Arizona Coyotes Potential Rivalry With Las Vegas


Here’s what an Arizona Coyotes — Las Vegas rivalry would look like

Since the NHL recently announced that both Quebec City and Las Vegas have moved to Phase III of consideration for expansion, it’s beginning to look more and more like the NHL will expand by these two teams, and possibly as early as the 2017-18 season.

”Just the next phase of the due diligence and document submission,” Bill Daly-deputy NHL commissioner told Puck Daddy via email.

The Bill Foley group heading the expansion efforts in Vegas described this phase:

In this phase, we will be providing the League with additional information, including information about the Las Vegas market, and the MGM-AEG Arena being developed between the Monte Carlo and New York-New York hotel/casinos. We will also be permitted access to information provided by the League, that it deems important to us.

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Whether the new team will be nicknamed Foley’s favorite, the Black Knights, is still to be determined by a naming contest, conducted by season ticket holders. Some of the other favorite names are: Scorpions, Mustangs, Aces, Monsoon, or Miners. My favorite from this list is Scorpions. It instills fear, and the possibilities for uniform logos would be fun and unique.

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You can see where I’m going here… right? The Scorpions facing off against the Coyotes — it could be a CLASSIC desert matchup. I can envision some post-game headlines like: ”Scorpions Sting Coyotes 4-0”; or, “Coyotes Take The Sting Out Of Scorpions 5-1.

In any case, the built-in rivalry will initially be geographical, since the Las Vegas team will be in the Western Conference, and part of the Pacific Division. It may take a while to build up the rivalry to the intensity level of the Kings, Sharks, or Ducks, but I can see it happening.

The geography again, makes it an obvious rivalry situation. If I were a Coyotes fan wanting to see my team, and make it into a combined vacation weekend trip, taking in a game in the new Las Vegas arena built by MGM-AEG, will be a no-brainer. The $375 million arena is able to hold 17,500 for hockey, and 18,800 for basketball. (are you listening NBA?)

To show you just how awesome this new structure will be, you need to see this video:


The Phoenix-Las Vegas rivalry won’t be the only one created when Vegas enters the NHL. I’m sure the other rivals of the Arizona Coyotes in northern and southern California will also enjoy the concept of taking a Vegas trip to see their favorite team play. They too will enjoy the many leisure activities offered in the city that never sleeps at night.

My only concern, (which has been voiced by many others) is that the NHL will put the clamps down on betting on NHL games, when the new expansion team begins play. The other issue which could be a concern for the visiting, as well as the home team is the various temptations which exist for any Las Vegas resident or visitor.

This is especially true for pro athletes with extra cash to burn. I can think of quite a few NHL players, who could fall into that trap, or already have. I’m not saying the visiting coach needs a curfew, because the players are adults, but some precautions need to be implemented to keep players off the beaten path of destruction.

All in all, I know I’m looking forward to checking out the arena when I visit Vegas at the end of October. My 83 year-old aunt’s request to celebrate her birthday in Sin City, shall be granted. I will be taking some photos of the arena construction area, and checking it out. It should be exciting stuff, for sure.

Here’s looking forward to future NHL games between the Arizona Coyotes, and the Las Vegas Scorpions… if that will be their team name.

Next: Arizona Coyotes Looking Ahead Three Years From Now

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