Since the NHL finally found someone to take the troubled Coyotes off its hands, it’s hardly been a secret that the new ownership group wanted to change the team’s name.
“That was a request from the City of Glendale,” co-owner and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said at the time, “But one that we felt made a lot of sense, obviously following in the footsteps of other franchises here in the Valley.”
The Valley also is home to the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals and MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks.
Too many wheels were already in motion for the new owners to make the switch to “Arizona Coyotes” in time for the 2013-14 campaign, but word came down on Wednesday that they’ll use the new moniker next season.
“We are very excited to announce that our franchise name will change to Arizona Coyotes for the start of the 2014-15 NHL season,” LeBlanc said. “Becoming the Arizona Coyotes makes sense for us since we play our games in Glendale and the city is such a great partner of ours. We also want to be recognized as not just the hockey team for Glendale or Phoenix, but the team for the entire state of Arizona and the Southwest. We hope that the name ‘Arizona’ will encourage more fans from all over the state, not just the valley, to embrace and support our team.”
Outside of marketing and the Coyotes’ place in the league’s alphabetical pecking order, not much really changes here. The sweaters will stay the same, although the team has promised that a new shoulder patch will be added.