If the Phoenix Coyotes don’t find an owner that’s willing to keep them in the desert, and soon, it’s likely 2011-12 will be their last season at Jobing.com Arena. The City of Glendale simply can’t keep covering the franchise’s losses and the NHL doesn’t want to own a team forever.
It begs the question, if the Coyotes have to move out of Arizona, where would they play next season? Winnipeg’s MTS Centre was always the first choice, until the Thrashers beat them to the punch.
Most of the speculation these days has the club moving to Quebec City, where there are plans to build a new NHL-caliber arena by 2015. Presumably the team would play at the old Colisée until then.
However, Ken Campbell of The Hockey News has another idea – temporarily move the Coyotes to Hamilton, Ont., where they’d play at Copps Coliseum for a couple of season. Then, move them again into the new arena that’s planned for Markham, a suburb of Toronto.
By the time the NHL has to make a decision on Phoenix, at the very least the Markham arena will be under construction, so the league could even award the franchise to Toronto this summer if it chose to do that, then begin playing in the new building for the 2014-15 season.
I’d still wager on the Coyotes moving to Quebec City, but the question of where they’d call home next season is an interesting one.
It might actually be fun to watch a team play at the Colisée. Like taking a time machine to an era before luxury suites and HD video boards. I mean, this is a hockey rink right here: