The Phoenix Coyotes have been the target of relocation rumors for what seems like an eternity at this point. More lucrative, hockey-crazy markets such as Seattle and Quebec City could be looking to add a team to their cities in the near future. They’ll have to look elsewhere, because it finally seems as if the Coyotes will be sticking around Glendale for the long run.
Back on July 3rd, the City Council of Glendale, Arizona voted to approve Renaissance Sports and Entertainment’s 15-year lease of Jobing.com Arena where the Coyotes play. Now, according to Craig Morgan of Fox Sports Arizona, Renaissance could be approved to purchase the Coyotes by the NHL’s Board of Governors as soon as this week.
The NHL has maintained ownership of the Coyotes for the past four years, and RSE’s purchase would signal the end of a terribly turbulent era in the history of the Coyotes franchise. According to Ken Campbell of The Hockey News, RSE also intends to change the name from the Phoenix Coyotes to the Arizona Coyotes.
The past two years have seen the Coyotes lock up a number of key individuals that will provide stability for the franchise moving forward. After 16 years with the team, captain and original Coyote Shane Doan agreed to stay on a 4-year, $21.2 million contract last offseason. Starting goaltender Mike Smith was extended for six years earlier this year as well. The team also has managed to retain Jack Adams Award-winning head coach Dave Tippett, who led the team to the playoffs three of the last four years amidst the relocation turmoil.
The efforts of the City of Glendale to keep the Coyotes in Arizona have been tremendous, and it appears – for the time being – that the team has settled in Arizona for a long time to come.
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Around the Rink Columnist Joe Ray – @jpray_SK