NHL Notebook: Sale or move to Salt Lake City possible for Arizona Coyotes and who are the NHL’s top sellers?

Photo credit:Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
4 months ago
The Arizona Coyotes’ future has come to a head, and multiple options are on the table for the beleaguered franchise.
Playing out of a 4,600-seat NCAA arena for the last two years, the head of the NHL’s players association, Marty Walsh, was out spoken last week about his extreme concern about their situation.
And now, Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reported Tuesday that three options for the team’s future are on the table, and we could find out more as soon as this weekend.
The first option is for the franchise to find a site to build a new arena and put shovels in the ground to make it home. This, mind you, comes years after the City of Glendale kicked them out of the Gila River Arena due to unpaid bills, and after that same cities citizens voted “No” on a referendum for a massive arena district.
“More to the point, the issue with a plan to buy state trust land is it may be time consuming with no guarantee of success,” Seravalli wrote. “It would likely take at least one year just to purchase the land – which needs to be studied, appraised, and then put up for public auction. Even if the Coyotes were the only bidder for the land, it is entirely possible that government interest groups could challenge the purpose and belabor (sic) the process.
“Simply put, if the Coyotes present the NHL with a plan to purchase state land, they have zero ability to fully guarantee the completion of the project. If the process takes a year to acquire the land, the very earliest an arena could be completed would be in time for the 2027-28 season, which would mean six full seasons in a college arena.”
The second option being the Arizona Coyotes could sell the team, but remain in the state.
Under this guise, Seravalli theorized in his report, the NBA Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishiba could purchase the team, and build a new facility that would house both franchises.
The third option could see the NHL “finally pull up stakes and move the franchise after nearly a two decade fight,” Seravalli wrote.
This option could land them in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the NBA Utah Jazz’s owner, Ryan Smith, is vying for an NHL franchise of his own.
“Delta Center, home of the Jazz, has hosted NHL preseason games and would have a similar hockey setup as Footprint Center or Barclays Center or any other basketball-first arena with obstructed views in one end of the rink,” Seravalli wrote. “But that would be a temporary solution. A gleaming new rink would be on the way as part of a Salt Lake City bid to host the 2034 Winter Olympics.
“That would be just fine with the NHLPA. Said Walsh: ‘If there’s no plan in Arizona, I would encourage a move to another location, absolutely.'”


Meet the sellers

We’re a little over a month away from the NHL’s trade deadline, and in the coming days and weeks we’ll find out more about which franchises are pushing their chips in, and which are ready to fold their hand.
The Oilers, undoubtedly, will be one of those teams pushing their chips in, hoping to capitalize on an impressive stretch under head coach Kris Knoblauch.
But the other Alberta club, the Calgary Flames, along with four other franchises are listed as the top sellers by Daily Faceoff’s Matt Larkin.
Here’s a snippet of who could be available:
1. Philadelphia Flyers
Who’s available: Travis Konecny (RW, 26), Sean Walker (D, 29), Nick Seeler (D, 30), Morgan Frost (C, 24)Scott Laughton (C, 29)Marc Staal (D, 37)
Current Salary Cap Space: $516,438
The Flyers started off hot, but everything has started to crumble – both on and off the ice. But no matter what, GM Danny Briere needs to stay the course and continue the rebuild – and that means moving out a few key players this year.
2. Anaheim Ducks
Who’s available: John Gibson (G, 30), Frank Vatrano (RW, 29), Trevor Zegras (LW, 22), Ilya Lyubushkin (D, 29), Adam Henrique (C, 33)
Current Salary Cap Space: $21,866,294
Take your pick. With the Ducks more focused on landing a good draft pick than being competitve this season, the team could end up moving a handful of quality talent ahead of the deadline. They were already active last month, acquiring top prospect Cutter Gauthier in exchange for Jamie Drysdale and a pick, which left an immediate hole on their blueline.
3. Columbus Blue Jackets
Who’s available: Jack Roslovic (C, 26), Andrew Peeke (D, 25), Adam Boqvist (D, 23), Elvis Merzlikins (G, 29), Alexandre Texier, (LW, 24)
Salary Cap Space: $10,514,608
Despite signing Johnny Gaudreau in 2022 and promoting some young talent into key roles, the Blue Jackets have seemingly managed to go backwards over the past two years. And it’s unlikely anything changes without major changes on the management side, either.
4. San Jose Sharks
Who’s available: Anthony Duclair (LW, 28), Kaapo Kahkonen (G, 27), Mike Hoffman (LW, 34), Alexander Barabanov (LW, 29)
Salary Cap Space: $5,860,499
The Sharks are probably going to be sellers for at least a few more seasons – and teams seeking depth this year could come calling. It starts with Duclair, who is struggling offensively but still is speedy and plays with an edge. The Sharks might need to retain a bit of his $3 million AAV, but he has proven what he can do offensively very often in his career – including as a middle-six option during Florida’s improbable playoff run after missing 62 games due to injury.
5. Calgary Flames
Who’s available: Chris Tanev (D, 34), Noah Hanifin (D, 27), Jacob Markstrom (G, 34)
Salary Cap Space: $194,262
Think quality over quantity here. The Flames shipped out Lindholm last week, helping to set the market over the next month leading up to the deadline. But with the team on the outside looking in and with a couple notable pending UFAs in the fray, the Flames could look to blow things up and retool.

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@thenationnetwork.com.

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