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Phoenix Coyotes will officially be Arizona Coyotes next season

By Brian Stubits | Hockey writer

The team isn't changing locations but the city name is? (Getty Images)
The team isn't changing locations but the city name is. (Getty Images)

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Enjoy the Phoenix Coyotes while you can because they won't be around much longer.

Oh sure, the team is staying in Glendale for a long time to come with new ownership, but the Phoenix Coyotes? Nope. After this season finishes, they will officially become the Arizona Coyotes.

"We are very excited to announce that our franchise name will change to Arizona Coyotes for the start of the 2014-15 NHL season," said owner Anthony LeBlanc. "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."

This name change is not a surprise as it came up during the negotiations with the city of Glendale for a new lease agreement. You can understand why Glendale, which is paying a good amount of money to support the team, wouldn't want the name of a nearby city attached to the franchise. Now, like the NFL Cardinals across the parking lot, the team will instead carry Arizona.

What this will not do, though, is alter the uniforms. The Coyotes don't have any uniforms that say Phoenix on them, just small patches that indicated the city name. Those patches will be changed to fit with Arizona. They will be unveiled in the first Arizona Coyotes preseason game.

It might sound weird at first (OK, it does sound weird) but eventually it will sound right. Just not yet.

 
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