Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong praises early experience at Mullett Arena
The Arizona Coyotes got a four-game taste of playing in their new home at Mullett Arena in Tempe, and early returns on the experience have been positive.
General manager Bill Armstrong praised the fan experience in the 5,000-seat arena, joking that the only downside is just how close he is to everyone.
“You’re so close to the action, it’s incredible,” Armstrong told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo Thursday. “It makes you feel a better connection to the players and team. I know our team feels the same way. It’s loud in there. It’s connected. There’s a warm feeling. It’s brand-spanking new. There’s a good feeling about us playing in there.
“The fans are so close to my box, I say hi to pretty much 4,500 people a night during the game.”
Armstrong also credited the ice as an upgrade from Gila River Arena in Glendale, calling it faster and less chippy.
The Coyotes went 1-3 with a pair of tough 3-2 losses and a 3-1 victory over the Florida Panthers in their first home stand.
Head coach Andre Tourigny told Wolf & Luke Wednesday the team is happy with the energy and atmosphere in the building over the first few games.
The warm feeling of playing in front of their fans will have to wait a month, though, as Arizona is set to embark on a 14-game road trip.
The next home game at Mullett Arena is on Dec. 7 against the Boston Bruins.
“It’s another challenge for the group,” winger Lawson Crouse told reporters Thursday. “It’s easy to say this is gonna be a long, hard trip but you have to approach it with the right mindset, take it one day at a time and go from there.”
“I think the for the most part this homestand, we played pretty good hockey. We just got to get back to that.”
Hear from Lawson Crouse, Dylan Guenther, and head coach André Tourigny following tonight’s loss. pic.twitter.com/gduADMMu5L
— Arizona Coyotes PR (@AZCoyotesPR) November 4, 2022
On the bright side, the Coyotes’ locker rooms will be ready when the team returns.
“When our dressing rooms are built there at ASU, they’re two-story dress rooms, it’s a beautiful space for our team,” Armstrong said. “It’s gonna be perfect for us to play out of. Everything’s there, the weight room, we’ve got an outdoor turf field, it’s the perfect setup.”
The Coyotes’ first game on the road trip is set for Saturday at 4 p.m. against the Washington Capitals.
You can catch the game on KTAR News 92.3 FM.