The Arizona Coyotes recently announced the Springfield Falcons will be relocated to Tucson. Despite a few random naysayers on twitter, this move should show the Coyotes commitment to Arizona. Why would they want to buy and relocate an AHL franchise just to leave Arizona in a year or two?
The sale could be approved as early as the May 10th AHL board of governors meeting. LeBlanc has stated he would like the team in Tucson by October. There is still much to work out in order for this to all happen. Details still need to be worked out with the city and the convention center.
It makes sense to have an AHL close to the NHL team for call-ups due to injuries. It is easier on the players and the budget. The Coyotes AHL team has been on the east coast since they relocated from San Antonio after the 2010-2011 season.
The big plus is it will allow the team’s NHL and AHL staffs to work more closely and integrate more easily.
“This is about development,” LeBlanc said. “This is about a philosophy and a culture of doing a better job of developing our players.” – From Arizona Coyotes website
LeBlanc also stated the new team will have a similar color scheme. He did not announce the team name hinting there might be a fan contest. If twitter has their way it would be the Tucson Hockey McHockey Faces. Not bad, has a certain ring to it. Other ideas have been the Gila monsters and roadrunners. Both were previous minor hockey league teams in Arizona. Although the nod to the past is nice, should we really reuse a team name? Or do we need to start fresh with a new name?