Arizona Coyotes Team History

Updated October 2018.

As the original Winnipeg Jets, the franchise made a splash in the World Hockey Association (WHA) in 1972 when they signed Bobby Hull to a $1 million contract. Hull played all seven seasons that the WHA existed and stayed with the franchise for one season after the NHL-WHA merger in 1979.

coyotes logo oldThe Jets won the last two WHA championships but that did not translate to the NHL, as they did not surpass the second round of the NHL playoffs in their existence. The fan support was massive, but Winnipeg was one of the smallest markets in the NHL.

Relocated to Phoenix in 1996, the Coyotes’ name was chosen after a name-the-team contest.

The Coyotes made the playoffs for each of the first four years in Arizona, but could not pass through the first round. After prominent players Keith Tkachuk and Jeremy Roenick departed in 2001, the Coyotes missed the postseason the next six years.

The team faced ownership troubles and attendance was dismal, forcing the NHL to take over ownership until a buyer stepped up.

The Coyotes hired head coach Dave Tippett in 2009. With Shane Doan being the only real prominent All-Star, the fourth-seeded Coyotes reached the 2010 playoffs. Although they lost to the Detroit Red Wings in seven games, the season was considered a success with Tippett winning coach of the year.

coyotes logo currentDespite losing to Detroit yet again in 2011, the Coyotes stuck with their game plan in 2011-12 and added two franchise firsts. They won their first division title and went to the conference finals. The Coyotes were perceived as a true contender after a hard-fought five-game series with the Los Angeles Kings.

After the playoff success, Arizona has failed to qualify for the postseason in each of the past six seasons.

However, the Coyotes were one of the strongest teams to finish the 2017-18 season; if it weren’t for an abysmal start to the season, the Coyotes would have likely been fighting for a playoff spot. The franchise employs a crop of young talent, including forwards Dylan Strome and Clayton Keller, which is expected to bring them back to prominence within the next few seasons. Starting goalie Antti Raanta, beginning his second season with the Coyotes, should help push the Coyotes up the standings for the next few seasons.

coyotes locker room 1 coyotes locker room 2


Feature photo courtesy Andrea | Flickr

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Jeff Ponder

The author Jeff Ponder

Jeff brings a wealth of hockey retail experience to xHockeyProducts, as well as a vast knowledge of marketing and content development. Jeff is also a former hockey reporter for various media outlets in the St. Louis area and has attended numerous NHL Entry Drafts. He has played hockey since the age of 10.