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Arizona Says Goodbye to their Coyotes



Arizona coyotes

It was a sad night in the desert Wednesday as the Arizona Coyotes played their final game before moving to Salt Lake City.

There is a possibility a team called the Coyotes returns to the Phoenix area in the coming years, but for now, the NHL is leaving town.

According to Elliotte Friedman, the NHL Board of Governors will vote Thursday afternoon to formally approve the franchise sale and officially bring the NHL to Utah.

Arizona fans celebrated the end of 28 years of Coyotes hockey with one final whiteout in victory: The Coyotes beat the Oilers 5-2.

Nick Bjugstad, who did not play Wednesday, joined a telecast which was somber throughout.

“I wish I could play for our fans tonight,’’ the popular former Florida center said. “I sit up here and have a lot of empathy for these guys. It is really tough for us to leave this community. We love all of our fans. Just want to say we appreciate you guys and I hope hockey comes back at some point. It was a fun run.’’

Speaking of former Panthers, Lawson Crouse is the longest-tenured Coyote after being acquired from Florida in 2016 as the cornerstone of the Dave Bolland contract dump.

“Arizona is home for me,’’ said Crouse, Florida’s first-round pick in 2014. “Over the past eight years, they have been great at supporting us through all the ups and downs.They mean so much to not only myself, but all of my teammates.

“Very grateful to have them by our side through everything. … There’s been an outreach of support and messages and everyone has seen it. You feel for everyone that is affected, obviously the entire community and the organization.”

Fun fact: The first game of the Phoenix Coyotes upon their relocation from Winnipeg came on Oct. 5, 1996.

The Whalers, and their second-year coach Paul Maurice, pulled out a 1-0 win at the Hartford Civic Center.


The Florida Panthers will open the 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 in an odd brunch-time start. The game will be broadcast on Bally Sports and ESPN.

— The Panthers are a much different team than they were the last time they played the Lightning in the postseason. Perhaps that’s why the Panthers were so charged up to play them.

Carter Verhaeghe came back Tuesday after missing the past couple of weeks. He showed no signs of rust.

— Tuesday was a crazy day in the NHL. By rallying to beat the Maple Leafs, the Panthers were right in the middle of it.

— Don’t forget to subscribe to the FHN YouTube Channel for plenty of videos from the Panthers including special playoff shows as well as practice, pre- and postgame comments from players and coaches. Lots of special stuff coming up this week!

For The Best Coverage of the Florida Panthers Anywhere:


Auston Matthews did not get his 70th goal in the Sunshine State as the Tampa Bay Lightning rolled in its regular-season finale.

Nikita Kucherov did get his 100th assist in the win, however.

— Is Boston Bruins coach Jim Montgomery nervous about another first-round exit?

— What do the Detroit Red Wings do next after missing the playoffs again?

Alex Ovechkin thanked the Philadelphia Flyers — and their empty net — for a playoff spot.

— The New York Islanders rested some key players in their finale against the Pittsburgh Penguins as they prepare for the Hurricanes. They won anyway.

Jeff Carter scored in what turned out to be his final game. The Penguins forward said he was hanging them up after the loss to the Isles.

— The Montreal Canadiens made a smart move by extending coach Martin St. Louis.


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