The future is bright for the Arizona Coyotes and their fan base. The team has a new coach to look forward to, new faces, potential new arena news, and the Coyotes might be going back to kachina full time. All of this starts with general manager Bill Armstrong as the Coyotes kick off a lengthy rebuild with a hope of a bright future.
Coyotes Announce New Head Coach
On July 1, the Coyotes announced André Tourigny as the team’s next head coach, replacing Rick Tocchet. Tourigny’s arrival was step one in the Coyotes rebuild, and he will be tasked with leading this new team through their rebuild. Tourigny comes to Arizona as no stranger, though, having worked with Shane Doan, as well as coaching Darcy Kuemper, Michael Bunting, Adin Hill, and Barrett Hayton.
Tourigny’s resume consists of success and winning, including leading the Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) Ottawa 67’s to the league’s best record over the last two seasons while earning the Matt Leyden Trophy as the OHL’s top coach both times. In addition, Tourigny brings his international success to Arizona, having won silver at the U20 World Junior Championships as head coach and gold at the World Championships this year as an assistant coach.
Potential Move to Tempe
In addition to announcing a new head coach, the Coyotes have also been in serious talks with Tempe about a potential new arena being built. For anyone who hasn’t covered or heard of the Coyotes, the team has had arena struggles since moving from Phoenix to Glendale in 2003. In 2015, after things looked to be going up for the Coyotes’ future in Arizona, as the city of Glendale and the Coyotes had previously agreed to a 15-year deal to keep the team in Arizona, the city of Glendale voted 5-2 to terminate their contract with the Coyotes to play at Gila River Arena.
Since that time, the Coyotes have had a rocky relationship with Glendale, which has led to numerous relocation rumors and ultimately has resulted in the Coyotes looking for a new arena in Arizona to play in. The potential of moving to Tempe for the Coyotes would be very beneficial, as many of the team’s fans live in the East Valley, and a move there would help the team bring in more fans for home games, as well as hopefully get them out of the bottom of the league in attendance numbers.
Kachina Returning Full Time?
As if things couldn’t be looking anymore up for Coyotes fans right now, in an email to season ticket holders in May, fans were delighted to know that the team would be revealing a new uniform ahead of the 2021-22 season. While we don’t yet know what the jersey will look like, much speculation has been stated that the team’s classic and iconic kachina design and logo will be returning full-time as the team’s primary logo and look going forward.
The kachina look is very unique to not only Arizona but also to the entire NHL. The design has received numerous praise from fans and announcers from other teams. It screams Arizona and connects back with the state along with the Pueblo peoples and their beliefs that the logo was based on.
While many fans are not fond of the look, there’s an overwhelming amount of support for the logo. The team has changed all social media logos and even their draft cap to the kachina logo. Recently leaked photos of a team van with an updated kachina logo with the words “Arizona Coyotes” below have surfaced on the internet. And even the NHL has been using the kachina logo strictly for things like the expansion draft and the NHL Draft. All these signs point to a return to the kachina look, and it’s only a matter of time until we know if that’s the case. A return to kachina would be a step in the right direction as the team looks towards the future and a new culture.
New Team Outlook
One thing that is for certain about the Coyotes’ rebuild is that new faces will be coming in, and some fan favorites will be leaving at the same time. At the time of this article being published, the Coyotes have currently dealt Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Conor Garland, and Hill for Josef Kořenář, Antoine Roussel, Jay Beagle, and Loui Eriksson. In addition, the Coyotes have also acquired Shayne Gostisbehere and the remaining bit of Andrew Ladd’s contract.
General manager Bill Armstrong has been hard at work, stocking up on draft picks as well in the process. So far, Armstrong has acquired a second-round pick in 2021, four second-round picks in 2022, a third-round pick in 2023, and a seventh-round pick in 2022 and 2023, in addition to the ninth overall pick in this year’s draft, which the team used to select Dylan Guenther while only giving up a seventh-round pick in 2022.
Armstrong likely isn’t done with trades just yet. Phil Kessel, Darcy Kuemper, and Christian Dvorak all are names that have been floated around, and all three have acquired interest from multiple teams. Armstrong will be listening to offers as he looks to move all three and stock up on picks in what is expected to be a stacked draft class next year.
While for many fans, the thought of another rebuild doesn’t sound like fun, but the team has no choice but to rebuild now if they want to be competitive down the line in the Central Division. With the Central getting better each and every day, the Coyotes need to tank now to be better in the long run. Armstrong has a plan in place, and with time and patience, the Coyotes can and will find themselves back in the limelight experiencing success as they had from 2009-2012.
Coyotes fans have a lot to look forward to, though. The culture in Arizona is changing, and for once, the team looks to have potentially found a forever home in Tempe. New head coach André Tourigny and Armstrong are ready to lead this team through a rebuild.
The team’s future is bright, and guys like Clayton Keller, Lawson Crouse, Jakob Chychrun, along with prospects Victor Soderstrom, Kyle Capobianco, Jan Jenik, Barrett Hayton, and Dylan Guenther, look to lead the Coyotes to success. Add in a potential return to kachina, and Coyotes fans should be excited for what is to come in Arizona.
Mr. Evans is originally from Greenville, SC where he currently resides. Mr. Evans has been involved in hockey for the past 16 years now, following the Arizona Coyotes and St. Louis Blues. During his free time, Mr. Evans enjoys spending time with his family and girlfriend as well as being up in the mountains or taking pictures. Prior to joining The Hockey Writers, Mr. Evans previously worked for The Puck Authority, covering the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL. You can find Mr. Evans on Twitter at @HaynesPEvans.