End of the line for Arizona Coyotes as NHL approve franchise sale and relocation

The Arizona Coyotes’ sale and relocation have been approved by the National Hockey League’s (NHL) board of governors.
The NHL game versus the Edmonton Oilers at the Mullett Arena on April 17 marked the end of top-tier ice hockey in Phoenix. The Coyotes are moving to Utah, 28 years after ice hockey first arrived in Arizona. The NHL board has confirmed the move.
The transaction involves the relocation of all Coyotes players, draft picks, and the hockey operations department to Utah, with the new team set to play in Salt Lake City and has yet to be named. The Coyotes team is now technically inactive, but the agreement gives former owner Alex Meruelo the ability to build a new





expansion team if he constructs a new arena suitable for an NHL franchise within five years.
According to sources, Meruelo received $1 billion for selling the organization, with the remaining $200 million divided among NHL teams with new owners, including the current Utah Jazz owners Ryan and Ashley Smith.

The NHL confirmed the deal in a quick social media statement, writing, “The stage is set for #NHLinUtah!” includes an accompanying highlight film in which commissioner Gary Bettman states, “The NHL is thrilled to be coming to Utah.”

The former Phoenix and subsequently Arizona Coyotes have been based in Arizona since 1996, when the team was relocated from Winnipeg.

The new Salt Lake City team will make their debut in the 2024-25 season, strengthening the city’s ambition to host the 2034 Winter Olympics with an NHL franchise that has a strong connection to winter sports.


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