Arizona Coyotes to induct Leighton Accardo into Ring of Honor

Apr 7, 2021, 7:07 AM
Leighton Accardo (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)...
Leighton Accardo (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

Leighton Accardo endeared herself with the Arizona Coyotes. Now, she will join their Ring of Honor.

The Coyotes announced Monday they will be inducting Accardo into the team’s Ring of Honor on April 17 at Gila River Arena.

Accardo will be celebrated during a pre-game ceremony. She will become the first person to be inducted into a NHL franchise’s Ring of Honor who was not a player, coach, general manager or broadcaster.

“Our family is so honored and so proud to be a part of the Arizona Coyotes organization,” Leighton’s mother Carly Accardo said in a press release.

“She deserved every bit of the attention that she received, and the Coyotes made her last few months of life so memorable for her. … The Coyotes continue to amaze us and go above and beyond.”

After a two-and-a-half-year battle with germ cell cancer, Accardo passed away on Nov. 24, 2020.

An avid hockey fan and player, Accardo first got involved with the Coyotes in November 2019 after she signed a contract during the NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer initiative.

Accardo got to spend gameday with the team and participated in warmups. She even took Captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s spot in the face-off during the ceremonial puck drop. The Coyotes defeated the Calgary Flames and Accardo was named the “first star” of the game.

Accardo will join Wayne Gretzky and former Coyotes and Winnipeg Jets players Keith Tkachuk, Jeremy Roenick, Teppo Numminen, Dale Hawerchuk, Thomas Steen and Bobby Hull in the Ring of Honor.

“Leighton was a very special person, and we were all inspired by her incredible strength, courage, positivity, and passion for life,” Coyotes president and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez said.

“Leighton loved the game of hockey and she had an incredible impact on our entire organization and the Arizona hockey community. … Leighton will forever be a part of our Pack.”

Prior to Accardo’s induction ceremony, the team will wear warmup jerseys that read “Leighton 49” on the back rather than the player’s own names and numbers. Accardo wore No. 49 for her youth hockey team, the Arizona Kachinas.

Throughout this season, the Coyotes have also worn stickers with Accardo’s initials that read “LA49” on their helmets in her honor.

Arizona Coyotes

Matias Maccelli #63 of the Arizona Coyotes shoots to score a goal past goaltender Jack Campbell #36...
Associated Press

Coyotes drop 5th straight game in home loss to Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers beat the Arizona Coyotes 5-4 from a late third period goal on Monday night at Mullett Arena.
1 day ago
Clayton Keller #9 of the Arizona Coyotes celebrates with teammate Juuso Valimaki #4 after scoring a...
Arizona Sports

Clayton Keller breaks Coyotes’ point streak record with spinning goal in loss vs. Avs

Clayton Keller extended his points streak to 12 games, and no other player since the franchise relocated has hit that mark.
2 days ago
General manager Bill Armstrong of the Arizona Coyotes talks during the first round of the 2022 Uppe...
Arizona Sports

Coyotes’ Armstrong admires team fight as draft lottery position unfolds

The NHL’s top record was done by midseason thanks to Boston, but the chase for the worst mark remains up for grabs in the final three weeks.
3 days ago
Team Owner, Chairman and Governor Andrew Barroway of the Arizona Coyotes greets fan during a red ca...
Arizona Sports

NHL suspends Coyotes minority owner after arrest for strangulation charge

The NHL said it is aware of the arrest of Arizona Coyotes minority owner Andrew Barroway and has suspended him indefinitely.
3 days ago
EDMONTON, CANADA - MARCH 22: Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against Nick Schmaltz...
Associated Press

Connor McDavid’s 60th goal gives Coyotes OT loss to Oilers

The Arizona Coyotes dropped their second loss in a road back-to-back after Connor McDavid scored his 60th goal of the year in overtime.
6 days ago
The spot light shines on Lawson Crouse #67 of the Arizona Coyotes after he scores a goal against th...
Associated Press

Coyotes’ 4-game winning streak ends after loss to Jets

The Arizona Coyotes had won six out of their last seven games and four straight before a loss to the Jets on Tuesday.
7 days ago
Arizona Coyotes to induct Leighton Accardo into Ring of Honor