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.
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.
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.
Feature photo courtesy Andrea | Flickr
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