An Expansion Team Could Wind Up Back in Arizona

It's been a wild week in the desert as the Arizona Coyotes players and staff have been informed they are indeed relocating to Salt Lake City, which is expected to be announced as soon as the conclusion of their final regular season game. What's even crazier? The NHL is considering an expansion team in Arizona within the next five years.

Craig Morgan in Arizona has been following the story very closely these last few weeks and has been doing a great job reporting on what's going down. Some Coyotes love the news, while it's been reported several players are not happy with the league's decision. Playing hockey in the desert certainly has it's perks, but it must be tough playing in front of a junior hockey crowd every home game.

Here's the very latest from Coyotes current Governor and Chairman Alex Meruelo:

Meanwhile here's the latest from Morgan and hockey insider Elliotte Friedman regarding the relocation and the expansion team hanging in the balance the next five years, as long as things get into place on a new arena and shovels hit the ground:

The league is going to buy the Coyotes for a billion dollars, and the current owner Alex Meruelo is going to have a five-year window to prove he can put together a new arena, go to the land auction, win it, get shovels in the ground ... everything that he has to do to prove he can build a new arena. And then kind of like expansion, the league is going to sell a new team to Utah and owner Ryan Smith for $1.2 billion. The (Coyotes') hockey operations (staff) are expected to go with that.

Absolutely wild stuff going down in the desert. Arizona is a hotbed for youth hockey and continue to pump out prospect after prospect, however at the NHL level, the Coyotes operations have failed and it's head-scratching to think the NHL is willing to give it another shot in the next five years.

Photo credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports