For the past two decades, the Arizona Coyotes have been looking for a long-term home for the franchise. Originally moving to Phoenix from Winnipeg in 1996, the team played at the America West Center until 2003, when they made the move to Gila River Arena before finally landing at Mullett Arena at the start of the 2022-23 NHL season. With a desperate need to find a long-term arena, the Coyotes are once again locked in a battle with several local governments to get funding.
Although two artificial deadlines have come and passed, Frank Seravalli of The Daily Faceoff wrote today that an answer could come within the next few weeks, and potentially as early as the upcoming weekend. In the article, Seravalli listed three possibilities still on the table for the resolution: break ground on a publicly funded parcel of land, sell the team to secure private funding in the Phoenix Metro area or move the team to Salt Lake City, UT.
Being the most interesting option of the three, the idea of moving or creating a team in Salt Lake City has picked up steam in the last few weeks, especially with Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith requesting the initiation of a formal expansion process on January 24th. While missing the playoffs in 17 of 26 seasons, a bankruptcy, and multiple different ownership changes, the idea of the Coyotes moving north to Utah may become a very realistic possibility in the near future.
- Although they will not be hosting the 2025 Winter Classic, reports are alluding to the idea that the Columbus Blue Jackets may be hosting a Stadium Series game as soon as next season (Article Link). Being one of only a handful of teams not to host an outdoor game up to this point, the Blue Jackets appear set to host an outdoor game at Ohio Stadium, home of the Ohio State Buckeyes football program. Although nothing has been confirmed yet for the 2024-25 NHL season, the article indicates that NHL representatives were seen surveying the property during Ohio State’s game against the Michigan State Spartans on November 11th.
- During the team’s game tonight against the Winnipeg Jets, the Pittsburgh Penguins announced that forward Noel Acciari would not return to the game. During the second period, Winnipeg defenseman Brenden Dillon delivered a hit that made contact with Acciari’s head, resulting in a match penalty on the play. After receiving the hit from Dillon, Acciari attempted to get up, but quickly fell back down on the ice, indicating that he may be headed for concussion protocol.