Arizona Coyotes players informed NHL franchise will be moving to Salt Lake City, per reports


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Arizona Coyotes saga is officially over. GM Bill Armstrong told players Friday that the NHL franchise will be relocating to Salt Lake City next season, according to multiple reports.

The Coyotes could change their team name upon relocation as prospective owner Ryan Smith has publicly asked fans for potential names if the franchise were to land in Utah just last week. Smith also owns the NBA’s Utah Jazz.

According to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, Coyotes players were recently informed that a “verbal” agreement was in place. Seravalli also reported that the league was creating two versions of the NHL schedule for the 2024-25 season with one having the Coyotes playing in Arizona and one where the Coyotes were playing in Salt Lake City.

The Coyotes currently play home games in a campus arena at Arizona State University in Tempe, their third venue since moving from Winnipeg in 1996. The team’s lease at Gila River Arena was terminated, so the Coyotes were in search of an NHL-sized arena. Their current deal at Mullett Arena was scheduled for three years, including two one-year options that would go through the 2026-27 season. Salt Lake City plans to renovate the Delta Center to make it suitable for hockey by next season, until a new downtown arena can be built.

The team was called the Phoenix Coyotes from 1996 until 2014 when it was renamed the Arizona Coyotes.

An announcement on the sale of the team from Alex Meruelo to Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith could happen next week after the regular season finale. The Coyotes are 34-40-5 and 7th place in the Central Division, which means they have been eliminated from playoff contention.

CBS Sports’ Chris Bengel contributed to this report.

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