Now that the NHL is back in Winnipeg and so are the Jets, I don't really mind if Phoenix sticks around. Easier to buy a plane ticket and tickets to the Coyotes than get a ticket in Winnipeg.. and they make for a natural enemy.. Unfortunately I can't see that happening for much longer. I just don't see anyone wanting to own that team in Phoenix.
Now obviously the first solution would be for someone to buy the team and move them. It's the most likely scenario, but I hate the idea of a team moving from too many different cities and carrying the records of all previous teams with them.
It might not be as profitable in the short term, but maybe if the Coyotes do fail, the players should be dispersed and the team and its history could be merged with the current Winnipeg Jets. A minor contraction of the league, and in a year or two you can introduce expansion teams to Quebec or Seattle or what have you.
Team mergers aren't unusual. Cleveland Barons who were once the California Golden seals merged with the Minnesota North Stars.. Who when they became the Dallas Stars split their roster with the expansion San Jose Sharks, owned by the same people who owned the Cleveland Barons in the same market the golden seals played in.. You know what, I guess it's confusing either way.
I was hoping the Phoenix Roadrunners merged with the WHA Winnipeg Jets at some point to somehow make everything come full circle, but no. Oh well. I still think it would be the best option.