BREAKING NEWS: The Arizona Coyotes will not be playing in Glendale at the end of the 2021-2022 season. The city decided against renewing their Gila River Arena lease, leaving them without a home after this year. Once again, it's time to fuel up the relocation rumors: where will the desert dwellers end up?
First, let's get into why this sucks (at least, from my view). For one, I won't get the chance to drive down to Arizona during the winter to catch a hockey game. Granted, getting to Glendale is a bit of a hassle (from what I've heard). But Gila River Arena isn't in an ideal location. Another reason why this sucks is you won't see this guy anymore:
No longer will we see one of the coolest logos in NHL history. This exemplifies Arizona along with hockey as a whole, which would be a goddamn shame.
Still, it's high time that Arizona was in the running for a new home. Bleeding out money, a lack of exposure and success, and mismanagement has led to this moment. Is it time to finally say goodbye to the Coyotes? If so, where should these desert dwellers land from relocation?
Quebec City: Most NHL fans would love to see the Nordiques return to hockey. Not only would the Montreal Canadiens get their natural rivals back, but the Videotron Centre is a hockey-ready arena. But there are a couple of concerns with this move, starting with the market size. Quebec City isn't the largest market, especially in Canada. There's also a language barrier with the predominant language being French. On top of that, you'd have to realign the conferences once again. Hockey fans may want the Nordiques back. But it may cause immense pain for other people, including other players and teams such as the Detroit Red Wings.
Houston: This would give the Dallas Stars a much-needed rival in the state of Texas. The Coyotes would also stay in the Central Division, keeping things balanced. No more worrying about realignment until the next NHL team goes belly-up. Plus, Houston has some hockey history, starting with the successful Houston Aeros. This is probably the most logical choice that the 'Yotes would have regarding moving.
Kansas City: Both K.C. and Houston share the same reasons for logical relocation reasons. They keep the Coyotes in the Central Division, they have in-state rivals, and they have NHL-ready arenas. Plus, the Kansas City Scouts were an NHL team for some time before making a couple of moves. But who would bring hockey to western Missouri? Does this look like a job for Patrick Mahomes to buy the Arizona Coyotes?
Salt Lake City: Las Vegas would keep their geographical rival intact, making for some nice mountain hockey. Also, the Coyotes would stay in the Central Division and have a brewing rivalry with the upstart Colorado Avalanche. Throw in the success of Utah sports (i.e. the Jazz, BYU, and the Utes) and you have a budding market that's thriving with sports.
Hamilton: Fun fact: Jim Balsillie tried to buy a few NHL teams during the mid-2000s and relocate them to Hamilton. One of those teams happened to be the Phoenix Coyotes. However, Gary Bettman and company shot down each of his bids, stating that he'd take over the team if necessary. Still, there are some reasons why this other Ontario city would be nice for hockey. They'd give the Toronto Maple Leafs another rival and add more intrigue in Canada.