The 2013-14 season will be the swan song for the Phoenix Coyotes.
The NHL franchise won’t be leaving Jobing.com Arena — it narrowly avoided being shipped out to Seattle or Quebec this past offseason — but it will be taking on a new moniker.
As of next season, the Glendale, Ariz.-based hockey club will be known as the Arizona Coyotes, the team announced in a statement Wednesday.
“We are very excited to announce that our franchise name will change to Arizona Coyotes for the start of the 2014-15 NHL season,” Coyotes co-owner, president and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said. “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 team has been known as the Phoenix Coyotes since it moved to the desert from Winnipeg in 1996. The change in name will result in only a minor tweaking of the Coyotes’ look, as the team plans to simply add a new shoulder patch to its existing uniforms. The Coyotes currently wear an Arizona-shaped patch bearing the letters “PHX” on the left shoulder of their home and away sweaters.
The Coyotes have not enjoyed much success on the ice since moving to Arizona, advancing past the Western Conference quarterfinals just once (2011-12). Though they have a respectable 25-18-10 record so far this season, they are buried in fifth place in the loaded Pacific Division.
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