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Arizona Coyotes celebrate 20 years in the Valley

Now that they’ve been in the Phoenix area for 20 years, the Arizona Coyotes are celebrating with a visit from alumni, throwback jerseys and more.

For their game against the San Jose Sharks at Gila River Arena on Saturday, which included a Keith Tkachuk bobblehead giveaway, the Coyotes paraded their former stars and current players, all donned in the classic black “Kachina” jerseys.

The Yotes also rolled out their “All-Time Starting Six,” which includes three current players: goaltender Mike Smith, defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and the captain Shane Doan. The alumni in the Starting Six included Teppo Numminen, Jeremy Roenick and Keith Tkachuk.

Doan is the Coyotes’ all-time leader in goals (401), assists (563) games played (1523). Smith has the third-lowest goals against average (2.67) and save percentage (.916) among goalies who played at least 100 games, and Ekman-Larsson led NHL defensemen in goals with 23 in the 2014-15 season.

Numminen scored 108 goals and was the captain for two seasons in Arizona, posting the second-highest plus-minus rating in team history (+42). Tkachuk was the very first captain in the desert, scoring 40 game-winning goals and the fourth-most points in franchise history. Jeremy Roenick’s 152 goals are the third-most by a Coyotes center to go along with 227 assists and 43 power play goals.

Some of the earlier players in team history were critical part of hockey’s growth in the Valley.

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