ARIZONA COYOTES

Former Arizona Coyotes team arrives in Salt Lake City for the NHL Utah event

Apr 24, 2024, 9:00 PM | Updated: May 12, 2024, 9:27 am

The former Arizona Coyotes arrive in Salt Lake City for the first time....

Clayton Keller of the yet-to-be-named Utah NHL hockey team speaks as the team is introduced during a welcome event Wednesday, April 24, 2024, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

The former Arizona Coyotes team arrived in Salt Lake City and attended the NHL in Utah event at the Delta Center on Wednesday.

This was the first time they had been in Utah since the announcement of the team’s sale and relocation from Arizona.

New owners Ryan and Ashley Smith hosted the event for the team as fans packed the arena in excitement of the arrival of the team and the NHL to Utah.

Smith thanked the fans as he greeted the crowd and announced the fans in Utah would have a part in choosing the name for the team next season.

“None of this happens without you,” Smith said to the crowd. “This is a community asset, a community team and everybody is going to have a part of it.”

General manager Bill Armstrong greeted the fans at the event and thanked the crowd for their support of the team.

“These guys are some of the toughest human beings you’ll meet for what they’ve gone through,” Armstrong said. “I know what it is like for them when they see you and see you cheer like that. You have no idea what that means to us.”

 

Head coach Andre Tourigny told the media before the event the experience of the past few weeks with the team was challenging.

“The process of the sale was complicated from everybody,” Tourigny said. “Both ownerships, past and present could not talk and the league would not talk as they were working on the business transaction [of the team].”

Tourigny said when he met with ownership, he and the team were excited about the move to Utah and the stability with the new ownership.

“From the moment Ryan and Ashley talked to us and how excited they were about having a team in Utah and they were talking about the growth in Utah, it got us excited,” Tourigny said. “We are excited and everybody is all in.”

Forward Clayton Keller explained his excitement of the team’s move to Utah.

“A lot went on the last couple weeks but we are super excited to be here,” Keller said. “Just seeing the youth hockey programs and lot of kids knowing our names, we couldn’t be more excited.”

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