Arizona Coyotes is a hockey team, which is located in Phoenix Metropolitan Area, Arizona. Originally, the team was founded in Winnipeg in late 1971 and the name of the team was Winnipeg Jets. Winnipeg Jets played in NHL during seasons 1979 – 1996, when the team was moved to Phoenix and the name was changed to Phoenix Coyotes.
Winnipeg Jets era
The hockey fans remember the original Winnipeg Jets mostly for rookie season of Teemu Selänne, during which he scored 76 goals – a record, which most likely will never be beaten. Also signing Bobby Hull to play in WHA league in the 1970’s is something to remember – this move forced NHL teams to raise the salary level in order to stay competitive with WHA.
The history of the team is quite colourful: they have been owned by several organizations and in 2009, the club even went bankrupt and were bought by NHL. The current owner group bought the team from NHL in 2013 and changed the name to Arizona Coyotes next year. The team colours of Coyotes are brick red, desert sand and black. They have two minor league affiliate teams: Tucson Roadrunners in AHL and Rapid City Rush in ECHL.
The team has never won Stanley Cup or even Conference championships, but they won their division in season 2011-12. After that, Coyotes have not made their way into play offs, so the overall success of the team is quite limited. Their current home arena is located actually in Glendale, not Phoenix – as the owners try to attract wider audiences in the area. The capacity of the Gila Arena is approximately 17 000 seats.
Shane Doan – a real Coyote
Having short history and lack of success does not mean that there are no legendary players in Coyotes history. There are several legends worth mentioning! We start with Shane Doan, who played his long NHL career completely in Coyotes – his first season being in Winnipeg 1995-96. The Canadian forward was always a reliable player and made a huge contribution for his team during the years.
Physical Keith Tkachuk
Keith Tkachuk is another noteworthy player. He was in the team already in Jets era and played in Coyotes until moved to St. Louis Blues during 2000-01 season. The playing style of Tkachuk was very physical, but this excellent power forward could also score points. He is one of the few American born players that have scored over 500 goals and 1000 points. His style of play also produced a big number of penalty minutes.
Jeremy Roenick – for the fans
And naturally we can’t forget Jeremy Roenick! Roenick played in Coyotes for two times: first during 1996 – 2001 seasons and then during season 2006-07. Roenick is a man who knows his worth, but he has always been a true gentleman and keeps giving everything for the fans. Roenick has nine All Star games under his belt and he made over 500 NHL regular season goals during his career.
Teppo Numminen and the rest
Teppo Numminen is a Finnish legend, who spent the most of his NHL career in Winnipeg Jets / Phoenix Coyotes. The ever-reliable defenseman was the calm one – both on and off the ice. Other noteworthy players in Coyotes legacy include Daniel Briére, Nikolai Khabibulin and Curtis Joseph.