The Arizona Coyotes are a professional ice hockey team based in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale, Arizona and play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL).
The Coyotes began competing in December 1971, as the Winnipeg Jets of the World Hockey Association (WHA). Eight years later, after the WHA had ceased operations, they were one of four franchises absorbed into the National Hockey League and then granted membership in June 1979. The Jets moved to Phoenix in July 1996, and were renamed the Phoenix Coyotes. In June 2014, the team changed its geographic name from "Phoenix" to "Arizona".
Since December 2003, the Coyotes have played their home games at Gila River Arena after having spent 7½ seasons at America West Arena which is now Talking Stick Resort Arena)in downtown Phoenix. The Glendale City Council had voted to end their lease agreement with the Coyotes at Gila River Arena but happily this has now been resolved and the Coyotes will stay in Glendale at least until 2017.
The Coyotes greatest achievement came in 2011-12 when they won the First Division championship. On April 7, 2012, the Coyotes defeated the Minnesota Wild with a score of 4–1 to win the Pacific Division title—their first division title as an NHL team (in Winnipeg or Phoenix). Sadly this did not lead to Stanley Cup success as the Coyotes fell to the Los Angeles Kings in game five of a 4–1 series.
Many players have become great favorites with the fans over the years. Foremost of these is Shane Doan who has played with the team since 1995 and has played no fewer than 1,198 games. He has scored 20-plus goals and 50-plus points for 11 of the last 12 seasons. His consistency year after year and his willingness to do what is necessary to win games are the hallmarks of Doan's career with the Coyotes.
Keith Tkachuk who had the nickname of “Captain Coyote” was a talented goal-scorer who used his physical presence to put himself in positions to score goals. Tkachuk took beatings in front of the net for years as he created opportunities for his teammates to score and took advantage of rebounds that he had little problem converting into critical goals.
Teppo Numminen played well over 1,000 games for the team for which he was a model of defensive consistency. A native of Finland, he became the career leader in games played by a European in the NHL during his career with the Coyotes. He was inducted into the Coyotes Ring of Honor in 2010.
Jeremy Roenick was one of the most gifted scoring forwards in American hockey history. He thrilled the crowd rushing from end to end at breakneck speed.
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