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NHL Notebook: Coyotes future on edge with upcoming land auction and Russian goaltender Artemi Pleshkov sets pro hockey save record

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Photo credit:Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports
Aleena Aksenchuk
25 days ago
The future of the Arizona Coyotes is on edge as an upcoming auction could determine whether the team remains in the State or finds a new home elsewhere.
The Coyotes are nearing the end of their second season at Mullet Arena, a facility owned and operated by Arizona State University and the Oak View Group. The move to the 5,000-seat facility was only made necessary after the City of Glendale opted not to renew the team’s lease at Gila River Arena following the completion of the 2021-22 season.
Now, the Coyotes are again looking into the market for a new place to call home. Earlier this week, the Arizona State Land Department Board of Appeals unanimously approved the $68.5 million appraisal for a portion of land in Phoenix, which the Coyotes hope to call home.
However, the Land Department can still sell the land at auction, but the date must be confirmed and advertised for 10 weeks. Although a date has yet to be set, it sets the time frame back to late May or early June for any action to occur.
“I’ve been told multiple times this week, do not underestimate Arizona’s ownership’s willingness to do this and to prove that it can do this,” said Sportsnet‘s Elliotte Friedman on a recent episode of the 32 Thoughts podcast.
When the auction date is set and confirmed, and if the Coyotes organization does not land on the right end of the sale, it could potentially call for the club to relocate.
Previous plans to build a new arena for the organization were turned down in a public referendum last spring when the Coyotes tried to assemble something shiny and new in the City of Tempe.
If the auction does not favour the Coyotes and relocation is firmly on the table, one option could be Salt Lake City after Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith has been open about his desire to bring an NHL team to his city.
The last NHL relocation occured was in 2011, when the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg, reinstalling the Winnipeg Jets for the second time in NHL history.

Russian goaltender Artemi Pleshkov sets pro hockey save record

It was a striking feat accomplished by Russian goaltender Artemi Pleshkov, who set a pro hockey record after making 124 saves during his team’s quintuple overtime defeat on Saturday.
The event occurred during the quarterfinal VHL matchup between the SKA-Neva St. Petersburg and AKM. The 21-year-old St. Petersburg netminder stopped 14 of 14 shots in the first period, 15 for 15 in the second, 10 for 10 in the third, 11 for 11 in the first overtime, 17 of 17 in the second overtime, 19 for 19 in the third overtime, 18 for 18 in the fourth overtime and 20 out of 21 shots in the final overtime period.
Pleshkov managed to shut down 124 shots for 157 minutes before surrendering the game’s only goal, eliminating him and his team from playoff contention. However, his game statistics saw him land a .992 save percentage.
The record for most saves in an NHL game dates back to the 2020 NHL playoffs in a game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs when Lightning goaltender Joonas Korpisalo had an 85 save game before the Lightning defeated the Maple Leafs 3-2 in the fifth overtime thanks to a goal from Brayden Point.
Similarly, goaltender Alexander Burodulya made 107 saves in a Belarussian Extraliga game. Still, Pleshkov has blown through both standing pro records to claim the ultimate title.
Pleshkov is an undrafted netminder from Moskva, Russia. In the regular season, the goaltender posted a .934 save percentage, followed by an additional .947 in the 2023-24 playoffs for St. Petersburg.

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