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Pushback From NHLPA, Local Unions Could Kill Coyotes’ Last Chance in Arizona

Feb 19, 2024

The Arizona Coyotes’ latest attempt to build a new arena is facing a fresh obstacle: the NHL Players Association.

Earlier this month, NHLPA executive director Marty Walsh said he was “extremely disappointed” with owner Alex Meruelo and team president Xavier Gutierrez about their not keeping the union apprised of the team’s plans to acquire roughly 100 acres in north Phoenix for a privately financed $3 billion mixed-use arena project with roughly 17,500 seats. But Walsh’s public statements are just part of the Coyotes’ issues with unions that could hamper the team’s latest—and potential final—push to keep the club in Arizona.

Walsh’s comments irked Coyotes management, whose members insist that the new arena plan is solid, a source close to the Coyotes with direct knowledge of the situation told Front Office Sports. That source suggested that Walsh’s “chirping” had contributed to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman “getting skittish” over the team’s future in Arizona.

Source: Front Office Sports

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