Sources – Coyotes players told team is relocating to Utah

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Arizona Coyotes players were informed Friday that the team is relocating to Utah, sources told ESPN, confirming a report from PHNX Sports.

Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong met with the players before the game against the Edmonton Oilers and confirmed what had been rumored all week: that the NHL was working to facilitate a sale to Utah Jazz owners Ryan and Ashley Smith. Used to be. The Coyotes will begin play there the following season.

The NHL and Smith’s group are working on a deal, but sources told ESPN on Friday night that nothing has been done yet, and there is still a lot of work to be done before a deal is finalized.

Sources told ESPN that an announcement is expected next week at the conclusion of the NHL regular season.

Coyotes players and staff members will be invited to visit Salt Lake City after the season finale to check out the city and facilities.

The team plans to play at the Delta Center, which is owned by Smith and is also the home of the NBA’s Jazz. However, sources told ESPN that the NHL has made it clear to Smith that hockey-specific upgrades are needed at the Delta Center in order for it to become the team’s permanent home.

Smith already has government support. A bill was passed in the Utah State Senate to help finance a renovated entertainment district downtown in anticipation of an NHL franchise. The bill has already received approval from Utah Governor Spencer Cox.

Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo has been searching for years to find a permanent home for the Coyotes, who have been temporarily playing their home games at Arizona State’s Mullet Arena. Meruelo has his eye on a plot of land in the Phoenix area and intends to win a state-run land auction for it on June 27. However, according to sources, the NHL became skeptical of the timeline and decided it needed a better solution for the next season.

The NHL is interested in returning to Arizona in the future and would leave the door open for Meruelo to become a team owner.

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