The Phoenix Coyotes have officially changed their name to the Arizona Coyotes, they will use the new name in an official capacity for the first time tonight when they announce their first pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
“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.” – Coyotes Co-Owner, President and CEO Anthony LeBlanc
There will be no grand re-branding to coincide with the new name, the team will continue to use the same primary logo and uniforms. There will be two relatively minor changes, first the patch on the shoulder of the Coyotes jersey which had read “PHX” for the past decade will now say “AZ”. A wordmark logo will also have the “Phoenix” replaced with “Arizona”.
The Coyotes become the first NHL team since the Anaheim Ducks to change any part of their name without relocating the franchise, the Ducks were known as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim from 1993/94 through the 2005/06 season.
The last time an NHL team changed only their locale name, as the Coyotes have done today, was when the California Seals became the Oakland Seals midway through their inaugural 1967/68 season. Prior to that only the New York Americans had done so when they changed their name to the Brooklyn Americans in 1941 without actually moving to Brooklyn.
This will be the third name under which the franchise has operated under, from 1972 until 1996 the team played out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, first in the World Hockey Association and then eventually the NHL, using the name Winnipeg Jets. The team was re-named the Phoenix Coyotes upon relocating to Phoenix, Arizona in the Summer of ’96 before finally switching to Arizona Coyotes today.