Today is the day Arizona Coyotes fans have been nervously waiting for. In Tempe, it’s the final day to cast a vote in the local referendum, which determines whether the team can move forward with its plan for a new arena and entertainment district in the city, as NHL insider Frank Seravalli outlines in his latest for Daily Faceoff.
While an already high turnout thanks to lots of mail-in ballots have the Coyotes optimistic about a ’yes’ result, Seravalli says it’s anything but a sure thing. Seravalli relayed reports from NHL sources that political opposition groups outspent the Coyotes massively on advertising ahead of the election, while the Coyotes management (including general manager Bill Armstrong) has been actively soliciting votes door-to-door in the community.
Results could be announced as soon as 10 p.m. CT tonight, with a ’no’ vote effectively killing the Coyotes’ future in the state. Further hurdles still need to be cleared in order for the project to move forward if Tempe voters opt to approve the project, such as ongoing legal battles with the City of Phoenix, but regardless, it’s a transformative night for the NHL and its most maligned franchise.
More from around the hockey world today:
- Per reports out of Russia, former Columbus Blue Jackets winger Jakob Lilja could be extending his stay overseas — this time with the NL’s HC Ambrì-Piotta. The 29-year-old Swedish winger played in 37 games with Columbus in 2019-20, his only season in North America to date, recording five points. Since then, he’s had three relatively successful seasons in the KHL with Barys Nur-Sultan (now Barys Astana) and Dynamo Moskva, but he’ll have a bit more ice time available to him in Switzerland. Ambrì-Piotta’s roster for next season already includes former NHLers Tim Heed and Filip Chlapik, as well as Arizona Coyotes center prospect Manix Landry.
- 2016 second-round pick Egor Korshkov has been dealt in the KHL, heading to Amur Khabarovsk after three seasons with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. The former Toronto Maple Leafs prospect never panned out, only playing one full season in the AHL, but he did score one goal in his only NHL appearance in the 2019-20 season. His player rights have since been traded to the Carolina Hurricanes and, later, the Florida Panthers, where he remains on their reserve list should he ever choose to return to the NHL. Now 26, Korshkov had just four goals in 40 KHL games last season.