New state of hockey? Talks underway for ASU games at Coyotes’ arena


More hockey in Glendale?

Maybe. Just maybe.

On Friday, Arizona Coyotes CEO Anthony LeBlanc said his organization has spoken with Arizona State University about the possibility of some Sun Devils games being played at Gila River Arena.

“We have had discussions with ASU about having the Sun Devils play some home games at Gila River Arena,” LeBlanc said, per Fox Sports Arizona. “We would be thrilled to have them play at our venue, but it would be premature to state anything definitively at this time.”

In 2016-17, ASU will make the leap from club team to become the 60th Division I hockey program in the NCAA. News of the elevated status was announced in November, on the heels of the Sun Devils creating one of the most successful club teams in the country; ASU won its first American Collegiate Hockey Association national championship in 2013-14, going 38-2-0.

Next season, ASU will play the at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe, but the venue isn’t viewed as a long-term home for the program.

“No one ever said we’re playing all our games next season at Oceanside,” Sun Devils head coach Greg Power said, per College Hockey News. We might just play some.”

The proposed move to Gila River could be a boon to both Glendale and the presence of hockey state-wide. Arizona has grown remarkably in terms of both enrollment numbers and increased facilities and, in 2016, could boast the No. 1 overall pick at the NHL Entry Draft in Auston Matthews, the Scottsdale native that was the youngest player for Team USA at this year’s World Juniors.