The annual Arizona Coyotes town hall meeting where management and ownership answer fans questions about the team was held at the Renaissance hotel prior to the Coyotes game - the Philadelphia Flyers.
Most of the questions were directed to CEO and President Anthony LeBlanc concerning rumors of the team relocating to the east valley.
Should The Moving Vans Be Ordered?
While LeBlanc did admit that the relationship with the City of Glendale may result in the team moving, he also didn't commit to that being a certainty. He admitted a move would involve many factors, such as where the team will play temporarily until a new arena can be constructed. He pretty much ruled out the Veterans Memorial Coliseum due to the enormity of a renovation it would require to bring it up to NHL standards.
Another fan brought out the age-old question of the possibility of the team relocating to the Seattle area. LeBlanc rebuked that idea, stating the team will be in ARIZONA.
An additional question which came up was the possibility of Shane Doan playing another season in a Coyotes' uniform. GM Don Maloney is optimistic that Doan, who seems to have revived his youthful days this season, will not be going anywhere.
Maloney responded to a question on the likelihood of prospects like Dylan Strome and Christian Dvorak making the team next season. While he likes the advanced level of play each has exhibited, he seemed to infer that Strome still needs to bulk up to play against the big NHL players he'd be facing.
When the discussion of Dvorak came up, Maloney was able to say that his size is good, and he is breaking scoring records in the OHL.
Another topic was on the lack of media coverage for the Coyotes. A fan brought up the valid point that the Coyotes rank below the Suns, Diamondbacks, and Cardinals when the sports segment of the news is played on the local TV networks.
LeBlanc admitted that the Coyotes are fourth in a four-major sport town, but also added that could change when the team starts winning on a more consistent basis.
Rumors of Oliver Ekman-Larsson Being Traded
Maloney commented that there is no way the team would consider trading Oliver Ekman-Larsson to move up in the draft in order to acquire local talented prospect Auston Matthews. He hopes that the team will have better luck in the draft, and didn't dismiss the possibility of moving up in the draft, but not at the expense of losing Ekman-Larsson.
Finally, LeBlanc mentioned in response to a question pertaining to the possibility of an outdoor game here in the Phoenix area, that it is entirely possible, but NHL commissioner Gary Bettman must decide that. The likelihood of the NHL All-Star game being played in locally was also regarded as a possibility.