Morning Poll: Should the Phoenix Coyotes Really Be Thanking the "Fans"?

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The Phoenix Coyotes: Bon voyage?
The Phoenix Coyotes season is over after a 6-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings in game four of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs last night. It very well could be the last hockey game played in Glendale, as the team could potentially be whisked away to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Following the loss, Aretha Franklin's "Respect" was played in Jobing.com Arena as the team remained on the ice to salute the "fans." Throughout the arena, the words "Thank You Fans" were displayed on large screens across the perimeter of the upper deck.

The Coyotes played well last night -- two flukey goals and an empty-netter are what sealed their fate in front of an almost-capacity crowd.

But where were all those "fans" when the team wasn't in the playoffs and potentially on its way out of town?

Hockey's an awesome sport. It's fast-paced, they fight, and it would be a shame to lose the team. Not to mention, the players -- team captain Shane Doan, in particular -- have busted their asses to put butts in the seats.

But hockey hasn't caught on in the Valley (the team playing in Glendale -- as opposed to a more-centrally located venue -- certainly hasn't helped things). A lot of desert dwellers claim to be "fans," but the team's attendance record tells a different story. 

This season, the Coyotes had the second-worst attendance in the league. Last season, their attendance was the worst in the entire NHL -- and that's in the fourth-largest county in the  country.

The Coyotes probably are headed to Canada, which is a shame for actual Valley hockey fans, the city of Glendale, and the NHL, which desperately wants to make a hockey team work in the desert.

The problem, however, is the very "fans" the team saluted following last night's game. They don't want to show up for games (unless the team's in the playoffs), which makes keeping
a team in the desert -- with a tiny base of actual fans -- pretty tough.

We understand that politically they have to do it, but we want to know what you think: should the Phoenix Coyotes really be thanking the very fans who have done very little (make the drive to Glendale and buy a ticket) to help keep them in the Valley?

Cast your vote below.


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7 comments
Tom P
Tom P

I did my part to save hockey in Phoenix. I attended more than half of the games every year that they were in America West Arena. When they moved, I still bough partial season tickets. I also was a season ticket holder all four years the Roadrunners played downtown. I still went to Coyote games. I have missed only 2 home playoff games since the Coyotes moved to the valley, only because I was out of town on business. Putting a minor league team in Glendale will not work. They would need to be centrally located. I hope that the Coyotes stay here. The fact that I live in Chandler is the only thing that keeps me from attending more games. The traffic is too unpredictable.

Coyote
Coyote

If the NHL really wanted to keep the team in Glendale, they would not have behaved as they did.

The team is clearly worth about $100 million in Glendale -- that is the price of teams recently in other warm weather US markets -- but are worth more than this in Canada. By insisting on selling the team for $200 million, the NHL is really forcing the team to move to Canada. Hulzinger offered to pay $100 million of his own money, and if the NHL had settled for this, the team would be staying.

But the NHL insisted on $200 million, and Hulzinger was not dumb enough to pay too much. So he needed a sucker to make up the rest, and found the City of Glendale. You can give Goldwater all the grief you want, but what Glendale tried to do is unconstitutional in this state. We don't give the ACLU grief for defending free speech, why do we blame defending the Constitution on Goldwater? Particularly since Glendale made things worse by essentially lying and pretending the $100 million they were spending were for parking rights, parking rights they full well knew they already owned.

Central Scrutinizer
Central Scrutinizer

Can we bring back the Roadrunners and put them in the Glendale arena now?

Gonzo di Dottore
Gonzo di Dottore

"yotes" is not a word.Don't let the door hit you on the ass, coyotes. Or do. 3 people will care. the other 5 million million will not.

Shir
Shir

Gotta send them back to Winnipeg. Look at the attendance numbers this season. Even with a mid-high tier team they can't sell out. Hell they can't sell 70% of the tickets. I felt bad for the few fans crying last night after the game but frankly PHX you don't deserve a team.

Yotes Fan
Yotes Fan

It was tough, many people left after the second goal to seal the deal. Of the 17k+ people there, there might have been 6-7k who stayed to watch the team lift their sticks. I'm not resigned to the fact that the team might be leaving, but it's hard to argue when half the crowd is gone when the final horn sounds. Last year there were more of us that stayed. This year, I think the media, especially from Canada, has beaten the soul out of out many of the fans. It's sad that the media has been so manipulative in the way the information, or misinformation, has been delivered to the masses. It definately had an affect on the fans, and I'd say even on the team itself. Players are human too and not knowing if you're playing in Arizona or Manitoba is a lot to think about. I was there last night, I'll be there next year.

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