Arizona Coyotes Coach Admits Relocation Rumors Distracting His Players

The Arizona Coyotes could be leaving town as the NHL and the ownership group in Salt Lake city continue to discuss relocating the team. It's never been this close to happening as the talks have advanced and the team could be moving as soon as April 19th. It's starting to impact the team a tremendous amount. 

It's not the first time the Coyotes have heard the rumors, in fact the relocation rumors starting ramping up in January, then the Yotes ended up losing 14 straight games. Yes, the impact is very real on the roster and Coyotes head coach Andre Tourigny is addressing the noise head on.

Tourigny spoke to Hockey Daily 365 on Wednesday and had this to say:

The first time that (relocation) rumor came, it was Jan. 24, and that's the day we started a 14-game losing streak, so we cannot pretend it did not affect our team. Unfortunately, that had a huge impact on our season. We did not deal with it the right way at the time. We did not manage the distraction really well the first time. Not everybody (gets) a second chance, but we had a chance to do better this time, and I really like the attitude

Ryan Smith is the owner of the NBA's Utah Jazz and has been pushing for an NHL franchise for several years now. Moving the Coyotes to Salt Lake City would mean there's going to be some divisional realignments which could result with the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames moving divisions.

Recently the mayor of Scottsdale put a black eye on some news about a potential arena complex in the area and that's when Smith got serious with the NHL and put his foot down, officially requesting a relocation of the franchise/expansion process.

Photo credit:  Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports