According to the Associated Press on Monday, the Arizona Coyotes named Xavier Gutierrez the first Latino president and chief executive officer for an individual franchise in National Hockey League history. Gutierrez replaces Ahron Cohen of Minnetonka, MN, who was relieved of his duties as the Coyotes’ president and chief executive officer on May 12.
The Coyotes currently have a strong Latino presence in their executive. In addition to Gutierrez, the Coyotes owner is Alex Meruelo of New York, New York. Despite being born in the United States, Meruelo is Cuban-American, as his parents came to the United States to avoid communism and Cuba President Fidel Castro.
Gutierrez’s previous notable employment positions have been the managing director of Clearlake Capital Group and the chief investment officer of Meruelo Group. Both of those companies are owned by Meruelo.
It will now be interesting to see how Gutierrez makes the transition to professional sports. Being the president of a struggling hockey franchise when it comes to trying and sell tickets, will provide several challenges indeed. The Coyotes currently have the fourth-worst attendance in the National Hockey League, even though Arizona has been respectable on the ice this season.
This is a very intriguing Coyotes franchise to watch. The team forwards consists of offensive snipers Taylor Hall of Calgary, Alberta, and Phil Kessel of Madison, WI, along with notable role players Nick Schmaltz of Madison, WI, and Clayton Keller of Chesterfield, MO, as well as two players with rising potential (Conor Garland of Scituate, MA and Christian Dvorak of Palos Township, IL). On defense, the Coyotes are led by captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson of Karlskrona, Sweden, and goaltender Darcy Kuemper of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
When the NHL attempts to return and complete its 2019-20 season, the Coyotes will be in the mix. They were among the top 24 NHL teams this season, and will now face the Nashville Predators in the qualifying round. The series will be a best of five.