/ Modified apr 12, 2024 8:09 p.m.

Coyotes players informed the team is expected to move to Salt Lake City, AP source says

Players and officials could visit Salt Lake City next week, possibly as soon as after the season finale Wednesday.

Coyotes Goaltender Arizona Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka looks down during the third period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Seattle Kraken, Tuesday, April 9, 2024, in Seattle.
AP Photo, Lindsey Wasson

By Stephen When and John Marshall, Associated Press Sports

Arizona Coyotes players have been informed the NHL club is expected to relocate to Salt Lake City, according to a person with knowledge of the meeting.

General manager Bill Armstrong flew to Edmonton, Alberta, to tell players about the team’s potential move to Utah before its game against the Oilers, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday because the decision has not been announced.

Players and officials could visit Salt Lake City next week, possibly as soon as after the season finale Wednesday, which could be the final game at 5,000-seat Mullett Arena in Tempe.

The news comes amid buzz that Ryan Smith, owner of the NBA's Utah Jazz, has been working to acquire an NHL team, a move that could include the league buying the Coyotes from Alex Meruelo and flipping it. The Smith Entertainment Group in January said it had the immediate ability to facilitate that and asked for an expansion proceeding.

It's also in the aftermath of a 2023 failed arena referendum in Tempe and an inability to secure a long-term home in the Phoenix area. Meruelo said the Coyotes are committed to winning a land auction for a potential arena site in Phoenix.

MORE: AP, Arizona, News, Sports
By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
AZPM is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona