Coyotes Confirm Name Change

Arizona Coyotes will have same jerseys, new shoulder patch

The Phoenix Coyotes are dropping the "Phoenix" from their name. The club will take to the ice as the Arizona Coyotes to start the 2014-15 season, according to an official statement made today.

The team confirmed its uniforms will remain the same apart from the shoulder patch, emblazoned with PHX and the Arizona state flag inside a mark shaped like the state. The new mark will be unveiled in September at the first pre-season game of 2014.

Coyotes' secondary logo will be replaced in September

Not addressed was the fact that the wordmark will have to change as well. But that could be as simple as swapping "Phoenix" for "Arizona" in the existing mark.

Anthony LeBlanc — co-owner, president and CEO of the Coyotes — explained the name change:

“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 change is not at all unexpected. It was part of the agreement with the city of Glendale to keep the Coyotes in town for at least a few more years.

Speculation obviously comes next, so let's not delay the inevitable. What will the new logo look like? Will the team create something entirely new to represent the state? It seems unlikely given how much Arizona symbolism is already baked into the existing logo.

It would therefore make sense that some minor tweaks could settle things. And there may already be a logo in existence that could do the job.

Many NHL teams have a post-game locker room tradition by which an outstanding player is recognized for his on-ice efforts. For the Coyotes, a custom-designed MVP belt is passed from player to player during the season. It was featured in an online video last spring.

Video stills from Phoenix Coyotes

Obviously I'm trying to point out the logo featured on the sides. It's an altered version of the secondary logo, with "COYOTES" in place of "PHX" and the star from the Arizona flag.

I've never seen it in use anywhere else before. However, it could be something the club's marketing department worked up as this belt was evidently designed around the time of the arena agreement that required the team's name to be changed. Probably not a coincidence.

Back to my original question, then. Could this be the new shoulder patch design? Or will the Coyotes take things in a different direction?

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Reader Comments (9)

An interesting, and really, clever idea. Trying to get the whole state instead of just the valley to appreciate and support the team, especially with the unfortunate lack of it lately, sounds like a good plan. In addition, it will make the name "Phoenix Coyotes" become nostalgic several years after the change.

On the other hand, this is rather odd. When was the last time a team never moved from a city and changed it's name? The only time I can think of is the Seals, who were in the NHL from 1967-76. Renamed twice, from the California Seals, to the Oakland Seals '67, then FINALLY the California Golden Seals in 1970. I think a lot of different ownership changes happened or whatever, but I'm not sure. Either way, it's one of the most confusing team identities in NHL history, I think. I can never remember the order of the names, it's horribly inconsistent.

In any case, the Coyotes' new name ought to cause at least a little confusion for unaware fans. But I think it'll all be sorted out by the end of the names' first season. It's an unusual situation that will probably not do anything but make fans get nostalgic when they hear the words "Phoenix Coyotes". It's a name that has a great sound to it, really, and Arizona Coyotes doesn't roll off the tongue as well. It would've been great to have them win a championship with that name, but oh well. It's for the best for the team, in the end, and that's what really matters I guess. I'm not complaining.

As for the Arizona-shaped shoulder patch, I would think instead of reading "Coyotes", I think it would have "AZ", Arizona's initials to follow after the previous logo having Phoenix's. But I see what you mean and why they would put "Coyotes" in there. Either way, an inevitable uniform tweak, yet less significant, to be made like the California/Oakland Seals. Don't forget they need to also change this logo, which is a high priority considering it's a shoulder patch on the alternate jersey.

Other than that, I don't see anything being really changed, except when people refer to the team on sports shows, or general discussion, and the name that appears on team merchandise. Oh well, then. I'll miss the name "Phoenix Coyotes". It might be more remembered if this change coincided a move to a new arena, but in any case, I think it'll bring back all kinds of good memories for nostalgic fans.

Jan 29 · 6:00 PM PST | Registered CommenterNASCARFAN160

For the new shoulder patch, they should remove the letters and just keep it like that.

Jan 29 · 8:14 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterSteve Maurer

@NASCARFAN160 You can't forget The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim name change to The Anaheim Ducks in 06-07. And I think this is a good move for the Coyotes, maybe it will help them stick around.

Jan 30 · 6:40 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterKris K

@Steve Maurer Here you go. Looks a little bland and empty to me.

Jan 30 · 6:43 AM PST | Registered CommenterNASCARFAN160

What will the teams scoreboard abbreviation be ARZ? They could put Zona on the shoulder patch.

Jan 30 · 8:52 AM PST | Registered CommenterAlex Ward

I like Death Valley Coyotes

Jan 30 · 12:02 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterNick

I echo the same thing as NASCARFAN160 said. I personally don't want the name change, but if it meant keeping the team in the Phoenix metropolitan area (specifically Glendale), so be it. Undoubtedly I understand why the new ownership is doing it and that the new arena lease agreement with the city of Glendale required an inquiry to the league to ask to change the team name to Arizona Coyotes.

Will take some getting used to. Agreed that current name "Phoenix Coyotes" rolls off the tongue better. I know that the Westgate Entertainment District is just ONE mile north of the westernmost city limits of Phoenix, but given the financial ties from Glendale to keep the team in the Valley, I understand even though I don't like it. Lot of it based on other major league franchises with city names where they don't technically play. The Dallas Cowboys haven't actually played in Dallas since 1971. Yet nobody has raised a stink about the team name.

As for any changes visually, Chris is correct in referencing that none will be made to the logos and uniforms except the shoulder patches. While it is easy to assume the possibility of what is seen on that victory belt, I would expect a simple change from PHX to "AZ" on the state outline logo. Makes the most sense.

Alex Ward, I don't want any ARZ or ARI as we've seen with the Cardinals and Diamondbacks. Hopefully just AZ. Looks better and is most accurate to the postal abbreviation.

Jan 30 · 12:05 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterPaul

I wonder if by the time we get used to the sound of hearing Arizona Coyotes the team will change their name to the Seattle Metropolitans? Hmmm?

Jan 30 · 3:31 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterDerek

No, Derek, That will NOT happen. (re: the Coyotes moving to Seattle)

Jan 31 · 12:00 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterPaul

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