The Phoenix Coyotes will most likely become the Arizona Coyotes at some point in the near future, as seen in a report in the Phoenix New Times. The change, one that's been rumored for quite some time now, doesn't have a set time yet but it's possible the change could take place prior to 2013-14 once the lockout is settled.
The report quotes Phoenix COO Mike Nealy as saying there is a "high probability" the team's name could change soon, if not next year.
It's not really a surprise the Coyotes are preparing to change their name. The current name, Phoenix, doesn't make much sense as the team moved from Phoenix to Glendale in 2003. Granted, Glendale is still a suburb of Phoenix, but the shift from the old US Airways Center (formerly America West Arena) to their current home at Jobing.com Arena is worthy of a change. A change that's long overdue.
The "Glendale Coyotes" sounds a bit silly, so the Coyotes are going to adopt the name of the state they play in as opposed to a specific city name. The change also makes sense as the area's NFL team, the Arizona Cardinals, also use the name of the state instead of the name of a city.
The New Times also reports that the team will likely use the slogan "We're here to stay" in their marketing efforts next year now that a deal has been reached to keep the team in place. We might encourage the team to avoid such a message until it's clear the NHL itself is here to stay.