When you think of the state of Arizona, you think of hot sun, desert, cactus and canyons, not exactly hockey and ice. Well, the Arizona Coyotes are the national hockey team that has been playing in the desert to many adoring fans over the years. And they don’t let the hot weather melt their enthusiasm for this team and exciting game that is played on ice. Southern Arizona is known for its desert climate, with very hot summers and mild winters. Northern Arizona features forests of pine, Douglas fir, and spruce trees; the Colorado Plateau; some mountain ranges (such as the San Francisco Mountains); as well as large, deep canyons, with much more moderate summer temperatures and significant winter snowfalls. There are ski resorts in the areas of Flagstaff, Alpine, and Tucson. In addition to the Grand Canyon National Park, there are several national forests, national parks, and national monuments. There have been lots of changes over the years with their NHL team, but they remain strong and popular as ever and look to have a great season this year in 2018-19.
The Arizona Coyotes are an NHL hockey team based in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale, Arizona. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The team's primary owner is Andrew Barroway. The Coyotes first played at America West Arena in downtown Phoenix, before moving to Glendale's Gila River Arena in 2003. The Coyotes were founded on December 27, 1971, as the Winnipeg Jets of the World Hockey Association (WHA) and after the WHA had ceased operations, they were one of four franchises absorbed into the National Hockey League and then granted membership on June 22, 1979. The Jets moved to Phoenix on July 1, 1996, and were renamed the Phoenix Coyotes. The NHL took ownership of the Phoenix Coyotes franchise in 2009 after owner Jerry Moyes turned it over to the league after declaring bankruptcy. Spending several years finding prospective owners who would not move the franchise out of Metro Phoenix, the NHL completed the sale of the Coyotes to IceArizona Acquisition Co., LLC. on August 5, 2013.
Even the infamous legend Wayne Gretzky coached the Arizona Coyotes and veteran Brett Hull played on the team. On August 6, 2005, Brett Hull, son of former Jet Bobby Hull, was signed and promptly assigned the elder Hull's retired No. 9. Two days later, Gretzky named himself head coach, replacing Rick Bowness, despite the fact that he had never coached at any level of hockey. The Coyotes "Ring of Honor" was unveiled on October 8, inducting Gretzky (who had never played for the organization) and Bobby Hull. Only a week later, Brett Hull announced his retirement. On January 21, 2006, Jets great Thomas Steen was the third inductee to the "Ring of Honor."
It is widely known in the national hockey league that the Arizona Coyotes have had some financial troubles over the years, but always seem to survive and pull through. It all started back in December 2008, when the media became aware that the Coyotes were suffering massive losses, and the NHL was paying the team's bills. The media reports were minimized by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and vice-president Bill Daly. However, Moyes had secretly given operational control of the team to the league. In May 2009, Moyes put the team into bankruptcy hours before Bettman was to present him an offer to sell the team to Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf. Moyes intended to sell the team to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie who intended to purchase the team out of bankruptcy and move it to Hamilton, Ontario. The NHL responded by stripping Moyes of his remaining ownership authority and then the team seemed to carry on.
Then the saga continued and from May until September 2009, hearings were held in Phoenix bankruptcy court to determine the fate of the Coyotes and the holding company. Two potential bidders for the team surfaced, Reinsdorf and Ice Edge Holdings. but they did not submit a bid for the team at the bankruptcy hearing. Instead, the NHL put in the only rival bid to Balsillie for the team, while it contended the Moyes-Balsillie deal violated NHL rules. The bankruptcy court voided the planned sale to Balsillie, accepting the league's argument that bankruptcy could not be used to circumvent league rules. The NHL's bid was also declared insufficient, but the judge left the window open to an improved bid. Moyes and the NHL settled, with the NHL buying the team and assuming all debts. The NHL negotiated a temporary lease with the city of Glendale, which owns Gila River Arena.
For the 2017-18 season, the Arizona Coyotes finished last next to the Vancouver Canucks in the Pacific Division, but looking ahead we may see a different team. With a revamped team, the Arizona Coyotes may be a surprise to the NHL in the upcoming season. It’s safe to say that the Coyotes’ team heading into training camp is much more improved than it was last season. Major improvements to the offense while collecting depth pieces to the defense is starting to put Arizona on the NHL map. Excitement from the city and state that are fans, should be pouring from the supporters of the Coyotes. A fresh and young team combined with a host of different qualities should propel Arizona farther up the NHL standings, and maybe even sneak into the playoffs as well. It’s been a long time being able to say that, but hopefully having young players will re energize the team and make a them a team to look out for in the 2018-19 season. They are rebuilding the team. Only time will tell as they will have to start the season out with some big wins and set the tone for a successful season for this team that is looking for a change in a positive way. Stay tuned!