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The Coyotes’ new magic plan: get (further) away from Phoenix

The Arizona Coyotes really tried to establish themselves in Tempe, a suburb of Phoenix. Their plan didn’t work, as we’ve learned over the past few months.

It wasn’t ideal, considering that being in the suburbs is detrimental in the NHL. #Ottawa #Kanata

So the club had to find a solution. And right now, the plan being evaluated by the franchise is to move even further away from Phoenix, to the city of Mesa.

That’s what came out of Arizona in the last few hours.

On Google Maps, looking at the distance between Phoenix and Mesa (not taking into account a specific location, but simply the two cities), we note that a good 26 minutes is needed, by car, to go from one city to the other.

And that’s without traffic.

That’s where Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo submitted a letter of intent to purchase 41 acres of land to build the club’s next arena.

The arena would be built with private funds only. With what money? Who knows.

It’s worth mentioning that this isn’t the only place the Coyotes are looking. Scottsdale and Phoenix are also on the radar of the Coyotes, who want to have several options on the table should several options no longer work.

Options falling through in Arizona? We’ve seen that before.

But the fact remains that, right now, the main plan is to move to Mesa. I know the city because the Chicago Cubs hold their training camp there… but otherwise? Many people don’t.

And now the plan is to bring an NHL club there, to keep a bad franchise in Arizona as long as possible. Meanwhile, in Quebec City – ah pis laissez faire.

The club’s plan is to have an answer by early 2024. From there, work could begin so the Coyotes can move there for the 2026-2027 season.

That’s three years away.

Remember that next year, the Coyotes will play their second year at Mullett Arena. They have a three-year agreement with an option year, leading up to the summer of 2026.

André Tourigny will continue to live with uncertainty. After all, if the Mesa plan doesn’t work out, what’s next?

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