Not far into his ownership odyssey, he called it a "total dream come true." "Everythings on track for what we wanted to do and were making some progress," Gosbee said in a phone interview this week. "So far theres been no surprises." Maybe there were a few surprises. Gosbee arrived at his Glendale office Wednesday to find flowers sent from a fan on his desk. When he was leaving an Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game, a police officer stopped him just to say thank you. "Its the first time Ive been stopped that way from a police officer," Gosbee said. "I was really surprised by the outpouring and the thank yous coming in in this community. ... Everybodys just been positive and appreciative of what weve done." To get the deal done, Gosbee and his partners, who include fellow Canadian businessmen Anthony LeBlanc and Avik Dey, had to go through the long process of getting NHL approval, securing financing and finishing up a lease deal for Jobing.com arena. So when the Coyotes asked Gosbee to start using Twitter, he was overwhelmed by the flood of positive responses. "Thats been pleasant because weve been really trying to grind out this deal for the last little while and weve been so focused in on the deal that we lost sense of why we were doing it," he said. In the long-term, Gosbee knew exactly why he was doing this. Through years of successful business ventures, the banker and financier became more and more fascinated with the prospect of owning a professional sports team. Gosbee, 43, calls himself a "live-sports junkie," but at the core hes a businessman. "When this opportunity came up," said Gosbee, who is chairman and chief executive officer of Alberta-based AltaCorp Capital Inc. "I just had to keep putting that out of my head and keep focusing on the financial aspects of it." That wasnt just the focus in buying the team. It remains Gosbee and LeBlancs goal moving forward, as they plan to let general manager Don Maloney and coach Dave Tippett work the on-ice product largely unimpeded. "Im not looking to run a team," Gosbee said. "I think, especially in business, its all about people. We had a lot of confidence in what Don Maloney and Dave Tippett have done with this team, given all the adversity and obstacles and a limited budget. ... "We believe in those two guys and want to provide them with all the financial resources we can and let them do their job." But from an ownership standpoint, Gosbee is drawing from his youth in Calgary and not just his feelings and memories of when the Flames moved from Atlanta. "When the Flames came to Calgary, I was the happiest kid on the planet," he said. "I remember how that group came to be, and it was a group of strong, successful, level-headed businessmen, very strong in the community and successful but not flamboyant. And they were all friends as well. So I took that model and put together a group of friends that were successful and similar to the Flames ownership." Gosbee and Co. can only hope to have the same success. But he concedes that Arizona in 2013 is a much different situation than Calgary in 1980. "Back then you were really on your own when you owned a team," Gosbee said. "Now, we really bought one 30th of the NHL and were managing a team in Phoenix, so its a different concept now with regards to how the league works. Im kind of bullish on the structure, how it works, and that was another reason why I wanted to get into it." Mark Chipman and True North bought into that NHL ownership structure two years ago when the Thrashers moved and became the Winnipeg Jets. And while new ownership gives the Coyotes something of a fresh start, this is a unique situation because its the same team that has played in Glendale with varying degrees of success and fan interest. Its a situation Gosbee sees the best in. He called the Coyotes mix of players one of the best in the league, citing the leadership of Shane Doan, and hopes to cultivate an even bigger fan base now that at least the short-term future is secure. "The fan base down here has to be one of the most loyal fan bases Ive seen, to continue to buy season tickets, to continue to make the drive out here (to the arena in Glendale)," he said. "Its asking those fans to come back that werent really wanting to support a team that was thinking about leaving. And theres a lot of those fans around. ... "Theres number of things that are going to happen that I think those fans are going to come back. Also I think were going to be able to generate new fans based off the stability of ownership." Gosbee is confident hockey in Arizona will work out long-term as well, based on the size of the Phoenix metropolitan area and the large number of Canadians who live there. At the moment, Gosbee is homeless. He lost his Calgary house in the floods earlier this year, but bought another one there to fulfil a promise to his wife. Hes looking for a place in Arizona. He and the IceArizona ownership group have already made sure the Coyotes have a home there, for at least the next five years. Leaving hockey to Maloney and his staff, Gosbee and the collective "brain trust" of IceArizona are convinced they can do enough on the business side to ensure an NHL presence in the desert for a long time. "Theres one unique thing about this deal: Its not all dependent upon one thing working," Gosbee said. "Theres five or six or even seven type of avenues that were all pursuing on increasing revenue. Some of those wont work and some of them will, and were not dependent on any one particular avenue to go with." [url=https://www.cheapusasoccer.com/]USA Soccer Shirts[/url] . Messis 75th-minute goal answered some of the criticism the clubs all-time leading scorer had received for his lacklustre performances in the teams recent losses in the league, Champions League and Copa del Rey final. [url=https://www.cheapusasoccer.com/]USA Soccer Jerseys 2020[/url] . The former central defender calmly nodded it down and quietly went about celebrating a win with his staff. For a man who has had a lot on his shoulders this season, it was an appropriate moment. https://www.cheapusasoccer.com/. The