The Phoenix Coyotes are having the best season of their short history. In April, they finished atop the National Hockey League’s Pacific Division. In the postseason, they beat the Chicago Blackhawks in six games and the Nashville Predators in five. Never before had the Coyotes advanced past the first round of the playoffs. At press time, they were skating in the Western Conference championship against the Los Angeles Kings, fighting for a berth in the Stanley Cup finals.
Yet the Coyotes soon could lose something much more important than a game or even a playoff series: They could lose their city, all because of a plucky free-market think tank named after Barry Goldwater. “We’re cheering for the Coyotes,” says Darcy Olsen, president of the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute. “But we’re also trying to protect taxpayers.”