As has been the word about the Phoenix Coyotes for some time, it's pretty likely that the team will be called the "Arizona Coyotes," since, you know, it's been almost a decade since the Coyotes played in Phoenix.
The change in the name was in the early drafts of the arena lease between Glendale and hopeful Coyotes buyer Greg Jamison -- a lease the city council just recently approved -- and to be clear, a Coyotes executive says it's probably going to happen.
Mike Nealy, the president and COO of the team, told XTRA Sports 910 yesterday that there's a "high probability" the name-change will happen, maybe even next year.
Speaking to how they're going to keep the excitement for the team going -- since there's a lockout going on, and all -- Nealy said the phrase "we're here to stay" will be among the "messages" the organization's going to use in media spots. We really hope that exact phrase isn't used, because it's kind of embarrassing.
(The interview with Nealy starts around the 24:45 spot in the audio below:)
Jamison's purchase of the Coyotes still hasn't been finished -- it's supposed to be done by the end of January -- but everyone involved in the process swears on the Holy Bible that it's actually going to happen. (Listen to Glendale city Councilwoman Joyce Clark's interview in the same audio above, starting around the 15:20 mark.)
And, of course, the other thing is that there's no NHL season right now, since the league and the players' union can't settle on a collective bargaining agreement. Games have been cancelled through December 14, thus far.
It was a big deal that federal mediators were getting involved, but the NHL just put out a press release today to let everyone know that they're tossing that whole idea in the garbage.
"After spending several hours with both sides over two days, the presiding mediators concluded that the parties remained far apart, and that no progress toward a resolution could be made through further mediation at this point in time," Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. "We are disappointed that the mediation process was not successful."
So, here are your two alternatives to seeing NHL hockey: watch the Arizona Sundogs in Prescott Valley, or watch the 30 or so NHLers hanging out at the Ice Den in Scottsdale, led by Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby -- who's apparently avoided getting injured after two days (sick burn!).