If we go back nearly 20 years when the Winnipeg Jets (original version) bolted for the desert of Arizona, we would see and hear that a number of great hockey minds didn’t believe that the team would last in the Phoenix area.
Sure, many fans believed that there would be an initial interest by the locals that might keep the team afloat for a few years but long term? I don’t think that many fans realistically thought it would n even last this long in the desert and it has only because the NHL refused to let the team fold or be relocated when it should have.
Now there’s news that the city council of Glendale where the Coyotes play are going to meet secretly to decide if the city should terminate their lease with the Coyotes.
“Shortfalls in revenue sharing” have cost the city millions of dollars. The community has to be upset that they are on the hook for footing eight million dollars in revenue shortfalls year over year.
All I can say is that I told you so. That’s not really all I can say. I can say, how about having the league call the Coyotes the “Ha Ha” Coyotes. They are a laughable organization and they play in a community that should have cut them loose years ago.
The team continues to rank among the lowest in attendance, even after new owners bought the team. The desert couldn’t care less about hockey, even if the team’s name was changed from Phoenix to Arizona. It does look like fan support for this team has dried up in the desert.
The Arizona Coyotes ranked third last in attendance last year. That’s putrid and unacceptable. The arena was filled to 77% capacity. That just isn’t good enough Arizona. That type of poor support is pathetic. Arizona doesn’t deserve a hockey team. They have been bailed out year after year after year. The NHL needs to realize that it’s a business and not a charity.
How Do You Fix The Problem? The team should move to a market that cares about hockey. My choice would be Quebec but as ESPN notes, the ability to play in Quebec is a year away. That’s OK. Play one more year in Arizona and then bolt for Canada and never look back.
We can’t only blame the NHL for what’s transpiring with the club. We can’t only blame the fans for not going to watch games. The city council of Glendale has to bare much of the blame for this fiasco. The council should have cut their losses last year and not entered into a new agreement with new ownership.
Many NHL fans knew this was a dumb decision but for some reason the city council was compelled to give this experiment another shot. That was stupid and now they want out. The team should allow the city council to bale on them. Then they could move to a legitimate NHL market.
It will put a smile on my face and allow me to say “ha ha Coyetes” if and when the team leaves the desert for icier pastures.