NHL Notebook: Arizona Coyotes land deal for potential arena, Toronto Maple Leafs sign Martin Jones, and more

Photo credit:Michael Chow-Arizona Republic
Zach Laing
10 months ago
The Arizona Coyotes have a land deal with owner Alex Meruelo kicking off the process to purchase 41 acres of land in Mesa, Arizona.
The news was first reported by Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro.
Meruelo, Gambadoro reported, has put in a letter of intent to purchase the land with the hope of developing “the first privately funded sports and entertainment district in the state.”
He added Mereulo is also looking at other possible sites including in Mesa, Phoenix and Scottsdale.
Here’s more on the latest news from Daily Faceoff’s Anthony Trudeau:
Meruelo and the Coyotes saw their hopes of remaining in Arizona seriously dented when Propositions 301, 302, and 303, which were all necessary for the team to build an arena in nearby Tempe, were rejected via special election in May.
Later in the summer, team CEO Xavier Gutierrez indicated that the Arizona franchise, which finished sixth-worst in the NHL last season, was vetting scores of in-state alternatives to the nixed Tempe arena.
“We still want to put our money where our mouth is and build something that is best in class … we are committed to making this happen,” Gutierrez told assembled reporters at the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.
The report that the team is making a land purchase similar in size to the Tempe plan, which would have been 48 acres, shows that Mereulo, Gutierrez, and Co. are serious about moving forward on an arena in the state despite their recent setbacks.
In the meantime, the team will continue to play home games at Arizona State University’s Mullet Arena, which they have leased for the next two seasons with an option for a third in 2025-2026. It is the smallest home building in the NHL by some distance.


Leafs sign Jones

The Toronto Maple Leafs added some depth in their crease a week after it was announced the club would place Matt Murray on the LTIR for this season.
That depth comes in the form of netminder Martin Jones, who inked a one-year, $875,000 deal Wednesday.
Here’s more from The Leafs Nation’s Joseph Zita:
After losing Erik Kallgren in free agency and Matt Murray going on LTIR at the start of the season, the Maple Leafs needed a bit of insurance in the net without relying on their young inexperienced goalies in the AHL to come up and play games if it ever came to that.
Well, for now, they no longer have to because Treliving went out and signed Martin Jones to play that role as the team’s third goalie and give the club some much needed depth at the position.
Well, I hope that’s what Treliving thought about when he signed Jones to this contract because I, along with many others, don’t see Jones as this team’s backup goalie. It should be Joseph Woll’s job.
Martin Jones was a good goalie early on in his career, but ever since the 2018-19 season, it kind of went downhill pretty fast.

Devils sign Cal Foote

The New Jersey Devils signed defenceman Cal Foote to a one-year, $800,000 contract Wednesdy.
Foote, 24, spent last season between the Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning being acquired by the latter in a deal alongside Tanner Jeannot. It marked his second stint there with him being their 14th overall selection in 2017.
Here’s more on Foote from Daily Faceoff’s Colton Davies: 
Foote was initially drafted No. 14 overall in the 2017 NHL Draft by the Lightning. During his three seasons in Tampa, Foote tallied four goals and 11 assists for 15 points in 117 regular season games. He added two points in 13 playoff games during the Bolts’ run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2021-22, where they lost to the Colorado Avalanche.
Prior to his pro career, Foote was a member of the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League (WHL). During his draft year, he notched six goals and 51 assists for 57 points in 71 games. The following season, Foote was named captain of the Rockets and notched a career-high 70 points in 61 games; due to his performance, he was named to the WHL First All-Star Team. That same year, Foote represented Team Canada at the World Juniors, where he captured a gold medal.
Foote is the son of former NHLer Adam Foote, and his younger brother Nolan is also a member of the Devils organization.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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