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.
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.
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?