future hall of famers stole the show at the Bell Centre on Tuesday night, with Jagr moving into seventh place in all-time goal scoring and Brodeur stopping 29 shots as the Devils downed the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. [url=https://www.cheapusasoccer.com/]Custom USA Soccer Jerseys[/url] . -- Desperate to stop Tom Bradys latest comeback bid, the Miami Dolphins sought help from a reserve safety making his NFL debut after being signed Tuesday off the San Francisco 49ers practice squad. [url=https://www.cheapusasoccer.com/]Wholesale USA Soccer Jerseys[/url] .com) - The St. MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings changed course early Wednesday and decided in the middle of the night to put star running back Adrian Peterson on hiatus while he deals with a felony child-abuse charge in Texas. Vikings owners Zygi Wilf and Mark Wilf said they made they move after "further reflection" and concluded it was best for the Vikings and for Peterson, their All-Pro workhorse who has played his entire NFL career with Minnesota and is accused of injuring his 4-year-old son by spanking him with a wooden switch earlier this year. "We want to be clear: we have a strong stance regarding the protection and welfare of children, and we want to be sure we get this right," the Wilfs said. "At the same time we want to express our support for Adrian and acknowledge his seven-plus years of outstanding commitment to this organization and this community." At a news conference at team headquarters Wednesday, Zygi and Mark Wilf stated they made a mistake in allowing Peterson to return to the team Tuesday, and felt they needed to get it right. Mark Wilf also stated the Vikings would support Peterson through his legal and personal matters. The team said Peterson was receptive to leaving the team so that he wouldnt cause a distraction to his teammates. GM Rick Spielman wouldnt say whether or not Peterson would play again this season. Prior to the press conference, Nike announced they have suspended their endorsement deal with Peterson. The organization cited an NFL exemption and put Peterson on the exempt-commissioners permission list, meaning he is off the active roster while he deals with his legal affairs. Just a day-and-a-half earlier, the Vikings had said he would rejoin the team after missing Sundays loss to New England. The backlash to that announcement was significant. The Vikings had at least one major sponsorship suspended. Several prominent NFL advertisers, including Anheuser-Busch, expressed concern about the leagues recent off-the-field problems, which include former Ravens running back Ray Rice and the indictment of Peterson. The governor was critical. Fans were angry. Castrol Motor Oil, Special Olympics Minnesota and Mylan Inc. all severed ties with Peterson. Twin Cities area Nike stores pulled Petersons jerseys from its shelves and the team cancelled an appearance at a childrens home. "This is the best possible outcome given the circumstances," Petersons agent, Ben Dogra, told The Associated Press of the teams decision. "Adrian understands the gravity of the situation and this enables him to take care of his personal situation. We fully support Adrian and he looks forward to watching his teammates and coaches being successful during his absence." The NFL Players Association said it hhad worked with Peterson and the team to resolve "this unique situation.dddddddddddd "Adrian Peterson made a decision to take a voluntary leave with pay to take care of his personal and legal issues," the union said. "We support this decision and hope the best for him and his family." Peterson has an Oct. 8 court appearance scheduled in Montgomery County, outside of Houston, on a felony charge of injury to a child. Peterson has taken responsibility for the incident, insisting he meant no harm and alluding to similar punishment he endured from his parents while growing up in Palestine, Texas. Peterson hasnt appeared publicly since the grand jury indictment, but in a statement this week he said hes met with a psychologist and acknowledged there are "alternative ways of disciplining a child that may be more appropriate." The case is expected to take several months to proceed through the court system, so the possibility of Peterson playing again in 2014 appears slim. His future with the Vikings is another matter. He turns 30 next year and will continue to carry a huge salary cap hit in 2015. The Vikings held Peterson out of the 30-7 loss to New England on Sunday to let the situation simmer. Then on Monday they announced Peterson would rejoin the team and play this weekend at New Orleans. But the Radisson hotel chain suspended its sponsorship with the Vikings and Papa Johns pizza considered doing the same. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, who spearheaded an effort to secure $477 million in public money to help build the team a new stadium, and Sen. Al Franken were among the many who called for the Vikings to reconsider their position. The Vikings said they had deliberations with the NFL over the previous two days. They said they informed the league they were revisiting the original decision. Executives were at the teams Winter Park headquarters late into the night Tuesday, discussing how to respond to the avalanche of criticism. "We embrace our role -- and the responsibilities that go with it -- as a leader in the community, as a business partner and as an organization that can build bridges with our fans and positively impact this great region," the Wilfs said. "We appreciate and value the input we have received from our fans, our partners and the community." Peterson has been the face of the franchise since he was drafted in 2007, one of the most popular and marketable stars in the NFL whose All Day Foundation charity is devoted to helping children. But the foundations website was shuttered Tuesday, at one point posting a message that it "will re-engage after Adrian, his family, and staff have reflected on how the current situation impacts the direction for Adrians philanthropy." ' ' '

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