The Phoenix Coyotes will cease to exist after the 2013-14 season. No, the team isn't folding up shop and relocating. Instead, the Coyotes will be called the Arizona Coyotes beginning in 2014-15.
The club announced the change on Twitter:
— Phoenix Coyotes (@phoenixcoyotes) January 29, 2014
No surprise here. The organization has been planning on changing their name for quite some time, but they were waiting for the right time after the NHL lockout killed off a chunk of 2012-13. They even announced in August of 2013 that they were waiting on officially changing the name.
Now the time is right.
From the release, President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said:
We are very excited to announce that our franchise name will change to Arizona Coyotes for the start of the 2014-15 NHL season. Becoming the Arizona Coyotes makes sense for us since we play our games in Glendale and the city is such a great partner of ours. We also want to be recognized as not just the hockey team for Glendale or Phoenix, but the team for the entire state of Arizona and the Southwest. We hope that the name ‘Arizona’ will encourage more fans from all over the state, not just the valley, to embrace and support our team.
The Coyotes will wear new shoulder patches on their uniforms in 2014-15, but the rest of the uniform will stay the same.