Ever since Tilman Fertitta bought the Houston Rockets of the NBA in September 2017, the market has been the center of much speculation that an NHL franchise could soon be heading there. Fertitta has expressed public interest in bringing the NHL to Houston, and visited the league offices to speak with the commissioner’s office about what it would take. None of that means in the slightest that there is actually going to be a second Texas-based team in the near future, but it does keep Houston at the forefront of any expansion or relocation speculation.
Today Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston reported on Twitter that Fertitta has had “preliminary talks” regarding the purchase and relocation of the Arizona Coyotes, though the Rockets’ owner would not comment on the story. There have been other rumors recently that the Coyotes are speaking with potential buyers, but absolutely no indication that they or the league would be interested in relocation at this time. Expansion, the other option for potentially getting a team to Houston, is also seemingly off the table for the time being given that Seattle has just been introduced. The NHL has fought hard to keep the Coyotes in Arizona for years, even through struggles with the fan base, arena and on-ice product. While this report doesn’t undo any of that, it once again indicates that there is an interested owner ready to pounce should the league’s position change.
- Timothy Liljegren has been replaced on the Swedish World Junior preliminary roster by Philip Broberg, due to the ankle injury he suffered recently. The Toronto Maple Leafs prospect would have been one of the country’s returning players after taking home a silver medal last season. Broberg meanwhile is a potential first-round pick in the upcoming draft, and could improve his stock even further with a top performance as a 17-year old. The smooth-skating defenseman can take over a game with his puck-moving skills, and has the size to really be a difference maker at the NHL level.
- Matt Hunwick is set to head to the AHL on a conditioning stint in order to get back in game shape after a long rehab process. The former Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman was traded to the Buffalo Sabres along with Conor Sheary this summer, but has yet to play a game for the organization. There isn’t a ton of room on the Sabres blue line for the veteran when everyone is healthy, but the way Sabres defensemen have been suffering injuries he may be needed as soon as possible. Hunwick is in the second season of a three-year contract that carries a $2.25MM cap hit, and is currently on long-term injured reserve.
The karma for the hunwick/cooke hits is still haunting hunwick. May he forever exist in the minor leagues, a true dbag. Shout out to Savs.
Nah, the Hunwick hit had an unfortunate for a relatively clean hit. Can’t hold that against him for what, 6-7 years?
No, Hunwick was out for blood that night with plenty of borderline hits. I remember it well, colorado game. The guy was definitely butt hurt about being let go by Boston, somewhat understandable as the Bruins were a force obviously. That said, I don’t think he was trying to “end” Savard’s career per se, but that hit UP HIGH was clearly avoidable and in essence, ended Marc’s career in a hurry. Really sucks for a HOF player to end up forced to retire under those terms.
The NHL basically admitted that the Coyotes were going to move to Houston when they unveiled the Seattle expansion plan.
If moving to the Central were a good thing for Arizona, they would move next season, only 7 teams there now. They’d want the Yotes to build up their new rivalries with CHI, STL, MIN, DAL, COL, WIN and NSH.
There will probably be an NHL team in Houston before Seattle plays a game.
Agreed. And despite all the efforts of the league, Arizona has shown it can’t support the team. Numerous arena proposals have fallen through, they’ve changed cities a few times, ownership reluctant to spend money, etc.
The Coyotes do not have a lease on their current arena past this season. Their efforts to get a new arena in Arizona have not gained any traction. The franchise continues to bleed money. Unfortunately, it’s only a matter of time.
forwhomjoshbelltolls Who cares about houston having a team? You must be from texas… How many more times are you going to repeat yourself with the same comment? Hockey in texas sucks….lol…. Phoenix ISN’T moving to the alamo state.
You have no reason to say this except it’s your hope. If not Houston then they will eventually move somewhere else. Phoenix doesn’t care about the Coyotes..
Hockey in Houston is happening. It makes way too much sense. The 5th largest city in the U.S. and a potential owner with very deep pockets who is itching to get a team in Houston. Hockey is already proven to work in Texas. Last year the Stars average attendance was 18,110. That’s a higher average than the Rangers, Bruins, Predators or Golden Knights had and the NHL average was 17,446. Hockey is coming to Houston whether you like it or not.
Plus, you guys have those awesome major hurricanes which will certainly draw a crowd with half the city underwater, no question. lol
BTW, the Bruins have ONE of the smallest arenas in the league, have to imagine others you have listed do too. Will look it up, but just to EDUCATE YOU, the capacity for the Bruins is around 17K, so no, your point is ridiculous. IF the Boston Garden seated 19K PLUS, you can bet it would be higher than the stars. Same would be true of the rags, knights and likely the preds etc. as well. Meanwhile, you DO KNOW that the stars have ONE of the biggest arenas in the NHL, right? Always need to overcompensate in texass, why is that I wonder? LOL… stupid point.
Checked it out. “TD”/Boston Garden can hold a little over 19K, but only sell to a capacity for 17K+. Of course they sell out every night, but should sell to capacity IMO. Kind of disappointing. Seems obvious that the stars HAVE the seats and sell them. That’s the difference with Boston, sure it’s the same with new york at the very least.
His point wasn’t that Texas has better fans. His point was that Texas does have fans. The fact that they had attendance above league average is pretty good. Where did Arizona end up on that list?
Just a minor correction. Houston is actually the 4th largest city in the United States.